There are too many SEO insights and predictions for 2018. Why are we talking about it now? Coz all the predictions you’re reading about will help you. Well, we are giving you the trends that will work for you to get you SEO rankings. No faff. No exaggerations.
There are so many algorithm changes in the world of SEO after every few months. These frequent changes make you wonder if it is possible to lead the rankings game? Well, if you master the SEO trends and change your Digital Marketing Strategy to keep with the current trends, you can push your online marketing efforts even further.
There was a lot of focus on content marketing in 2017, a trend that will continue in 2018 as well. If you have a content marketing strategy, some skillful writers and talented graphic designers, it is one of the sure shot ways to have great SEO rankings. Let’s have a deeper analysis into the SEO trends that will help you have amazing rankings.
1. Focus on context
In 2018, there will be an increased focus on answering user questions, understanding their emotions and being proactive to understand what they seek. If you can become a trusted source of information, it can not only help your consumers understand your product/ service better but also Google ranks you higher for the quality of your content. The Content Marketers should focus on creating content that is based on an understanding of the consumers and their business requirements rather than content that has many keywords.
You can even approach your consumer-facing teams to understand the questions that they face from the consumers.
2. Set the right tone on your website
Marketers have the responsibility to deliver the right message and build a brand image through the website. On top of that you must get the rankings too. It’s a tough job to achieve it all. Use of videos and images are critical in today’s webpage design, and must be selected and chosen carefully. Only an experienced Digital Marketer can give you a webpage that is a perfect blend of user experience and SEO.
Even Google has suggested that websites must have a smooth UX so that there are better chances for people to be engaged on it. Search engines favor the pages that have a higher engagement rate more than the ones that are mindlessly stuffed with keywords. Speed, text readability, and navigation structure are some of the important things that contribute to your overall user experience. You must closely monitor the analytics to understand the factors that are making your users leave the website or are a hurdle in converting your prospects.
Enriching user experience across all devices is a must. UX will be important not only in 2018 but also in the years to come as search engines will give more weightage to personalized and relevant user experience and being able to have returning users.
3. Link Building is changing
While you might have heard from many that link building will disappear, but in 2018, the news is that it is not going anywhere. You must focus on having quality links rather than new links (that are unable to add ant value and give you the position of a thought leader in your domain). The key is to seek backlinks in industry-relevant websites since referral traffic can help you in climbing organic search rankings.
Try to change your mindset to nurturing the brand to have a successful SEO strategy. You must develop powerful connections that are to the advantage of the brand in the long term. In May 2017, Google had warned companies who depend a lot on guest blogging for link building. This was a measure to control spurious links and spam content.
The best will be to have a SEO strategist work on your link building strategy for a complete backlink profile and not just single links.
4. Concentrate on SERP features
Search engine results page or SERP features are all that you need to think of. It’s because Google wants you to focus on delivering results fast and effectively. No more keyword stuffing or ranking for random stuff. It’s your ability to product the right content and the right time.
Featured snippets, knowledge panels and local packs are SERP features that are critical as these are exactly the things that are stealing the attention of online users. To closely up your game in SERP, you must evaluate your performance as per the SERP features and check the keywords that are taking the traffic away from your website.
5. Structured Data is in
What is structured data? Well, it’s a way that you would format HTML that should contain a certain vocabulary (it basically instructs the search engines on how to interpret content). Structure data helps you to improve your search listings, i.e. in terms of knowledge graph and rich snippets (that help you to improve your click-through-rate). There are many structured data formats like Schema.org.
6. Mobile-first index
2017 was an important year to put mobile-first for everything. 2018 will be the year for mobile-first index (especially if Google will make deploy mobile-first index). Experts have predicted that more than 50% traffic comes from mobile devices, and it’s not sufficient if you only optimize for desktop. You need to optimize for mobile for a better visibility in mobile search results.
What is mobile searches all about? Mobile searches focus on the context (local SEO also helps a great deal in making the brand popular in mobile searches). There is a big opportunity when mobile searches are made on the go so it makes a lot of sense to build the local context. So, if you optimize mobile results for local users, it can give you astounding results.
SERPs and accelerated mobile pages can help the page to be uploaded at a faster pace. AMP can load within seconds and experts say that these have an improved engagement for users. More companies will demand AMP in 2018 and it gives an improved user experience with faster loading and more responsive mobile pages.
7. Featured Snippets and Quick Answers
Featured snippets have led to more competition amongst companies to appear at position 0. It has gone beyond the outdated SEO race for the top position, and the combination of specific factors to gain featured snipper in search has rather gained importance.
In 2018, progressive companies will focus on optimizing their content so that they can meet the standards required by Google’s Featured Snippets. Graphs, lists and tables will become more popular, and content created as ‘Questions and Answers’ will be ranked higher than the conventional style of writing (as it makes it easier for Google to identify the required snippet and show the most appropriate content as the featured snippet).
Since there’s a rising popularity for voice search, it makes sense to optimize featured snippets for voice as well. The two trends are strongly growing and can offer a great opportunity to lead the SERP game. It will require a change in the search queries, increased attention to longer keywords and an inclination towards natural language.
You can even try creating content that seems like a quick answer for a query and try Google answer box, which is a more enhanced way to show featured snippet. Try and keep the content as answers to how and what structure (Google is focusing more on search intent). Experts say that answer box has a click-through-rate of more than 30%.
8. Avoid voice search no more
Voice search is an interesting lead towards technological innovation and user experience. We are all getting more visually-focused and there’s a great opportunity to use its power. There are many like Pinterest, Google and Bing to take advantage for the visual search engine and leverage the new trend.
SEO specialists will help you understand how visual content is consumed and how users are changing their search behavior. They will also help you create more enriching visual experiences that are more engaging. There is increased competition in the area and you need an expert to optimize the visual content of your website to lead the search rankings.
9. AI and Machine Learning – not just buzzwords anymore
We’re heard a lot about Google RankBrain and Google’s deep learning algorithm, and we know that it has already impacted searches in a big way.
We’ve seen and heard a lot about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Searches have changed with contextualized results for intuitive searches. Add to that – the need for personalized experience and an increased need to integrate voice search and chatbots to keep up with the trends. There will be rapid changes in AI and machine learning in 2018 and the impact on search engines will just spiral. There are many innovations underway and it will require a tech-forward SEO strategist to help you keep up with all the insane changes.
2018 will be a progressive year for SEO. While the traditional SEO techniques are not going anywhere, there are several new trends that you need to start practicing. SEO has become much more than racing for the number one position and using new ways to focus on intuitive websites catering to intelligent and demanding consumers.
Organic ranking is still important but so is voice search, local SEO, social media and PPC – all of them are important. Find your SEO strategist today to discover how the new SEO techniques can leverage not only your ranking but your overall brand in 2018.