We’ve already looked at the website trends for 2018 but what SEO trends can we expect to see in the New Year.
I think we all know that things aren’t going to change too much; the rules will still be almost the same, there will be no way to cheat the system and no quick fixes.
Instead, 2018 will be all about continued hard work but there will be some differences when it comes to SEO trends.
With the growth of voice search technology such as Siri, Alexa and Google Echo, the way we search for things is changing.
According to Google one in five searches already come from voice search technology and that figure is only going to grow as more people embrace their new tech.
By verbally asking the question instead of typing it in you will want to have a look at your keywords and make sure they will still be as relevant.
You need your keywords to include natural language that matches a more conversational tone.
This will be more important when you are considering the long-tail keywords – those three and four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are selling.
When someone uses a highly specific search phrase, it means that they tend to be looking for exactly what they are going to buy.
So make sure you consider how you would ask the question, and do your research, so you can make sure your website appears top of the search results.
Link building has long been key to any SEO strategy but it’s set to disappear in 2018, with quality links set to be deemed more important.
It’s going to be all about quality over quantity, so referrals from relevant websites in your industry will still count towards your website’s organic search ranking but long-term relationships will help your ranking even further.
Guest blogs will remain a great way to not only improve your content but to also help your brand develop strong long-term relationships and create quality links.
But don’t let this be your only way of generating links because Google has already promised to look closer at guest blogs in an attempt to put an end to spam content and irrelevant links.
We have spoken a lot in previous blogs about the importance of the user experience but you have to get them onto your website in the first place and that user experience is just as important.
There’s nothing worse than doing a Google search, clicking on one of the results and then finding no mention of what you’re looking for.
So always make sure your keywords and meta tags are relevant to your business and reflect the content on each individual page.
Once people get on the website there are also several other factors you should be taking into account to ensure a smooth UX.
Your site should be easy to use, easy to navigate and easy to search for, all of which can be achieved with a little help from the following:
- A fast site search
- A fast loading speed
- A website that isn’t too graphic rich
- Simple use of menus
- Good use of tags and categories
- Avoid unpopular popups
Retaining visitors and converting them into customers will be ranked far more importantly by Google than simply increasing your traffic.
Use all the options available to you
You will have noticed big changes to the search engine results page (SERP) since you started ‘Googling’ as the search engine has evolved to make the process of finding what you’re looking for as easy and effective as possible.
As well as keywords, links and responsiveness 2018 will also see a rise in the importance of Google’s newest additions such as featured snippets and quick answers and we know it won’t stop there after all Google is constantly evolving.
Moz found that each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. Most of the changes are minimal and most people will never see them but there are regular “major” algorithmic updates which have huge impacts on search results.
When you do a search now you will see a quick answer (where appropriate) as well as a list of other similar questions that were asked – which is great for doing your keyword research.
So another way to steal the limelight when it comes to the SERP is to create content which works as a quick answer.
Thanks to the team at Stone Temple Consulting, who, after undertaking various research have boiled down the process to these four simple steps:
- Identify a common, simple question related to your market area.
- Provide a clear and direct answer to the question.
- Offer value added info beyond the direct answer.
- Make it easy for users (and Google) to find on your page.
Think mobile first
2018 is looking increasingly likely to be the year that Google will finally put all their weight behind a mobile-first index.
We all know the importance of mobile-friendly websites and content, after all, 57% of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, but are you adjusting your keywords accordingly?
There is quite a difference between the way that keywords rank on mobiles and desktops – so to remain top of the search rankings in 2018 more priority needs to be given to mobile first content.
Understanding how people use their devices is key to any successful SEO strategy.
When someone conducts a search on their mobile they usually want the end result to give them a number they can click on to call or directions to buy/visit somewhere because they are after all mobile.
When the same search is conducted on a desktop computer the thinking is that the user is looking for somewhere to buy online.
Following this belief will help you plan your keyword strategy.
There are so many different elements to consider when it comes to SEO trends not least the growth in the use of featured snippets and voice searches.
Those coupled with the increasing growth of mobile searches means that there are now so many variants that having that top ranking is now less important than it once was.
Instead, it’s about providing the best and more relevant match and understanding what it is your customers want and where they are looking at you from.
As long as you get that right then you will always reap the rewards from Google.