The year is coming to an end and as we put up our plans for the upcoming year, it is wise to know what to expect from the SEO segment in 2018.
SEO is constantly evolving and has moved far from just being a ranking in the first organic spot. The opportunities to increase your search traffic are aplenty even without focussing all your energies on organic SERPs.
Find out how your brand can maintain a successful SEO strategy for 2018:
1. It’s all about voice search, buddy!
The use of digital assistants are on the rise. This along with voice search technology has changed the way we communicate and process information. It comes as no surprise that one out of five searches already come from voice queries. The year 2018 might see a bigger shift towards voice search. This means that there is an immediate need to focus on long-tail search keywords and colloquial language.It is important to research the voice user intent to provide accurate results and help algorithms provide the best answer.
With integration in smart home hubs, voice search will certainly grow. This will help users enjoy a great experience through everyday devices and also help companies access new data.
Digital assistants are going beyond smartphone devices and this is a great platform which should be leveraged for both SEO and the content.
2. Focus on quality links
In 2018, it is important to create a strategy that looks out and taps quality links.Building an authority in your target niche can achieved through this.It is a must to seek coverage from your industry-relevant sites. Referral traffic can still contribute to your site’s organic search rankings
Link building is a long-term process and this helps the brand develop powerful contacts.
Dealing with guest blogs and using them as an integral part of the link building strategy will be the major challenge for 2018. The strategy must aim for a complete backlink profile that can bring in good results.
It must be remembered here that Google had in May warned publishers who rely too much on guest posting for link building. It said that there will be a closer look at the guest blogs to control questionable links.
3. Make it a smooth ride for the users!
For any business to succeed, customer satisfaction is important. SEO is no different. More importance would be attached to the user experience for SEO in 2018. With Google also making it clear that the focus is on the users, the onus is now on the companies to deliver a smooth UX for their visitors.This is certainly a vicious circle as good user experience increases the chances of people engaging with the pages they visit and this, in turn, helps search engine discover which pages are more useful to the people and favouring them over others.
Monitoring the site’s speed, its readability, and its navigation structure is important. Assessing visitor’s browsing habits can provide good input. Constant efforts should be taken to ensure neither the content nor the user experience hurt the site’s conversions.
A majority of the people are hooked on to their mobile phones and content is consumed. So it becomes very important to provide an excellent user experience across all devices.
Brands are left with no option but to put mobile as the first priority. A recent study found that 57 percent of web traffic came from mobile devices. Mobile-first content is the need of the hour to win the race.All focus on UX to maintain search traffic by creating an engaged audience.
4. Features snippets and quick answers.
Featured snippets have become very popular of late and this has increased the competition among companies dramatically. All of them want to appear in “position 0” in the SERP. A specific combination of factors works to help gain a featured snippet. This has almost certainly opened up the SEO beyond the traditional race.
Companies have to devise a strategy to optimise a site’s content to meet Google’s standards for featured snippets.
It is important to create lists, tables, and graphs along with content in Q and A format so that the right content is extracted by Google as a featured snippet.
Laterally, optimisation of featured snippets for voice search will become the focus the coming year. This combination of two growing trends can turn out to be ‘deadly’!
Creating content that serves as a quick answer can help companies reach the top of the SERP. A perfectly designed ‘Answer Box strategy’ can not only increase the site’s authority but also help the brand’s conversion.
As mobile searches are all about context, brands should provide the best possible results for every question, while local SEO is going to become even more popular. Mobile users will seek for more content while they are on the go, which means that brands will face a big opportunity of marketing their business at a local context.
Google is focussing on Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP) and this has made more publishers to consider their use.The year 2018 will see its surge.
5. Visual search: It is here to stay!
A combination of technological innovation and user experience has to take searching to an all-new level – Visual search.
Major tech companies including Google and Pinterest have invested in developing powerful visual search engines. Brands need to focus on optimising their visual content for SEO purpose.
6. Other factors
Machine learning and artificial intelligence affect the way search results are ranked. The former helps users find contextualised results. The rise of voice search and digital assistants offer a platform for the development of artificial intelligence.