When you stop and take a look back at where search engine optimization (SEO) started, it’s pretty incredible how far it’s come in the past couple of years — even the past couple of months. If you want your website to bring you leads on a regular basis, you will need to provide it the respect it deserves.
Always staying updated with the changing trends in search engine optimization (SEO) is a must if a website is going to be seen by targeted customers. In fact, using some old and outdated tactics in SEO can result in penalties for website that drag down listings in the search engine results pages (SERPS) of Google. New ranking factors emerge, old ones drop off, and the ones in between shift in importance.
If you haven’t started planning and researching key trends which will affect your SEO campaigns you could already be falling behind. Here are few trends that will be the cornerstone of success for hundreds of new and thriving businesses, which will also determine the outcome of their future success.
- Voice Search
With the proliferation of personal assistants such as Google Assistant or Amazon Echo, voice searches are gaining increasing relevance and consolidating as one of the main SEO trends in 2018, so it is important to keep them in mind.
Voice technology will prove to be a viable and reliable tool for business owners and consumers. There is no doubt that talking is more natural than typing, especially if you are browsing on a tablet or Smartphone, voice search is becoming the fastest way the people search the internet. An easy voice command as input and the answers will be right at your fingertips in seconds.
Typically, these queries are in the form of a question, For example, a query could be “show me restaurants near me”. The simplicity of voice search gives users the ability to find content and receive answers to questions without having to unlock their phones.
Voice search are not only more comfortable and easier than typing out queries, but the error rate continues to reduce as usage increases. In the near future, the integration of voice searches and smart home hubs will help businesses access new information while taking advantage of a new and thriving market.
- The Rise of Mobile
Internet users are seeking out convenience and simplicity these days. Traffic that used to flow to desktop computers is now starting to flow through mobile devices.
Research shows that, more than 50% of searches are done via mobile devices, and this number will only continue to grow.
Millions of consumers do most of their searching and shopping from a mobile app. Even on the go, consumers are constantly using their mobile devices in more capacity than a desktop computer.
Now is the best time for business owners to start incorporating Mobile-First Index. Regardless of how you’re receiving inbound traffic, odds are that conversion rates will plummet on non-optimized websites compared to those that are working perfectly for users on mobile devices.
- Structured Data
Structured Data is the term used for adding additional mark-up to HTML pages to help bots better understands information on a Web page. For example, if a Web page has information about an event, it may be difficult for a search bots to fully comprehend all of the details. From a technical standpoint, not much has changed with regards to how search engines crawl websites.
Structured data is represented by the shiny results you see on search. While implementing structured data doesn’t affect your rankings directly, it could help your business move up search engines indirectly, especially if the rich data embedded in search results lead to more clicks compared to your competitors.
- Featured Snippets & Featured Videos
A featured snippet is a concise answer to a query that is placed in a box at the top of the search page. It includes the page’s title, URL, and the summary which helps you determine if the search result is really what you’re looking for.
On the other hand it shows more information in the snippet in limited space, helping the user to select the more relevant result. Information contained in Featured snippets gets the highest CTR. It’s a sign of Structured, detailed and valuable content that has to be present on the page.
Google began to give value to this type of format in 2013 and its importance has not stopped growing until today.
Similarly for Featured videos of some minutes on the home page explaining one topic or concept will be extremely beneficial going forward.
- Visual Search on the Rise
According to Hubspot, people are visual beings. . The idea of searching by image is simple enough, but as the technology improves, it could be revolutionary.
Before visual searching, consumers had to shop store to store to hunt for something they saw on the street or in a magazine, if they could find it at all. Visual searching pinches that process down to seconds.
Now a day’s consumers want to see what they are buying so posting images on platform like Pinterest, Bing, Visual Search, and Google Lens allow consumers the opportunity to search or recognize the image they are looking for.
This type of technology is not new, but it is untapped by most companies. For marketing experts in the retail sphere, visual search can help them give consumers the personalized shopping experience they seek.
- The Rise of “Linkless”Backlinks:
A “linkless” backlink is just bringing up your name or brand by other web users. Search engines pick these mentions and use them as trust signals. They work exactly as a “real” links work, thus they are “linkless” backlinks. It’s not the number of links but the quality of links that really matters. A metric like Domain Authority is a great way to determine what Google thinks of sites linking to your domain.
Former senior product manager Duane Forrester at Bing, announced that Bing is already using unlinked mentions for ranking. This type of patent and various SEO experts’ observations are adequate reason to consider that Google may be doing this too.
- User Experience Is Unignorably Big
Many giant companies like Twitter, Google, eBay and Amazon have recognised that the user experience has huge impact on business website. These companies didn’t succeed by chance. They constantly test every phase of their business with real users to ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.
That’s because on the internet, the customer is king. At any point your visitors can decide on to leave your website and go elsewhere usually to a competitor when your website is slow or buggy or simply made it difficult for them to achieve answers to their queries.
Speed is big. Not only is it a ranking signal; it’s a major UX factor. UX, in turn, impacts rankings. It’s a loop of sorts!
But how fast is fast, exactly? Google expects pages to load in under three seconds.
Conversational bots are also becoming quite useful to customers, with major brands. People enjoy this time-saving feature by asking a question to a bot rather than spending time to find a phone number.
With 2018 being so busy already, it’s hard to imagine what the digital world will look like four months from now. The SEO trends for 2018 are continually growing.
Many of these will work for nearly every business structure. Voice search is perhaps the quickest search method to use and the most convenient for people on the go. Voice searches provide instant results from any place. Take all the above trends into consideration while working on a website to cultivate positive changes. The latest research that we have seen says 94% of all purchase decisions begin on-line, and 91% of the searchers do not look beyond Page One of Google. The same is true of other search engines. This all underscores the absolute necessity to follow our research and recommendations.
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