2017 has been an interesting year for SEO. Changes in the way people search has dominated the SEO landscape, but where will this leave us for the year ahead?
Here are 4 SEO trends that we believe will dominate 2018, how to prepare for them and what you need to know to succeed in organic search in 2018.
1. Voice Search
There’s no doubt that Voice is here for the long haul. The growth of articifial intelligence and voice-enabled devices will make 2018 a very interesting year.
50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to comScore [http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/1392459/just-say-it-future-search-voice-personal-digital-assistants] and “40% of adults now use voice search once per day” according to Location World [https://www.branded3.com/blog/locationworld-2016/].
As a result of these advances in the way people search, long tail and conversational keywords will be the focus. Businesses will need to consider their online content in the context of voice search and incorporate natural nuances of speech into their content.
A lot can change within a year, but it will be interesting to see what voice search use statistics will emerge by this time next year.
2. Featured snippets
A featured snippet, also known as ‘direct answer’, is a summary of an answer to a query displayed on the top of the results page. The advantage for users being that they find an answer quicker and don’t have to click into any website.
The combination of voice search and featured snippets will create real challenges and opportunities for businesses. It will mean a great understanding of search intent and how best to optimise content so it shows up in the ‘answer box’ of the SERPs. This could mean a decline in click-through-rates for organic search.
3. Greater focus on User Experience
As Google’s algorithm becomes even more sophisticated, so has our demands as users. Our expectations for a seamless, simple experience on the web will become an increasingly critical component for success. Not to mention the ever-increasing importance of mobile-first.
2018 will place even more importance of a site’s usability and this includes components such as speed, easy navigation and layout to determine where it ranks in the SERPs.
4. Building valuable backlinks
Building valuable backlinks will still be a critical factor for ranking in the SERPS. Quality backlinks determine your site quality and relevance, based upon the authority of websites your links come from.
Building links manually, driven by quality of content will help future-proof your website for 2018. But beware that the competition from third-party sites for unique, high quality content will be even higher.
Is your SEO strategy all set for what 2018 holds? Contact Broadplace for further advice and an audit of your site’s SEO.