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SEO Trends in 2018

As SEO gets more sophisticated, more and more businesses are employing a combination of proven strategies and new techniques just to get in front of SERPS. While we have seen a lot of developments in search landscape over the past recent years. the new and upcoming trends might be more exciting.

Shifts in the search industry such as mobile search, social search and voice search have significantly changed the way people discover content online. At the same time, the rise of messaging apps and personal assistants has presented new challenges which SEO professionals must continue to overcome in 2018.

But the list does not stop there. Check out this article to learn more about the top SEO trends you should keep an eye on to stay competitive in digital marketing arena in 2018 and beyond.

THE RISE OF DIGITAL ASSISTANTS

The sudden popularity of digital assistants over the past recent years has changed the way people search online. In fact. a study by Statista found that the number of people using digital assistants is projected to increase from 504 million this year to billion by 2021.

Often equipped with voice recognition technology, these digital assistants are currently being used in different ways, such conducting an online search. According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries. To adapt to this new technology, SEO professionals must understand how search differs from text search, and learn to use keywords and natural language that people often use when using a digital assistant.

All that said, this technology does not come without merits. As digital assistants get integrated on everyday devices such as TVs, set-top boxes, and media streamers, there is an excellent opportunity for SEO people to access more accurate data which they can use to improve their strategy.

SUCCEEDING WITH SERP FEATURES

Over the past recent years. Google has rolled out new features into its Search Engine Results pages as a way to enhance their user experience. From rich snippets and paid results to carousels, local pack and knowledge panels, SERP features have made it more challenging for SEO people to grab the searchers’ attention and get their much-treasured click these days.

According to research by Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show featured snippets. However, instead of sticking to old facets of SERP, SEOs must find ways to leverage these new features to their advantage.

With that regard, companies must monitor their rankings within these features, and identify which function is potential stealing traffic from them. With the right data, companies will be able to analyze the opportunities that SERP features offers.

THE MOBILE-FIRST INDEX

The impending debut of the mobile-first index is one of the most anticipated events in search landscape in 2018. While the different ranking factors and keyword queries that will be weighted on the mobile-first index is still unknown, Google Wants to roll out the mobile-first index in a way that doesn’t hurt non-mobile-friendly sites, according to Cary Illyes, the Google webmaster trends analyst.

While not in effect yet, many websites have already felt its effect on their website’s rankings in search results. In a study conducted by BrightEdge study, mobile and desktop searches produced different results for the same keyword searches on the same search engines nearly 80% of the time.

Companies that want to keep up with the impending implication of mobile-first index can take advantage of existing platforms such as the Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages to make their website load up much faster – a crucial factor that many SEO experts believe will take a significant priority in the upcoming index.

THE NEED FOR SPEED

Site speed has always been a crucial factor not only in SEO but also in ensuring quality user experience as well. In fact, surveys conducted by Google indicate that internet users expect websites to load within three to four seconds. If Sites take longer than that, users are more likely to turn towards the competition.
As human attention span gets shorter, we can expect that site speed will become more critical as a ranking factor in 2018.

If you want to improve your page speed loading time, you can use a tool created by Google called PageSpeed Insights. With this tool, Google provides their rating on your mobile and desktop speed, as well as tips on what you can do so you can achieve faster page loading times.

DEVELOPMENTS IN VISUAL SEARCH

Visual search is one of the most undervalued areas in SEO however, this might change in 2018 as search technology continues to improve. In fact, tech giants including Bing, Google and Pinterest has already taken the initiatives to develop more powerful visual search engines which could change the way people search.

These initiatives are in response to the increasingly visual content-dominated internet landscape. From 2015 to 2016 alone, the use of visual content in articles published by marketers increased by 130%.

As the demand for visual content increases, it only makes sense for SEO professionals to understand how users consume visual content and how these new developments can affect the way people search. That also means that brands must focus even more on optimizing their visual content for SEO purposes.

‘LINK-LESS’ BACKLINKS

Links have been an integral part of SEO since Google created page-rank in 1996. However. times are changing. and link-less mentions may Soon just become an off-page signal of equal weight, according to Search Engine Land. Search engines have considerably evolved and now have the capabilities to associate mentions with brands and products, and use those as a signal to determine the site’s quality and authority.

In fact, Bing are already using unlinked mentions for ranking. This initiative by the 2nd most popular search engine in the world made many SEO experts believe that Google may be making the same as well soon.

These are the trends that will drive Strategy and make the difference between winning and losing in SEO arena in 2018 and beyond. Consider all these trends as you make your SEO strategy for 2018 and you will surely be able to improve your chances of ranking on the 1st page Of SERPs in years forward.

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