SEO is an ever-changing field and the player juggling all the balls is Google. Just when you think you have their search engine optimization algorithm figured out, it is changed. What once was a system that used specific keywords and backlinks to rank websites is now a never-ending cycle of changes with numerous ranking signals.
It almost seems impossible to stay up-to-date with these changes. But there are ways to tweak strategies and plans so that your advertising campaign is best optimized for success. Here are five new SEO practices in 2018 that we think you should know about.
1. Ranking Based On Your Mobile Website
It’s no longer good enough to have an amazing website when viewed from a desktop or laptop. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you may be in trouble this year. One of the most significant changes in SEO in 2018 is that Google has launched its mobile-first index. This means websites are now ranked based on the mobile version of the page.
Things to make sure of for a mobile-friendly website are the following:
- Page load time
2. Optimizing SEO Strategies For Voice Searches
How’s your friend “Siri” or “Alexa”? With the rising popularity of voice-activated smart devices, fewer people are typing their queries in search engines. Instead, they are pressing a button and speaking into their devices to find whatever it is they’re looking for online.
What this means for businesses is that it’s imperative to optimize your SEO strategies for voice-activated searches. Think about how someone might SAY their search, rather than how it will be typed.
For example, people are more likely to type “website design (city location)” but are much more likely to elongate that search when speaking it. If using voice-activated technology, they might say “What are the website design businesses in (city location)?” Think long-tail keywords and accurate syntax used in everyday language when working on your SEO.
3. Providing Instant Answers In Featured Content
Before 2018, the meta description was a place to write a brief overview of what your content was about. Doing this was paramount for achieving better ranking. However, now that voice searches are part of the equation, it is necessary for your content to provide instant answers.
Since devices such as Siri, Alexa and Google Home can provide instant results to questions, it’s imperative that they can scan your content quickly for those answers. They aren’t going to scan through hundreds and thousands of characters, words, paragraphs and web pages to do that! These new technologies are looking for the best, most accurate and easy-t0-find answers for their users. No wonder they’re called “smart technology.”
In order to cater to this SEO trend in 2018, use precise and accurate answers that coincide with long-tail keywords and/or voice search inquiries when producing content. You may want to consider revamping your FAQ and Q&A sections to make it easier for Google to find relevant information it can relay back to your customers.
4. The Optimization Of Intention
Google is switching up its search algorithm to optimize results based on intent. In other words, if a keyword has a clear intent for purchasing something, the search results will favor e-commerce sites higher than media sites discussing the keyword. For example, if someone searches “cheap iPhone case”, Google will provide results that list sites for purchasing them over a news story about “cheap iPhone cases”. However, Google hasn’t stopped looking out for the consumers! It will still prioritize highly authoritative, major media sites for keywords that have a clear intent for information, such as “The best cheap iPhone cases in 2018.”
This new feature of the algorithm does make things a little trickier for developing your SEO marketing strategy. But if you choose your keywords and phrases wisely, you will be able to develop content that takes into account optimization for intent.
5. User Experience Remains At The Top Of The List
We know this isn’t a new SEO trend, but it’s worth mentioning because of how important it is. Google will still focus on user experience when determining which websites show up in search engine result pages.
It’s crucial to stay on top of your site’s speed, context, relevancy and quality of content. It’s equally important to be aware of your visitors’ browsing habits so you can make any necessary changes. For example, if your visitors abandon your site after 30 seconds or you have a high bounce rate, this will affect your SEO ranking. So, stay abreast of those analytics reports!
Although SEO is an ever-changing system, it’s imperative to stay current with the SEO trends. It is crucial to your online success. Watch for articles like this to keep you up-to-date with things to consider and you’ll be set–that is, until google changes things again.