Search engine optimization (SEO) has been a driving force to relevant search results since the beginning of public internet browsing. It has evolved through many evolutions of crawlers and keywords, and today, SEO is more advanced than ever before. With innovation in AI and voice search, 2018 will bring on a new way to look at SEO.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Did you search something on your phone in the past day? Past hour? Maybe just ten minutes ago? You’re not the only one. As mobile devices become increasingly popular, information and search is accessible and necessary for the day-to-day.
Google hopes to introduce mobile-indexing to make search results oriented toward mobile users. A world where mobile-indexing rules search could mean faster upload speeds on mobile devices, more mobile friendly and responsive websites, and more information available on mobile views. If you want your website to survive the mobile world, it’s time to make it responsive.
So what exactly is crawling with respect to search engines? Crawlers are search bots that scan the internet for usable websites. Essentially, SEO is geared toward appealing to crawlers by developing user friendly content that is unique and relevant to a specific search. This is based on a combination of keywords, URLs and links, and other website elements that Google’s bots find fit for user interaction.
We’ve come a long way since the first crawlers were launched by search engines. There was once a time when all it took to get your website to the first page of results was spamming a few keywords and hiding them on inaccessible tabs. Now, Google claims to focus on user experience and relevance of content.
The trouble with crawlers is that Google doesn’t release the exact formula for taking advantage of SEO. You sort of have to figure it out on your own, or hire a professional to do it for you. The good thing is, in 2018, we’ll be sure to see some pretty intelligent crawlers, so you really want to refine your website to be usable and informational.
Navigating Voice Search
We live in an age where it’s normal to talk to your car, ask your heater to turn on, control your lights with your voice. From Alexa to Siri, voice search is the next big thing in the digital marketing industry as consumers are using voice command to do almost everything these days. Voice search will soon be a normal part of the conversation when it comes to SEO and digital marketing best practices.
Voice command is getting smarter, so more people are using it for both the convenience and the novelty, and soon, it will be the norm. In a few years, half of your searches are anticipated to be performed through voice command. In order to stay ahead of the curve, you want your content to be searchable via voice. This includes distinct keywords and a strong understanding of local SEO and the common phrases people use to search.
Advancements in What We Already Know
Just because the new year’s coming doesn’t mean that we’re going to say goodbye to any of the basics. It’s more important than ever to have an interactive online presence, but that’s something we already knew. 2018 will bring new forms of digital marketing, but we can’t forget the good ‘ol review system and social media platforms.
SEO is still based around connecting users with sites and services that match their searches. Keep your social media platforms linked to your website and vice versa. Although robotic use of keywords isn’t good for SEO, you still need a few keywords in there, so everyone is on the same page.
The new and improved SEO of 2018 really gives you the opportunity to study your target audience and service area. With analytics and a strong understanding of local SEO, you can tailor your online presence toward a specific group if you think that’s the most effective way to market your product or service.
Go for Speed
How often do you click out of a page or press the home button on your phone when it takes a website too long to upload? Does a site seem less reliable to you if the images or logos take an extra few seconds to load? Chances are if you’re leaving the site so are thousands of other users.
Everything is made for speed these days, so higher functioning sites will put importance on making their service as fast as possible. Now you might be wondering what speed has to do with SEO. User experience (UX) is a major component of SEO that determines if a site is likeable or not. The better the experience, the more people will stay on the site, so it will rank higher on a browser’s search.
To Link or Not to Link?
Linking has become a major part of SEO when it comes to mentions within an article or blog post. When brands or celebrities are mentioned in a story, you might notice that the name will be underlined and in a colored font. These are clickable mentions that take you to more information about the topic. These links span the webiverse in a way that keeps everything connected while giving credit where credit is due.
We’re likely to see more linking that gives value and authority to websites and written content. Who knows, maybe one of these links will take users back to your website.
How We Should Continue in 2018
We can expect advancements and changes in all aspects of SEO and digital marketing with the development of new technology and changes in the political world. The best way to approach these changes is to keep an open mind while staying on top of the latest trends. One of the most effective things you can do to stay relevant is to adapt to these trends.
Figure out what works for you. SEO isn’t the same for everyone because of differences in services, locations, and target audience. If you notice something’s driving traffic to your site, keep doing it, but be prepared to make a move when the trend changes!