SEO is complicated. And, just when you think you’ve gained some semblance of control, the rules of the game change. As frustrating as it might be to keep up with always-changing SEO trends, keep up we must because SEO is one of the most effective tactics for enabling your customers to find your brand and buy your products or services.
Top SEO Trends
- Site Speed – This is a simple and unsurprising factor. Users expect fast results, so why wouldn’t fast sites be rewarded with a higher ranking? Google is now going to use mobile speed as a factor in rankings. Expecting pages to load within three seconds, mobile sites that are sluggish to load will be impacted negatively.
- Mobile First Indexing – Search engines are responding to the reality that mobile searches have finally surpassed desktop searches and are ranking their search results based on a site’s mobile version. This will be true even when results are shown to desktop users. It’s called mobile first because mobile will now form the basis of a site’s rank. For sites that are responsive, for instance, this might not impact rankings that much. But, for those who have separate mobile and desktop sites, you need to ensure the mobile version contains all the good content of your desktop site.
- Voice Search – Many remain skeptical about voice search, but it has gained tremendous traction as users find it easier to speak into their mobile devices than to type. 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search daily, according to Google. Users find voice search an easy alternative, using it while cooking, exercising, and even while in the bathroom. These voice searchers use common, conversational sentences in their searches as opposed to a typed string of words or phrases separated by commas. Those who work with keywords will need to be aware of this shift.
- AI & RankBrain – As users employ more natural sentences into their search queries, the nuances of those queries need greater interpretation in order to deliver the most relevant results. Enter RankBrain. When you search for something, organic results are now second to a group of direct answers to your question. This is RankBrain working to deliver faster, more accurate answers. One tactic to employ is to create topic clusters to help search engines identify topics within your site as opposed to separate pages.
- Personalized SERP – A personalized search engine results page (SERP) produces more customized search page results through a filter that takes into account user information such as geography, preferences, and history. Google, Yahoo, and Bing employ personalized search.
- Linkless Mentions – What makes linkless mentions such an interesting SEO concept is that since the beginning of SEO, links back to a page would indicate that page’s relevance, giving it a higher rank. Now, with AI in the picture, mentions without links are starting to play a more significant role. Since the number of people who might mention a brand is higher than the number who might set up an actual link, there is tremendous opportunity here for small, niche brands with influencers and a strong social presence to gain with this SEO trend.
SEO Performance Staples
While it’s daunting to keep up with SEO trends and the tactic shifts those trends create, it’s important to hold onto the classic strategy of doing what’s best for your users. Creating a relevant, optimized website with user-driven content that answers needs is still a smart way to go to achieve measurable SEO results.
Meta Description: Keeping up with 2018 SEO trends helps ensure your users are able to find your brand. Don’t fall behind in the latest developments on the SEO horizon.
Credits: content writers