It’s often said that slowly but surely, SEO is on its way out. That search engine optimization is losing its value and will shortly become irrelevant. But at the same time, it’s also said that“Elvis ain’t dead,” and the face of Jesus Christ periodically appears on slices of burnt toast!
Or to put it another way – just because they say it doesn’t mean ‘they’ know what they’re
Without beating around the bush, SEO is alive and kicking. In fact, the world’s growing dependence on search engines means that SEO is regarding more important and powerful than it has ever been. More than 90% of all web traffic is now directed by search engines, while the overwhelming majority of consumers rely on search engines to show them where to spend their money.
Evolving it maybe, but obsolete SEO isn’t…not even close!
Whether you go about your own SEO strategy manually or bring in the very best web design company in Salem to help, now definitely isn’t the time to cut back on search spending. And in terms of what can be expected over the coming months, here’s a brief overview of eight key SEO trends that are likely to prove big business in 2018:
1. The rise of SERP features
What do we mean by features? Put it this way – compare the first page of a Google search today to that of a few years back and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at two completely different search engines. At one time, the first page featured nothing but ten links in blue.
These days,there’s everything from featured snippets to knowledge panels to local packs to news results to shopping listings to social media snippets and so much more besides. The great news is being that if you learn how to capitalize on any of these features, you stand a much greater.
chance of appearing prominently in the rankings.
At this stage in time, you really shouldn’t need to be reminded of the importance of fresh content for your website. In any case,Google continues to show preference to sites that continually update their content with fresh, relevant, unique and engaging material like never before.
From blogs to news updates to instructional guides to articles and so on, anything you can enrich your site with on a regular basis is something you should be paying very close attention to.
3. Faster is better
It’s been known for many years now that website speed, and reliability, in general, is a critically important factor in developing a strong UX. More recently, it has been made abundantly clear that speed is also one of the most important ranking signals taken into account by the major search engines.
To list every possible option for improving the speed of your website would be pointless – there are hundreds of them. The only thing you really need to know is that whatever it takes to keep your site running at the most spectacular speed possible, it needs to be done.
Google is slowly but surely reaching the point where it can take into account your keywords and content in general, in terms of overall context. Which means that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to try and fool Google into thinking your content is both fantastic and relevant when in reality this isn’t the case at all.
In theory, the solution is simple – ensure every scrap of your content is relevant and of the highest possible quality. In practice, this may relatively heavy investment in content marketing.
5. Voice search is gathering momentum
The fact that you personally may not use voice search particularly often is irrelevant. What’s comprehensively relevant is the fact that approximately 40% of adults do use voice search daily, which increases to a massive 55% of teenagers.
Once again,we’re talking daily use. Capitalizing on voice search means taking an entirely different approach to that of standard SEO. At least in terms of keyword research and usage.
6. Mobile is bigger than ever
When Google first let word slip of its impending mobile-first index, it represented the wakeup call millions of businesses could have done with receiving many years ago. The long and short of it is that as far as 2018 is concerned, you cannot and will not get away with an approach that overlooks the importance of mobile SEO.
We’ve reached a point where even Google is recommending the primary focus on mobile website experiences, over and above the desktop. Seriously – what more evidence do you need?
7. ‘Link less’ back links
Believe it or not, you no longer necessarily need physical back links on other websites to earn credit with the major search engines. Links are certainly powerful and valuable, but search engine algorithms are now being used to take into account ‘mentions’ of brands and websites when determining their ultimate SERP rankings.
Meaning that even if they don’t post a direct link, the fact that they are talking about you in a positive light can prove helpful in its own right.
Last but not least, personalization of search engine results pages is far from new. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest it’s been going on for years. It’s just that while around 50% of searches were personalized by Google back in 2011, the system has inevitably been refined and optimized in the meantime.
Personalized SERPs have the potential to work for or against you, depending on the way you formulate your strategy. Once again, however, the key lies in acknowledging and accepting the fact that personalization of search results is a thing, rather than is ignoring it and hoping it doesn’t bite you in the backside!