SEO..Search results..rankings..search algorithms.. the year 2018 is going to witness some interesting insights pertaining to different search based metrics. Do you wish to stay in the race and make your mark in the search rankings, have a look at the SEO trends 2018 anticipated by industry experts and include them in your SEO plan 2018, now!
SEO Trends 2018
Saikat Bose, Head of Product and Marketing, Times Internet Limited
With the rapid adoption of Siri; Google Voice Search & Google Assistant; Alexa (Amazon Echo), Cortana and a bunch of smart home devices, voice search is going to be crucial for SEO. Voice search is rarely structured like a search phrase on Google/Bing or any other search engine. Rather, it’s more conversational, possibly more long tail and a good focus on location. It would be interesting on how the SEO world to adapt to the NLP (Natural language processing) and the different challenges it throws up. 2018 will be an interesting year in this space.
Personalisation of Search
Search engines have moved away from a generic SERP to a more personalized experience over the years. With the introduction of newer input methods and the affinity of users towards mobile devices, SERPs have become more personalized. The aim of any search engine is to provide accurate results to any user query and with new indicators such as location, voice (mentioned earlier) it will be a challenge for websites to organically appear in a user’s SERP. The margin for error is very small now and it will define how SEO evolves in the years to come, 2018 being no different.
Mobile Indexation and AMP
Mobility is here to stay and the convenience has got users hooked onto their mobile devices (phones and tablets). That means websites cannot be chunky. UX SEO will now take a front seat as opposed to keyword and link-laden SEO strategies of the past. SEO will now encompass everything from content, link acquisition, UX and endpoint delivery (fast loading pages through AMP ( Google Accelerated Mobile Pages)). Now SEOs have to contend with limited real estate, sketchy connections in addition to all they already deal with. India still has a sizeable headroom in this regard and the opportunity is huge. 2018 will be an interesting year for SEOs and time will tell who will manage to maintain the right blend and come on top.
Ravi Soni, Co-Founder, Obbserv Online Services Pvt. Ltd.
- Mobile First Index: Google is working on its Algo to index the pages of a site which is mobile responsive & Mobile content will be indexed and crawled faster than a desktop one as Mobile users are increasing exponentially with time.
- Outreach & Valuable Backlinks will still play a major role in rankings as Google is making a lot of advancements in filtering out spam, Link building needs to be more diversified and strictly relevant as algorithms can easily devalue anything that looks unnatural.
- Featured Snippets: Google is improving its Knowledge graph with time. Information that is served in Featured Snippets gets the Highest CTR.Its a sign of Structured, detailed and valuable content that has to be present on the page. Optimizing our site to get featured snippets from Google should be a major focus of an SEO.
- Voice Search: With advancements in the voice recognition and adaption of users to talk to the phone, the search patterns are changing. The keyword strategy needs a revamp and shall include the speech effect.
Other trends AMPs, Local Search Optimization is improving day by day, Visual Content is more valued.
Mandar Marathe, Co-Founder, BriefKase Digital Communications
3 SEO Trends to watch out for in 2018
Content, Content & More Content
- Comprehensive content significantly outperforms shallow content – Study done for 10,000 URLs by Backlinko using MarketMuse.com.
- Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any images – Backlinko analysis of 1 Million Google SERPs.
- Think Content Clusters – Restructure your content marketing strategy and focus on topic-based content clusters as opposed to single-keyword focused content.
Link Building is still your #1 SEO Hack
Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor. even in 2018. Focus on building high-quality links to your business website. Some link building tactics that would make you a winner:
- Guest Blogging: No brainer. Reach out to industry-specific niche websites and start contributing to guest posts. Like I said, everyone needs quality content. Even your large industry publications.
- Round-Ups: Like this post. Collate post excerpts around a topic or bring together experts to contribute on a subject. You will end up getting a lot of traffic to such round-up posts from Social Media and influencers who have agreed to contribute to your round-up.
- Call your friend: Yes, I said so. Make a list of all your friends who have a website and request them to link back to your site. Your freinds will not turn you down, unless they are not friends.
Mobile Responsive Websites
Again, a no brainer. If you are alive in 2017 and do not have a mobile-optimized website (respopnsive or adaptive), chances are that you are living under a rock. Wake up and get going with building a mobile-first website.
- Choose responsive design (because Google preferes it).
- Your mobile site should load lightning fast. With Google most likely to switch to mobile0first indexing by early 2018, page speed and site load speeds are going to be critical ranking factors. Strip down unwanted images, forms and functionalities. Go lean & mean when you go mobile.