Moving Ahead in the II Quarter – Top 6 SEO Trends to Follow in 2018

April 18, 2018Blog

Wow! It has been a pretty good start for SEO in 2018. With several minor things adding up, the year had a steady beginning. Voice search and mobile search of yesteryear have become more important than ever. And the impact of machine learning and AI on search continues to be effective.  

However, the industry experienced a sudden impulse with the launch of much awaited Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Update in the last week of March. E-marketers have already tied their shoelaces to keep up with the expectations of this update.  

And since we are now hurtling towards the second innings of the year, let us take time to discuss the next slot of SEO trends that are expected to change the face of online marketing in 2018.  

SEO Trends to Look For in 2018

Check out these must-haves to stay ahead of the competition!

  • Google Featured Snippets

Forget #1 ranking! Companies are now competing for “0 position.”

Wondering?

0 position in google

It is actually possible to rank on this position by creating rich snippets for the individual page.

Now, what are rich snippets?

A Rich snippet is a form of search engine result that appears on the search page for a particular piece of information searched. It is important to note here that these snippets offer more information to the user in the form of videos, texts, ratings, and images. Hence, these are more valuable than the results that appear on #1 search page. This is the reason rich snippets are given a unique position as “position 0.”

While rich snippets don’t directly affect the search rankings, they increase the click-through rate of any site due to the extra information they provide. Further, a rise in the click-through rate means increased site traffic and hence better ranking.

It is quite clear that Position 0 provides the companies with a lot of room for their ads and featured snippets. And to reach this position, it is important to make your site speedy and more clickable in the search results. So, if you haven’t started yet, 2018 is the time to employ this powerful technique in your SEO strategy. With a careful structuring of your snippets, you can achieve the much needed boost in your SERP ranking.

  • HTTPS Will Rule the Web

HTTPS was never a concern for the digital marketers until Google decided to make it an important ranking factor. After the release of a year-old Google update, it started categorizing sites as ‘not secure’ that offered login features or collecting credit cards without HTTPS.

The primary reason why HTTPS is being used is the security of websites. It is an advanced version of HTTP, which is used to encrypt and filter communication between a website and the browser. However, the reason why digital marketers prefer using HTTPS websites is their website ranking and other SEO advantages.

And now, Google has confirmed that the label “not secure” will be applied to  all the websites not using HTTPS with the release of Chrome 68 in July. Further, it has also declared that websites with HTTPS will rank higher on the SERPS. Hence, companies need to rush to switch their sites from HTTP to HTTPS before July.

  • Quality Content will replace Content

Content has always been the KING and it will continue to be the same. However, content is soon going to be replaced with QUALITY content.

2018 will purely be the year of readers where they will demand informative, substantive and accurate content. Hence, SEO professionals must expect this year to be the growth phase for substantive and detailed (long-form) content. Further, experts predict that the rise in in-depth content will push marketers to focus more on content written by specialists and journalists than the content writers.

Moreover, your content should be optimized for search engines, which includes placing the keywords moderately in all the right places, like:

  • title tag
  • meta description tag
  • H1-H4 tags
  • Text
  • Image names and alt tags

One important thing to note here is to consider using LSI keywords to diversify the content; LSI are semantically related to the main keywords you use and gives search engines a better understanding of your business.

  • Diversified Valuable Backlinking

For those who think that Link building is about to disappear this year, here’s the eye-opener for you!

Inbound Link Building will be even more crucial in 2018 to maintain the quality of your website, but with a twist!

backlinks

You may now need to be extra cautious about how you obtain these links. This is in response to the Google’s report on increased spammy links in guest blogging. Hence, it has decided that it will now keep an eye on any guest contributions in the future.

No, this doesn’t bring guest blogging to an end. All you have to do is to keep a tight bound on what’s allowed and what not.

In simple words, make sure the guest posts you publish doesn’t have more than one link for the sites you are promoting. Instead, practice measures to spread out and get diverse links from multiple sources. Also, do not let unassociated or untrusted sites sneak into your pool of backlinks; Eliminate them to keep your profile spotless. This year, Google has planned to favor such a link building strategies. Know the difference between good and back backlinks.

  • User-Experience is the Key

UX is all about giving the users an experience that is easier to navigate and less tiring while navigating through a website. This is why UX is always considered as one of the top factors of SEO.

Moreover, there has been a sudden rise in the user expectations and demands for search. Now, the users expect instant solutions to their queries, regardless of the device they are using.

You might have a website that loads in seconds. But what’s the use of a perfect page load if the user can’t navigate your site in a few seconds? Obviously, he’ll bounce!

It is for this reason that a UX is given more emphasis than the page speed from an SEO perspective.    

And as far as the Google is concerned, it always considers the users’ needs on top. Hence, only a frictionless UX for mobile as well as desktop can help you win over both the Google and the users. To achieve this, make sure your website is well-organized and the visitors can easily navigate from page-to-page or menu-to-menu with ease.

If you are serious about enhancing your customer base, aim to minimize your bounce rate and increase your dwell time this year. Keep a track of your engagement metrics through a tool like Google Analytics.

engagement metrics

  • Individualized SERP

A user’s information and behavior including their search history, location, and interests, play a crucial role in SEO as this is used to provide more personalized search results.

For many years, top search sites like Google, and YouTube have been using customized SERPs to offer better user experience. Why?

A personalized SERP is an indication of higher traffic once you dominate the search result of any user. In 2018, make sure your traffic data is accurate. In addition, start monitoring and tracking your page’s ranking in incognito mode to obtain unbiased results.

The Bottom Line

SEO is limitlessly evolving with some or the other changes. The above six trends are the prime examples of how SEO is expected to grow in 2018. But this is not the end. In fact, we haven’t covered other trends like voice search, visual optimization, local SEO, page speed, increased page relevance, etc. As for now, consider working on these major and powerful changes that can actually help you survive and beat the competition this year.

Stay tuned as many great changes are still on their way!!!

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Author Bio: Kamini Vyas is an SEO consultant and content marketer at SEO Discovery, an SEO company in India. She contributes articles about digital marketing regularly to help businesses understand this niche better. Her articles focus on balancing information with SEO needs. Apart from writing, she enjoys reading and music.

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