5 SEO trends in 2018
The days when the right combination of keywords and buying backlinks promised success for SEO are gone a long time ago. Now, the content and metadata optimization is no longer enough.
As Google collects user data, Google search results become more personalized and accurate than before. 2018 promises a lot of changes in digital marketing; innovations indicate the importance of transforming the SEO strategy.
1. A rise of voice search
According to Google, 20% of search queries are made using voice search. And it is not surprising: voice-controlled smart speakers like Apple HomePod and Amazon Echo have become more popular among users. Google has actively been introducing a voice-control option into its new smartphone Pixel 2 and other smart devices.
Therefore, customizing the SEO strategy for voice search is becoming more important. It is time to look for a different approach to keywords and syntax and to use colloquial expressions. Content requires good structuring, breaking it down into shorter parts by satisfying multiple search queries at the same time.
2. Featured snippets
In recent years, there has been an incredible growth in popularity and trust to featured snippets displayed in Google search results.
This trend offers new opportunities for such content types like Q&A and guides (instructions). They provide short answers to long and complex question queries. Optimizers will have to pay enough attention to formatting and structuring the material to make it easier for Google to show the relevant information in featured snippets.
3. Most users prefer mobile devices
We are probably just a few months away from a massive change in the algorithms of Google indexing. It means that web pages will be evaluated on the basis of a mobile version.
Before that, the relevance of websites to users was evaluated on the basis of a desktop version. It is fair to say that the existing ranking system is outdated since search queries coming from mobile devices make up about 60% of the total. This might be one of the biggest algorithmic changes in the history of Google which can turn website rankings upside down. Loading speed, the convenience of navigation tools, information structure, design and other features will be considered.
4. User experience is a priority #1
Requirements for improving user experience, or UX, are common in all areas. Visitors become more and more demanding since they want to solve their problems instantly regardless of what device they use.
Another fact according to Google: websites with a loading speed of more than 3 seconds lose about half of the customers. So nowadays, the success of the business is determined by seconds.
Let’s say that your web page has a perfect loading speed. And what if users cannot understand how to navigate your website in a few seconds? They will quickly go to the next link in search results.
That is why a user-friendly approach to search engine optimization in 2018 is not only about the loading speed but also about the readability of text-based content, convenient navigation, and stylish design.
5. Queries become smarter
As we have found out, the search results become more complex and accurate. Google does its best to integrate AI into algorithms. They will need to use the information from the browser history and the current context (location, device, etc.).
For example, when it comes to keywords of clear intention to buy something, Google will give priority to e-commerce websites but not the mass media ones even if the latter will be more authoritative. This is due to the fact that the user’s aim is to purchase something but not to search for additional information about a product or service. And vice versa: when it comes to keywords of clear intention to find more information, Google will likely give priority to trustworthy informational websites rather than to online shops. That is why search engines start to consider the intentions of each and every query and optimize content and user experience.