SEO trends to watch for in 2018

As we approach 2018 we’re sure you still want to continue ranking as high as possible in all relevant search results. Developments in the world of SEO never cease, and you can be sure as anything that a tactic you’ve employed in the past will stop producing any benefit.

It’s important to stay up to date on the latest trends so we’ve put together what could be the biggest factors to focus on in 2018.

Voice search

One of the biggest and most innovative developments to online search in recent times is the rise of voice search. The use of digital assistants is still at a relatively early stage but it’s rapidly growing and is significantly changing the way searching is performed.

When it comes to an seo strategy, voice adds the requirement to put more focus on long-tail search terms – those that are not the most popular and include a longer phrases rather than 1 or 2 words. When people use voice search they tend to speak freely or ask questions, so using natural language and writing using a conversational tone should be integral to your content.

As digital assistants improve so will their accuracy and users will be seeking quick and convenient answers to their questions.

User experience

This is already an important ranking factor, any website that doesn’t provide good user experience (UX) is already suffering in search rankings. However, in 2018 considering your users should be central to your web development strategy.

Search engines want to be useful and providing good experiences to your users will show them your website should be favoured over others.

User experience takes in many things, not just the content on the page. Page load speed, navigation structure, bounce rates, conversion rates, time on site should all be considered as part of a strong UX design.

Mobile first

Internet usage is now dominated by mobile and search engines are already penalising websites that don’t optimise for mobile. In 2018 the so called ‘Mobile First’ algorithm is very likely to land.

This means your web content and page layouts should be centered around your mobile users first. Many of your visitors will take in your content on the go, so quick loading and efficient websites will be key.

Brand building

Traditional brand building strategies are always important to winning new business but this is set to significantly contribute to general search visibility.

Promoting your business through events, sponsorship, competitions or any advertising mediums should result in direct visits to your website, or provide a boost in searches for your brand. This in turn will build your authority with search engines who track your website usage.

Studies are taking place now to try and demonstrate this is already happening but in 2018 generating as many qualified visitors as possible to your website is set to become a key ranking factor.

Machine learning

Machine learning is already influencing the way search results are built with intelligent algorithms constantly introducing updates.

Historically Google may have announced an update or the search industry would maybe notice large changes and be able to react. If (for example) a particular update had been introduced that would penalise slow load times, webmasters could quickly make improvements.

In the future machines will be constantly learning and making improvements with users in mind. Algorithms will be updated in real time and even maybe provide inconsistencies from one search to another all designed to provide the best possible experience to users.

Conclusion: SEO in 2018 won’t be easy

Changes will happen quickly and your digital marketing will need constant effort in order to improve. Any SEO campaign will require the same firm foundations as these are still highly effective, but innovations are coming and it’s important to evolve with them if you are to achieve high organic search rankings.

If you need help with any part of your digital marketing or website development please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be delighted to listen to your ideas or concerns and provide sound advice based on proven experience.