We’ve previously discussed the tried and true search engine optimization practices that are core to SEO success, but as we look to 2018, there are some emerging trends worthy of your attention.
Here are 4 SEO trends and strategies to keep you ahead of the curve in 2018:
- Link Building
- Mobile First
- Quick Answers/Featured Snippets & Voice Search
Link Building (backlinks)
Backlinks have been the secret weapon of SEO professionals for some time now, and this trend is not going anywhere. Getting high-quality, industry-relevant links back to your site demonstrates that you are a subject matter expert to both the search engine algorithm and your potential prospects. The benefits here go beyond your SEO, as it will also help you build relationships and contacts that will be beneficial in the long term. Guest blogging is a great way to start your link building strategy, but again, be selective in what brands you collaborate and align with. Always focus on the quality of your links and not just the quantity. Moz offers a great guide to link building to learn more.
2018 should be the year that brands understand that their prospects are using mobile first, if not exclusively, to view their site. While it’s not been determined when in 2018 that Google will be launching their mobile first indexing, it’s best to get ahead of this and make sure your mobile site is optimized and ready. As mobile searches increase, Google wants their results and index to align with the majority of their users. Mobile search surpassed desktop search in 2014, and according to The Webmaster, in a recent study from Hitwise, mobile searches now comprise over 60% of online search activity, with some industries even higher. The Google AMP Project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is a great resource for developers to ensure pages are have a smooth and more engaging experience.
Google Quick Answers/Featured Snippets & Voice Search
While these are different ways that information is either displayed or searched for, the common denominator for your brand to appear when these search techniques are used is to present your content in a way that answers questions. Prospects are asking questions, via text or voice methods, and with a few tweaks you can tailor your content to answer these questions. A great place to start is by adding an FAQ page to your site, utilizing heading, paragraph and list formats in your content and rewording content around the “how, when and where” that people are searching for. Use long-tail keywords and phrases that naturally answer questions about your business, products or services. Your customer should always be your main focus in content creation and website experience, and that’s why this tactic is one of our favorites because it’s all about your customer! Search Engine Land offers some great tips on making sure your content is optimized for both Quick Answers and Voice Search.
The difference between a secure and a non-secure site is the SSL certificate. Some say that there is an SEO benefit from using an https site, and some say the benefit is only nominal. What we do know is that Google has yet to force a reward or punishment based on https, but with some of their recent changes such as the Chrome warning on non-secure pages, one can expect increased pressure to move to more secure sites. SSL certificates are affordable, so why not be ready for future industry changes. If you collect information or process transactions, then a secure site is a must.
Each year brings new or evolving SEO trends, and as 2017 comes to a close, it’s a great time to evaluate current SEO techniques to make sure that you’re first covering those foundational techniques we mentioned earlier and also looking forward to be ready for the future. Search engines are evolving, but the great news is that this brings more opportunities to increase your search engine traffic beyond the traditional organic ranking.
Is your website ready for 2018? Why not give your website an early jump start and make it work as hard as you do in 2018? For a limited time, purchase any of our SEO Set Up Packages and pick your gift, up to a $399 value! Don’t miss this opportunity to get a Jump Start on 2018’s trends and your competition!