The year 2018 has brought along some revolutionary changes in the search engine optimization arena. Let us discuss the hottest SEO trends and where we currently stand.
Like all other components of digital marketing, SEO is a dynamic field that keeps on changing as time progresses. Whatever techniques we work with today might not work tomorrow. There are about 200 Google ranking factors to consider, making SEO a complicated science which you can never completely get the hang of. To keep the search results relevant, the user experiences smooth, and to dodge spammy websites, Google and its rival Bing constantly update their algorithms to make them smarter. Being aware of the contemporary trends and the latest news will help you win the race of SERPs.
We are only halfway through 2018 and we have already witnessed some drastic changes and revolutionary trends that have changed the shape of search engine optimization. It can be quite difficult to keep up with the latest SEO trends and then make changes in your strategies accordingly. In this blog post, we have gathered the most important strategies that experts have already started using to their advantage so that you too can stay ahead of the game! Let’s get started:
1. Mobile-First Indexing – Good News for Mobile Users!
After playing with the idea for some time, Google finally decided to make mobile-first indexing official in March 2018. Before this concept, Google used the desktop versions of all websites for crawling, indexing, and ranking purposes, while neglecting their mobile versions. As a result, mobile users often experienced (and still do, in some cases) problems and were unable to see the complete content of any website. With mobile-first indexing, Google will consider the mobile versions of all websites for crawling and indexing, so that everything is on the same page. So, make sure that the mobile version of your website works smoothly and there are no loose ends.
2. Voice Search Results & Short Featured Snippets
The world of voice search has experienced a sudden boom which is slowly changing the way people search for things online. Instead of taking time to type in queries to hunt for content, people can just use the voice search option of Google on their smartphones or get the help of a digital assistant like Alexa and Cortana. Voice search evolved with the purpose of facilitating multitasking. According to the findings of an experiment conducted by Lloyd Jones of Backlinko, the typical length of voice search results/snippets (which the voice assistants readout) is 29 words long. So, with voice searches rapidly increasing in popularity, it might be a good time to optimize your content accordingly.
3. Content – The Longer, the Better
Many marketers are under the impression that writing short and crisp content is the key to winning the hearts of the audience. That may be true for social media marketing, but in SEO, the opposite is true. Web pages with content which is 1500 words or longer, with the perfect use of keywords, rank better than others. It can be challenging to regularly update your website’s blog with long posts but doing so will help you fare well as far as SEO is concerned. However, keep in mind that you shouldn’t be writing rubbish content just for the sake of “creating regular posts.” You don’t necessarily have to write 2000+ words – it is just true that doing so will be more beneficial for you.
4. Mobile Page Speed…A Ranking Factor?
Google announced at the beginning of 2018 that it will make mobile site speed an actual ranking factor for search engine optimization. Although many SEO experts had been paying attention to the loading speed of websites long before the announcement was made, Google has made it official. So, in order to rank for mobile searches, experts also need to focus on the page speeds. The update was supposed to take place in July, but so far, nothing has been heard from Google.
5. Increased Focus on Video SEO
Here’s an interesting fact: About 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis! It’s easy to get a rough picture of how fast video is climbing the ladder of content. Brands are increasingly utilizing explainer videos to market their products and services. So, if you already haven’t, now is the perfect time to invest in quality videos and modify your SEO strategies accordingly. It’s only a matter of time before the video completely dominates the throne of content. Moodstocks and Eyefluence are examples of some startups (which are now owned by Google) that aim to identify visual elements in content.
6. Hyperlocal SEO is Just Around the Corner!
With so much buzz surrounding it, there’s a very good chance that you have already heard of the term ‘local search engine optimization.’ That being said, there’s also a very good chance that you have never heard of ‘hyperlocal SEO,’ since the concept is relatively new. Simply put, hyperlocal SEO is a more specific version of local SEO, with a focus on a neighbourhood or street. The intent is to climb in local search results, keeping in mind those locals who live at walking distances. Optimizing content for hyperlocal keywords will help you in both the long and short run.
What it all means…
It’s interesting to see how rapidly SEO can evolve. But, at the end of the day, SEO boils down to experimentation. A strategy that worked wonders for one project might not help the other. So, it’s not necessary that you have to incorporate all of the SEO trends of 2018 mentioned above in your search engine optimization strategy, as what will work for you depends entirely on the nature of your project. However, identifying some of the crucial trends and incorporating them in your gameplan will certainly help you take things up a notch and rise in the SERPs.