Are you a web entrepreneur who wants to be ahead of the most upcoming SEO trends? Then look no further! These 10 upcoming SEO trends to expect in the 2018 will keep you at the top of your game, and help you improve your page ranking and your business…
1) Quality and Long Form Content Continues To Increase Search Results
Many people think that filling their website with tons of low quality and duplicate content is a good way to get great SEO rankings. Unfortunately, it’s boring and doesn’t provide its readers with anything of value. It can actually turn customers away and although people still think that cut and pasted keyword copy will help to improve website rankings – that certainly isn’t the case, especially in 2018.
If Google finds that two pieces of content on the Internet are the same, they will actually lower your page ranking – because they want to make sure the sites they recommend has content they actually want to consume. Long form content on the other hand, which is approximately 2000 words of great content that people actually want to read, is proven to perform better in search results. Search engines, like Google, care more about the quality of content, over the quantity of content more today than ever before.
Google likes fresh content – to keep its search results updated. It doesn’t like duplicate content because if someone is searching for information on multiple sites, and just gets the same information on each, the user would feel disappointed in the results and no longer use Google as a search engine.
In 2018, the demand for high quality, long form content continues to equate to success in SEO. Putting in the time into researching content, and creating content which is bigger and better than anything else already out there, will be highly favoured by search engines.
2) Infographics and Visualisation Matter
It has been proven, statistically, that if long form quality content is published alongside a great infographic, it will result in a higher number of shares, gain more online visibility, generate more backlinks and drastically increase the authority of the website.
A picture will say a thousand words, which is why including a great infographic in your SEO strategy in 2018 could help a lot. In fact, as many other people are starting to include infographics, leaving them, out of your SEO strategy will give your competitors an advantage. People tend to attach a deeper meaning to rich visuals, and as a result will be more inclined to engage.
3) HTTP to HTTPS
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is a hypertext transfer protocol which keeps any data exchanged between the user’s computer and your website, such as a web transaction, secure. And whilst web users today are more internet savvy than ever before, they now expect nothing less than a secure experience whilst using a website.
It is now best to change your website to ‘HTTPS’ instead of keeping it as ‘HTTP’. The cost to switch your website to HTTPS is little to none, and can save your site from a potential drop in rankings. Google and other search engines don’t want to send people to a website that might not be secure.
4) Social Media Benefits SEO
Social media platforms continue to bring in more and more users every day. And in 2018 the amount of active users on these sites will be bigger than ever. Facebook now has around 2 billion monthly active users – that’s nearly a third of the world’s population.
Before, social media didn’t have much of an impact on SEO. However, it is now the truth that social media can affect your SEO efforts because these social platforms are such a major source of referral traffic.
Social media marketing can help to improve the relevancy of your page, because when Google crawls, it doesn’t just look directly at the site – it also looks offsite. When Google looks on a website’s social media platforms, it looks at the number of followers and the amount of engagement it receives. The better Google sees your social media to be, the better effect it will have on the ranking of your website and page. So it is important – if you haven’t done so already – to get your small business on social networks.
5) Voice Search Will Increase
In 2018 you can make a search without having to lift a finger, a quick ‘OK Google’ or a question to Siri or Alexa and you can interact with the Internet using just your voice.. As the years go on, people are becoming more tech savvy and care about the latest trends in gadgets. But as technology is improving, so is the way we do things online: particularly the way we find the answers and solutions to our queries.
Now you only have to utter the words in order to search for what you are looking for. Whether it’s a search for the nearest place to eat, or for a number for a local taxi firm – Echo by Amazon and Google Home have made this simple solution possible for people.
People search differently with voice than they do using a search engine. You might type ‘Manchester Taxis,’ but you would probably ask something like ‘Siri, can you recommend a taxi company in the Manchester area.’ Adding words like recommend and area (for example) into your SEO keywords may help improve your ranking, as they are much more likely to correspond to a voice search.
As a result, it means that you have to incorporate this SEO trend, making it possible for your site to receive the optimal results for voice search.
6) Optimize For Mobile
The trend of making Internet searches via mobile devices has grown drastically since 2015, and will of course continue to grow as the newest smartphones are released, including the iPhone 8, 8 plus and iPhone X which have all been released this month (September 2017). Most people now search using a combination of mobile and computer devices, and a significant proportion only search using mobile.
