The term “SEO,” otherwise known as “search engine optimization,” has increased in popularity over the past couple of years. Many digital natives and marketers alike are using SEO to its advantage by incorporating every keyword imaginable into the content they write. This year, it will only continue to evolve. Google’s expectations are expected to be much more fierce.
Getting optimal site traffic in 2018 will require a bit of strategic planning as people are expected to start relying more heavily on smart voice, video, and image searches. That being said, here are a few SEO trends to know in 2018:
Voice Search Increase
“Hey Alexa, could you please tell me who’ll be playing at Jazz Fest this year?”
Take a second to notice how this smart voice question was stated in a conversational tone. While people tend to type short-tail keywords into search bars, no one speaks that way naturally. With 2018’s rise in smart speaker sales for devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, there will be an even bigger rise in interactive voice search. In 2018, it’s going to be increasingly important for SEO builders to incorporate longer-tailed keywords into queries. Rather than simply relying on making “Jazz Fest” the keyword, the safest bet for SEO will be to make phrases (like the question above) part of your focus.
Making sure your SEO is viable with natural speaking patterns is going to be imperative this year. Whatever SEO one chooses for their site should be compatible with the speaking quirks most people might have. For instance, words like “gonna” and “‘cause” will be important to incorporate because they’re a part of people’s everyday language.
Voice search will definitely be an important SEO trend to know in 2018.
Video and Image Search
Advances in both video and image search will be important SEO trends to know in 2018. It’s undeniable that the Internet has become a much more visual place. Rather than people going online to read something, they go online to see something, and it is critical for SEO to adapt. Since these people go online to see things, they might be more inclined to search for an image or video as opposed to a page. As they look things up on visual search tools, such as Google Images and Pinterest, it’s important to optimize SEO on all image and video content. Brands and businesses will likely need to spend even more time on quality visual content for these purposes.
A very important SEO trend to know in 2018 is the mobile-first index. As people spend even more time staring at phone screens, brands and businesses will have to put an emphasis on mobile-first. Search engines have the ability to rank keywords differently on mobile devices from traditional desktops, and it’s important to make sure mobile-first content is being created in order for pages to rank well on mobile searches.
As more mobile users are expected to search for information while on the go, brands and businesses will have major power to market at a local level. This means that all the small business owners in New Orleans have more potential to reach mobile users.
Page Speed Importance
Search engines rank pages by more than just the keywords being used. Page speed, or the amount of time it takes for a site to load, can drastically affect ranking. The faster a page loads, the higher it will rank. In 2018, it will be extremely important to make sure a page can load in less than three seconds. Google and other search engines will expect this.
To find out if your brand or business’s page loads quickly enough, test it out. There are many in-depth site auditing tools that can be used to see if a page is meeting Google’s page load time expectation. If a site is not meeting expectations, it’s a good idea to look at the site and see where it needs improvement in enabled compression or reduced redirects. The faster the site, the better the SEO.
Being ahead in the SEO game is always exciting, but getting there is hard with the amount of content that exists today. With all the SEO advances we’re seeing this year, knowing the strategy to succeed matters. That’s why Online Optimism is here to help. If your brand or business is struggling to rank highly in the search results, we’ve got solutions for you.