As we come to the end of another year, it’s time to think about what we can expect to see in the next. 2018 looks to be a big year for changes in the world of SEO, and it’s best to prepare for them now to stay ahead of the curve.
So, what’s in store?
The Future is Mobile
Mobile is a major player in SEO, with the approaching mobile-first index meaning that Google will look for mobile content before desktop.
Businesses should have been optimizing their content for mobile devices for a few years now, but as more and more of us browse the internet on our smartphones and tablets, this takes on a greater urgency
Mobile-friendly sites stand a better chance of ranking ahead of non-friendly domains, and local SEO will become more important in 2018 to help businesses target customers on the go. Expect to see more Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in the next 12 months.
Greater Focus on Voice Search
Voice search has been on the rise in recent years, with almost half of American adults using it every day, and it will only become more important to effective SEO campaigns in 2018.
You need to focus more on natural language and long-tail keywords to cater to voice-searchers’ conversational approach.
Feeling the Need, the Need for Speed
Making your site’s pages load as quickly as possible will be more imperative in 2018.
Speed is a key ranking signal and makes a significant impact on your visitors’ user experience (UX). Pages should load within three seconds to minimize the risk of chasing customers away to faster alternatives.
What can you do to make your pages load faster? Try making your images smaller, assess whether all of your plugins are really necessary, and look into compressing your content. All of this can make a big difference to your site’s UX, on mobile and desktop devices.
Visual Search will Become More Visible
The popularity of visual search will rise in 2018. Google Lens, the giant’s visual-search app for their own Pixel smartphones, enables users to aim it at a piece of visual information (such as a shop sign) and retrieve details on its business hours, reviews, and more.
People want to look at products, locations, venues, and more rather than just taking a business’s word. More companies will have to embrace the power of visuals, creating strong branding, product, and service images across their sites.
Machines, Learning, and RankBrain
Machine learning will play a bigger role in SEO throughout 2018, as the RankBrain algorithm continues to refine Google’s search queries. This aims to provide users with the most relevant results possible and avoid directing them to pages of little value.
RankBrain studies how users are looking for information and across which devices. Businesses need to focus on making their content as relevant and valuable to visitors as they can, without any of the shortcuts black-hat SEO practitioners used to rely upon.
NettSolutions, an Orange County digital marketing agency, can help your business’s SEO reach all-new heights in 2018 — and beyond. Give us a call to learn more!