The future is now here – there is no turning back.
Instead, it is important to – if you haven’t so already – have a responsive website which is fully optimised for smartphones, tablets and other devices before running the risk of losing a lot of potential customers. Google found that people will abandon a website that takes longer than 4 seconds to start working, so you need to make sure that your page looks good on mobile but also works well.
7) User Experience Still Matters
There is nothing worse than visiting a website which is slow and takes a long time to load the page. In fact, this is also something that search engines aren’t too fond of either. Search engines want to provide the best service for their customers. If Google puts up a load of pages that take a long time to load up, people may consider using an alternative like Bing. Once a search engine preference changes, it tends to stay changed.
As a result, Google will value sites with a good user experience highly. Providing a pleasant user experience for those who visit your website is very important. There are several benefits which come with providing a pleasant user experience, which can have a direct impact on your sites SEO.
One thing to consider is how many steps it takes someone who clicks through your website to actually become your customer. If your link information mentions a certain deal, then that link should go to a landing page where people can find that deal straight away. The more pages they have to navigate through, the more chance there is they will drop out of the buying process.
A streamlined and easy to use website can not only help your SEO ranking, but can have a positive impact on your conversion rate too. Think of your own customer experience, and why you use the websites you do over their competitors.
8) Inbound Links Continue To Be An Indication Of Link Worthy Content
Links haven’t gone anywhere just yet. In fact in 2018 they remain a priority. Methods of link building for SEO is forever changing, and today the importance of high quality link building has never been higher.
Writing a great quality piece of content for your site is one thing, but generating tons of quality links from high authoritative sites to your content is a great indication to search engines that your content is great and worth linking to.
By making improvements to your sites content, people will automatically want to link to the content and this will result in pulling more visitors towards the site. You can also write guest posts on other people’s sites – if you create great content there, not only will the site give you a valuable inbound link – it will also expose your company to a new audience.
9) 301 Redirects Are No Longer An Issue To Your Site
Many old-school rules used to apply to URLs and redirects. For instance, people used to be scared of statistics like: “301 redirects result in 15% loss of pagerank.” This represented a big concern for anyone who was looking to change their URL. As a result, many people were too concerned about the change and kept their old and unwieldy URL’s by delaying site migrations.
Google has now made it clear that no pagerank is affected for 301 and 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS. This announcement by Google was in their interest to increase the webmaster adoption of HTTPS, to make the Internet more secure for businesses and people searching for those businesses using their search engine.
10) Long Tail Keywords Are In For The Win
Keyword research is the initial step to improving a website’s SEO. Having the right keywords in place can make all the difference in the process of attracting the right visitors to your site. Although having a huge number of people visiting your site is a great vanity metric – it’s conversion that really counts. As such you don’t just want volume coming to your website, you also want quality leads – and longer keywords are key for this.
Whilst generic industry keywords such as “Football boots” and “Digital Cameras” used to be the go to keywords, that is no longer the case. These generic keywords are the words which most people within your industry are fighting to rank for on search results.
Today, ranking for long tail keywords is the way forward. Whilst long tail keywords might not be the biggest drivers of traffic to your website – they will however allow you to rank well for keywords that don’t have much competition. Long tail keywords such as “How do I set up the aperture on my digital camera” are keywords that not all competitors in your industry think to rank for. Therefore, you’re one step ahead of their knowledge.
It also means that people searching for those specific terms are already likely to be committed to purchasing a specific product, or looking for a company with specific knowledge. Product and industry specific words – and even product or service names – are not as likely to bring in as many people as generic phrases, but the people that they do bring in will be much more likely to convert.
SEO is Still Strong
SEO isn’t going anywhere. People will always need to have their problems solved, and searching the Internet to find an answer is the easiest and best way to do this. As technology advances, how we stay at the top of search changes as well. It’s not longer about raw data, it’s about how people interact with your business.
That means the more you do to make it easier for people to find and use your website – the better your results will be. Create decent and engaging content for backlinks, use keywords that reflect the new and different ways that people search. Create a website that people can find on their phone, pick up on their tablet and then convert on their computer. Make sure that your website is secure and easy to use. The safer and better your website is, the higher and more secure your ranking will be.
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