Is it really almost 2018? It seems like only yesterday that we were preparing for our 2017 SEO strategies. Digital marketing companies have an obligation to always think towards the future, it’s no longer enough just to keep up with trends. Instead, we have to predict them. Before we lay out our SEO predictions 2018 will bring, let’s take a look at how the marketplace and digital marketing trends changed this year.
- Mobile became even more of a big deal. In 2017, the amount of Google searches coming from mobile increased to more than That meant that many companies had to scramble to make their pages responsive to mobile devices, and local SEO came further into the limelight.
- A new local Google algorithm swooped in during August 2017 to override some of the niggling changes we saw with the Possum update. It benefited many local businesses, who were no longer being unnecessarily filtered out.
- There was more weight placed on keeping the right balance with content. Quality wins over quantity every time, but if your content is too “thin”, it will be almost always disregarded. On a similar note, great SEO content needs keywords but if you overdo it, Google and human visitors will hate it. Trying to keep a healthy keyword density of 1-2% is recommended.
Wow! It really can be difficult to keep up with such a fast-moving industry. To give you a head start, here are the SEO trends and techniques we expect to dominate in 2018. Don’t just skim them over, but do your research and lay some solid foundations for your future marketing strategy. If you need a hand, One Stop Media is the full-scale digital marketing agency that can manage your SEO marketing and web presence. It’s our job to stay ahead of digital marketing trends so check out these 9 SEO predictions.
1. Create Great Content of Value
Like in other recent years, content marketers have a big role to play in 2018. Content should add value to a page, so duplicate or thin content will no longer cut it. Google knows if your content is actually relevant to your keywords and meta-descriptions and if it’s not, you’ll be penalised. Build your content strategically and don’t take shortcuts.
Within the content, make sure you’re creating a healthy link profile to build trust and authority to the site. Cite all of your facts with their original source and back them up with statistics. It’s a good idea to choose a layout that’s easy to digest, so make use of white space and don’t make your content too “blocky”. Instead, section it out with simple paragraphs and bullet points. And yes – use keywords, but no – don’t stuff them in there.
2. Enhance User Experience
It seems that every man and his dog own a website now, so it’s no wonder that users are being more picky with where they spend their time. If your website doesn’t offer an enjoyable and easy UX in 2018, people will click that X in the corner within seconds.
Make it easy for users to navigate and search your site. You can do that by not neglecting things like breadcrumbs and categories. Avoid too many annoying pop-ups and don’t overdo it on the graphics. Make sure your site loads quickly, too, or your visitors will run out of patience and go elsewhere.
3. Press Record on Video
Cisco predicted that by the end of 2020, video will account for over 80% of all online consumer traffic. That’s quite the advancement, but it’s no surprise. Video is engaging content that’s more shareable on social media sites than anything else. Digital marketing trends are becoming more affected by social media, so always keep it in mind when planning your 2018 SEO.
Supplementing some of your online content with video will increase the time that people spend on your page and make your website more interactive. Videos are perfect for product promotions, and more people are likely to buy a product if they first watch a video about it. If you find video a little daunting, increase the amount of embeddable images you use on your site so your page isn’t too text-heavy.
4. Make Use of Synonyms
Take advantage of the Latent-Semantic Indexing (LSI) technology that Google uses in its Hummingbird search. Google is now smart enough to understand phrases that mean something else. That means that you no longer have to stuff keywords into a piece of content to get noticed. Google will realise that “Houses in Melbourne” means the same as “Properties in Melbourne” or “Real Estate in Australia” and you’ll rank for the phrases you want.
5. Optimise for RankBrain
Google announced last year that RankBrain had become their 3rd most important ranking factor, and our SEO predictions suggest it will grow in importance for 2018. RankBrain is the clever technology that monitors how users interact with search results and uses that information to rank sites. It considers, for example, the time that users spend on a search result (dwell time) and the percentage of people that click on a link in the results (CTR). The results go towards deciding on the quality and relevancy of a result.
You can achieve upranks by ensuring your content correlates with your metadescriptions, titles and keywords. Make it interesting, quality content so that users stick around once they find it.
6. Write Content that Covers a Whole Topic
Google has advanced away from just scanning content to make sure your keyword is placed in H1 headings, URL, image ALT tags etc. It now focuses on context and it wants to make searching the web as easy as possible for its users. That’s why it prefers in-depth, comprehensive content that covers a whole topic, so users don’t have to scour the web for more information.
It’s like one-stop shopping for content. You can do yourself a favour by creating content that’s in excess of 2000 words and using LSI keywords (see point 4!).
7. Prepare for a Mobile-First Index
will be switching over to a mobile-first index. To get your head around digital marketing trends in 2018, this is one factor you can’t ignore. Next year, the mobile version of your site will be considered the “real version” no matter which device your visitors are using. We don’t know when the change is coming, but it seems to be imminent. How is your mobile site looking? If it needs work, roll out the changes as soon as you can.
8. Voice Search is Getting Bigger
Voice search is getting an um, voice in 2018. Search Engine Land found that 20% of searches are now voice searches. Latching on to SEO trends and techniques quickly puts you at an advantage, so start now by optimising some of your content for voice search. Digital assistants are becoming more accurate, so online users are utilising them much more.
You can do this by aiming to get a lot of your content featured in a snippet on the results page and including a question and answer in your content. Google tends to choose a page that answers common questions. For example, include a question in a heading like “What is the number 1 SEO prediction for 2018?” Then answer it clearly.
9. The Time of Visual Search is Coming
2018 SEO strategies should consider visual search. The internet is becoming heavily focused on visual content, so it makes sense to explore your opportunities with visual search. The big tech companies, including Pinterest and Google, have begun to develop visual search engines which could drastically change the way we search online. Watch this space for an emerging technology that is making a mark in SEO predictions.
If you want to make the most out of SEO trends and techniques for 2018, then remember a few simple guidelines. While some rules and ideas are changing up, the fundamentals are staying the same. That means that there’s still no cutting corners and no trying to trick search engines with dodgy tactics. They’re becoming smarter every year!
Many people try to take their SEO strategies into their own hands, but this can lead to a waste of time and resources. SEO predictions aren’t guaranteed, as sites like Google are throwing us curveballs every day, so choose a digital partner that can keep up.
Start your year off right and choose One Stop Media as your full-service digital agency. We’re the One Stop for all your 2018 SEO marketing efforts, so get in touch with one of our experienced consultants today and let’s plan for a brighter future for your company.