In the year 2018, the realm of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) witnesses a continual evolution, adapting to the burgeoning trends and technological advancements. The digital marketing sphere is in a state of flux, seeking equilibrium between the old and the new. Let’s delve into the key facets that are shaping the SEO outlook as we journey through 2018.
The Advent of Mobile-First Indexing
2018 marks a pivotal juncture where Google, the search engine behemoth, rolls out its mobile-first indexing. This seismic shift underscores the paramount importance of a mobile-optimized website. The indexing primarily looks at the mobile version of websites, setting a clear agenda that businesses must adapt to the mobile landscape to ensure their online visibility and ranking.
Relevance of Voice-Driven Technology
Voice-driven technology is gradually gaining traction in the SEO domain. With the increasing proliferation of voice assistants like Siri, Cortana and Alexa, this technology has become a pervasive presence in our everyday lives. This convenience factor has enabled voice search to emerge as an integral component of SEO. It is essential for businesses to optimize their content for verbal queries to remain competitive in the market.
Emphasis on Quality Content
The need for quality content has become increasingly pertinent in the SEO landscape. Search engine algorithms are now tuned to reward websites with meaningful and rich content, while relegating sites that have thin or low-grade content. Therefore, businesses must prioritize high-quality content that is informative and engaging to ensure a better ranking for their website.
Power of Schema Markup
Schema markup is a powerful tool that enables businesses to provide additional information about their website to the search engine crawlers. By leveraging this technology, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in the ‘rich snippets’, thus increasing their visibility for relevant searches. This ultimately leads to better rankings and higher traffic for their website.
The Rise of User Experience (UX)
User Experience isn’t a new term in the digital marketing vocabulary, but 2018 sees a renewed emphasis on UX in SEO strategies. A website’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and ease of navigation are not just about providing a seamless user experience but are also critical factors affecting its SEO ranking.
The Structured Data Spotlight
Structured data is stepping into the spotlight, assisting search engines in understanding the content on websites better. By employing structured data, businesses can provide clear context for their content, which in turn, helps in achieving better rankings and enhanced visibility on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Importance of Social Signals
Social media has become an inextricable part of our lives and is now influencing SEO strategies. With the rise of social sharing, businesses must pay attention to the ‘social signals’ that help evaluate the performance of a website. This includes metrics such as likes, shares, views, and comments on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
As the SEO landscape undergoes a sea-change in 2018, businesses must stay abreast of these trends to remain relevant in the digital marketplace. By adapting their strategies to the evolving technologies and practices, they can ensure that their website is well-positioned for search engine success.
The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Mandate
Security is not a matter of choice but a prerogative in the digital realm. The importance of SSL for website security is reiterated with Google marking non-HTTPS sites as ‘Not Secure’. This move significantly impacts SEO as secure sites are looked upon favorably by search engines.
Focus on Local SEO
Local SEO is gaining importance in the SEO landscape as businesses focus on organic search visibility in their local geographical area. The increasing popularity of voice search has magnified the significance of local SEO as most of the verbal queries are based on location-based services. Optimizing websites to target customers in a specific region is, therefore, essential for business success.
The Content Quality Crusade
Quality content is the linchpin of effective SEO strategies. The year 2018 reinforces the necessity of providing value through content. Google’s algorithms are becoming adept at distinguishing between high-quality, relevant content and mediocre, poorly crafted content. The crusade for quality content is a journey of fostering trust and engagement with the audience.
The Role of Video Content
Video content is rapidly becoming an integral part of SEO strategies. By creating engaging and informative videos, businesses can effectively communicate their message to the target audience and make a lasting impression. Moreover, by utilizing relevant keywords in video titles and descriptions, they can boost the visibility of their website for relevant searches. Furthermore, hosting videos on popular platforms like YouTube can help enhance the reach and visibility of a website on search engines.
The Video Marketing Voyage
Video continues to hold sway in the digital marketing arena, and SEO is no exception. The engaging nature of video content is unbeatable, making it a potent tool for SEO. As video consumption escalates, optimizing video content for search is becoming imperative for businesses.
The Rise of Mobile SEO
Mobile search is on the rise, with more people searching from their mobile devices than ever before. Businesses must ensure that their websites are optimized for mobile in order to stay competitive and reach out to a wider audience. This involves making sure that the website loads quickly on all devices, optimising images for mobile, and providing relevant content tailored to the needs of mobile users.
The SEO landscape of 2018 is changing rapidly. With the emergence of new technologies and practices, businesses must stay updated to remain competitive in the digital market place. By adopting best SEO practices and staying ahead of the curve, businesses can ensure that their website stands out from the crowd and remains well-positioned for search engine success.
The Social Signals Spectrum
Social signals, though not a direct ranking factor, are gaining prominence in the SEO ecosystem. The interactions on social media platforms are indicative of a brand’s authority and influence, which indirectly impacts the SEO rankings.
Structured Data: An SEO Imperative
Structured data helps search engines to better understand the content of a website and serves as a vital building block for effective SEO. By encoding structured data in the HTML of a website, businesses can boost their visibility and rankings on SERPs. Structured data also enables them to target specific audiences and optimize their content for voice searches.
The Artificial Intelligence Augmentation
Google’s RankBrain and other AI technologies are reshaping SEO strategies. The infusion of artificial intelligence in search is making the algorithms more intelligent, capable of understanding nuanced human language and delivering more accurate search results.
The SERP Setting
SEO experts must keep a close eye on the ever-evolving search engine result pages (SERPs). Appearing at the top of SERPs can give businesses an edge over their competitors in terms of visibility and reach. By employing best practices for SEO, businesses can ensure that their website appears prominently on SERPs and stands out from the competition.
The SEO landscape in 2018 is a blend of technology, user-centric approaches, and quality content. As the digital marketing sphere continues to evolve, staying abreast with the SEO trends is imperative for businesses aiming to stay ahead in the online competition. The integration of AI, emphasis on mobile optimization, and the focus on quality content are just the tip of the iceberg as we sail through the dynamic SEO waters of 2018.
Machine Learning & Automation The rise of machine learning and automation is transforming the SEO landscape. With AI-driven solutions, businesses can automate tedious tasks related to SEO and focus on more important aspects of search engine optimization. Automation not only saves time but also helps simplify complex SEO processes, such as keyword research, content optimization, and link building.
The Content Carousel Content is the backbone of SEO and remains a key factor in driving organic traffic. As search algorithms become more intelligent, SEOs must ensure that their content is relevant, engaging, and contains the right keywords to drive targeted traffic. Additionally, businesses must pay close attention to optimizing their content for voice searches as this will become increasingly important in 2018.
The Multi-Channel Dilemma The multi-channel digital marketing approach is essential for businesses striving to succeed in the online space. From SEM to social media, businesses must employ multiple channels in order to reach their target audience and optimize their SEO efforts. Additionally, they should ensure that their website offers a positive user experience and is optimized across all devices in order to maximize visibility on SERPs.
In conclusion, staying ahead in the SEO game requires a constant vigil of the ever-changing landscape. With the right approach, businesses can leverage these trends to build an SEO strategy that will thrive in 2018.