Optimize Your Strategies in 2018
SEO is an ever-changing industry. In 2018, Google will continue to enhance the web user’s experience by scanning the relevancy of a page’s content, using personalized search engine results and faster page speeds, and include additional results page features. It will also want to ensure that websites are mobile-friendly and full of normal, conversational terms and words.
Three and a half months have passed since the arrival of 2018. Some of the pondering questions looming around your cranium, if you’re working your way up in online strategies would be so far how effective were your SEO strategies and initiatives? Were they better or worse than expected?
Similar to other areas in the tech industry, SEO is also constantly changing. The once fail-proof method of consistently landing a top SERPs (search engine results pages) is becoming irrelevant as time passes. SEO practices that once dominated the industry are quickly finding its descent. The Google algorithm itself changes constantly, sometimes with multiple changes happening within months. On top of that, the technology available to SEO professionals also constantly evolves, allowing us to cope up with the changes.
While 2017 has brought about the dominance of Google AMP (accelerated mobile pages), the rise of HTTPS, the importance of backlinks, the precaution of the overuse of 301 redirects and reformatting of rich snippets to accommodate the increasing popularity of voice search, some of these trends will continue into 2018 and some will fall away.
On the other hand, we expect many new trends to emerge in 2018.
While Google makes it near impossible to completely crack its page ranking algorithm code, constantly adjusting to accommodate a thousand different nuances will be the challenge for SEOers in 2018 and many years to come.
Whether you want to do away with the past and start a new or you want to build on the success of your 2017 SEO campaigns, there are some SEO trends to be on the lookout for in 2018
Increased Search Engine Results Page Features is one. It is the goal of any SEO professional to achieve and maintain a high volume of traffic to a given website. Ideally, this would be the result of reaching the top spot on a search engine results page. Not only is it important to achieve this coveted position, but to also maintain it as long as possible.
However, with the latest developments in the search engines, achieving this Number one ranking may no longer be enough to get the traffic you desire. While keyword and key phrase optimization are still important, you now have other offsite elements to consider.
Popular search engine results page features include AdWords, news block, featured snippets, local packs, reviews, tweets, video, image pack, shopping results and site links.
Rich Snippet Will Need Careful Structuring. There are rich snippets and regular snippets. Both include a clickable title, a URL, and a meta description. Rich snippets have more condensed titles that include “|” instead of a dash (-), reviews and an image. How you structure the data, however, is important in how search engines will display the information.
While the difference may seem insignificant, it has been shown that search results with properly formatted rich snippets receive more clicks and have a higher click-through rate, which in turn increases potential sales.
Page speed is another important factor. In today’s fast-paced, on-demand society, people want things, including information, immediately.
Nothing is more frustrating than clicking on a website that appears to answer your question exactly, only to have to wait for the page to load. If the page doesn’t load in 5 seconds, you’re off onto another website that can hopefully give you the answers you need.
People don’t like slow web pages. If your page is slow, your site traffic will suffer. Page speed is a user experience feature that is expected of all websites.
If you’re wondering how fast is fast enough, take Google’s recommendation of 3 seconds or less.
Voice search is relevant more than ever. Just like in 2017, voice search will continue to pick up steam. Many consumers prefer the convenience of speaking over typing. Not only is it faster, but the queries can also be more detailed.
More importantly, voice recognition software has reached the point where users are comfortable trusting it to understand their normal speech.
The increased detail of search queries means you’ll need to go beyond the simple keyword and phrases to rank and focus more on terms and phrases people are naturally going to say out loud. People speak differently than they type, so your SEO strategy should try using conversational terms and sentences.
Mobile Will be Even More Important. Smartphones dominate the landscape and more and more web browsing is occurring on mobile devices. In fact, the number of people using their smartphones to browse the Internet is higher than the number who browse on a traditional desktop computer.
Besides the traditional search ranking factors, such as page speed, content relevancy, and page authority, search engines are also using information about the user, such as interests, browsing history and location, to provide a personalized search results list.
Google, along with some other search engines, have been utilizing personalized SERPs for many years.
A SEOer’s goal of getting to the top of search results will have larger implications. Pages that succeed in dominating search will not only get more initial traffic but when a user clicks on their page, that business’s page will subsequently appear in future searches by that user.
This will give you a greater opportunity to dominate that user’s SERPs in the future.