The Most Significant & Game-Changing SEO Trends in 2018

May 29, 2018

Did you know that 93% of all traffic on content websites comes from a search engine? If you have plans to build a website or you already have an online business up and running, this information should interest you. You see, the internet world is akin to the Amazon jungle albeit here, only the most creative survive. Google indexes millions of websites every day but of these less than 50% achieve their revenue targets. While the internet has been hailed as the future of marketing, the competition on the platform has seen many businesses falling off. How do you stay afloat in this fast-paced environment? The trick lies in being top of your game by learning the latest trends.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best technique to give an edge to your online business. With billions of websites competing for the same customers, you have to leverage the influence of search engines to get noticed by your target audience. Now over 63% of all searches happen on Google and as such, you need to ensure your website ranks highly on Google’s search engine result pages(SERPs) for your target keyword. To do this, you have to learn the latest SEO trends and how to leverage them in your forthcoming SEO campaigns.

Some of the game-changing trends already making a big impact in the SEO trends include:

  1. The Rise and Rise of Voice Search

A few years ago, voice search sounded more like a futuristic idea but today, it is more real than ever.  More internet users opt to use voice search to find products and services and this necessitates an overhaul of your content creation techniques. The internet users want quick answers and they find it easier to use voice as opposed to typing. Your website content has to change to include phrases that people naturally use to find things in your niche. In your SEO content strategy, you have to start using conversational terms and sentences to rank highly on voice search results.

  1. Featured Snippets

Featured snippets have a close connection to voice search but according to analysts, they have a bigger impact than that.  The growth of featured snippets over the last few years has been tremendous with over 30% of Google queries results being in form of featured snippets. If you have plans to overhaul your SEO strategy, remember featured snippets now rank on top and for that reasonyou need to review your content and include innovative varieties such as Q&A content. Featured snippets are the new # 1 on Google and for 2018, you need to leverage this trend by creating content to boost your site’s ranking in regards to instant answers.

  1. Mobile-First Indexing Is Happening

Google has been at work on Mobile-First Indexing for some time now and finally, you can see the results of their project. In October 2016, Google announced that mobile had surpassed desktop browsing for the first time and that announced a phenomenal change in internet marketing. As more users go mobile, Google has moved to provide the best user experience by prioritizing mobile content in its rankings. The first step to prepare for these changes is to ensure your website and all other online platform are on a responsive design.

  1. The Role of Content Marketing

You must have heard many times about the importance of content marketing in your SEO strategy. Well, most websites fail in the content marketing test and for this reason, most site admins are a frustrated lot.  Today, content marketing is not about quantity but rather quality and context.

To get ready for the influential role content marketing will play, you need to adjust your content strategy by measuring and comparing user engagement rates with your existing content and re-utilizingtopics that have already performed for you greatly. There are great tools for this and they will help with Google Analytics Pageviews and bounce rates, checking backlink popularity and Social media share counts and much more.

  1. The Demise of Lazy Guest-Blogging

Everyone knows how great guest-blogging is to SEO but Google now has other ideas. Most website owners go to great lengths in their link-building efforts and guest blogging has emerged as the best technique for this. Well, Google now says lazy blogging for the sake of link-building is in violation of their guidelines and in fact falls under their link schemes umbrella.

You have to review your guest-blogging strategy by first identifying your goals, blogging on the right sites, creating connections with site owners, creating great content and tracking the success of your campaign. Don’t approach guest blogging as a means of link mining.

  1. SEO-Rich, Long-Form Content

In 2018, you have to start writing more long-form content because this is the best performing content on search engines. Pages 1,500 words or more perform better according to research and your content will receive more backlinks and social shares.  To get it right on long-form content, make sure you cover evergreen topics in your niche or pick old topics and give them a new perspective. Readers are after helpful and relevant content that adds value to their lives and you have to invest in high-quality writing in this case.

  1. Survival Of The Fastest

Slow websites are bound to die a speedy death in 2018. As Google and other search engines focus on better user experiences, speed is one area that has received a lot of attention.  Speed is not just a ranking factor but also a crucial UX factor and for this reason, you need to rework on your site design to ensure pages load in less than 3 seconds.

To get this right, start with a Google’s page speed test which will also give you the problem areas to remedy.  Now that Google has already announced that speed is a ranking factor, there are no two ways about it. High speed drives higher conversion and there is no reason to let opportunities pass you by due to slow loading pages.

Of course there are many other SEO trends in 2018 which you need to look out for; from‘linkless’ backlinks (from site mentions), structured data, riseofSERP features (local packs, Knowledge panels, featured snippets etc.), video SEO, User experience (UX), Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) toJavaScript SEO.

SEO is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry and as more changes come along, you need to prepare your website for them. These are just a few of the SEO trends you should start leveraging today to get more out of your marketing campaigns.

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