The world of search engine optimization is changing rapidly, and as the machine learning algorithm keeps on improving itself for better performance and smoother user experience, it will be wiser for you to keep your website updated as per the latest SEO trends to rank better in the search results.
People started discussing the SEO trends of 2018 before 2018 even began, and now that we are halfway through the year, it is rather clear which trends are reining the SEO world this year. If you haven’t recognized the trends yet, don’t worry, this blog will give you enough details about the vital ones.
As you may already know, the search engines are getting smarter with each passing day, courtesy machine learning ability, and to make the search results more accurate, prompt and personalized, they are gathering data from us more often than we know. However, the SEO trends are based on how we use the search engines, rather than what we search on the engines.
A massive increase of Searches through mobile:
Recently, a study has revealed that more than 60 percent of the total searches are done on mobile phones. So ranking a website based on its desktop version is no longer valid, especially when Google has begun rolling out it’s “mobile first index” that prioritizes mobile version of the websites.
Since people engage more on their smart devices than their desktops, Google has started to suggest website user to mobile-responsive websites. Experts believe that this shift to “mobile-first index” maybe one of the biggest algorithmic changes in the history of Google, which may transform the page rankings like never before.
Voice searches are becoming more frequent:
Google revealed that 1 out of every 5 searches comes in the form of voice queries. It’s easy and convenient. You may have also used google assistance on your Android device to look something up, right. And now that smart devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo are entering our houses, the frequency of voice searches are also increasing.
Since people are shifting towards the voice search from the conventional way of searching, it will be better if you optimize your SEO strategy for voice search as well. Learn about the conversational voice search queries in your industry and optimize your website accordingly to be more responsive to such voice searches.
Improved user experience:
With time, people’s expectations are growing rather rapidly. If a visitor was satisfied with the user experience offered by your website last year, does not mean he/she will like it this time as well. To get a better search ranking, your website needs to offer better user experience.
According to a study conducted by Google, the sites that take more time than 3 seconds to load lose 40 percent of their visitors. Also, a website loses its visitors when they struggle to navigate on the website for more than a couple of seconds. The bottom line is that you need to work on making your website more user-friendly to rank higher in the search results.
You can achieve that by making your website load faster, improving the readability of the content and also offering the visitors a seamless experience whenever they use your website, whether on a smart device (smartphone or tablet) or a desktop.
More stress on featured snippet:
Have you noticed that these days featured snippet take the first few inches of the SERP (search engine results page) to a particular search? You surely have. Well, it’s something Google is working on. In fact, in today’s date, more than 30 percent of search queries on Google have instant answers in the form of featured snippets, a study says.
This is no surprise that featured snippets are now stealing almost 10 percent of the traffic from top ranked pages on the first SERP. It is the perfect example of what the structured data and the accuracy of instant answers can do to your page. Due to this particular trend, SEO experts are now optimizing their pages to provide short, crisp and accurate information in response to long-tail keywords.
Since Google is now stressing more on the featured snippet part, it has become quite necessary for the website owners to pay more attention to the formatting and structure of the content, so that Google can pull the featured snippet according to the search query.
The visitor’s intent:
The AI integrated with the Google’s search engine is smarter than we know. Google recently revealed the fact their ranking factors depend heavily on the keyword intent. For instance, if the keyword you are looking for expresses your intention to avail a particular service, Google will prioritize the service providers’ websites in the SERP.
Besides, Google’s AI keeps on learning about every user’s history, present and interests to help him/her provide a more personalized answer to a particular query in the shortest time possible. As an SEO expert, you need to optimize your page according to the intent based search queries.
More specifically, instead of putting generic content on the website in a conventional way, you need to implement a contextual intent-based optimization to improve the search rankings of the website.
With the help of smart devices (a smartphone or tablet), it has now become a lot easier to find a local business. You may have noticed that when you search for the best dine-in restaurants near you, the search results are suggesting the restaurants that have optimized their location on the Google maps with proper details.
Google also focuses on the local business rankings to help improve the local searches. And to ensure your business ranks higher in the local search results, you will need to improve the backlinks, ask for more reviews on Google My Business account and mention enough crawlable keywords in the content. Perhaps, infusing business name with the keyword may also help.
There’s no assurance that these trends will be relevant 7 months from now. So, while you are optimizing your website as per the recent updates and SEO trends, you also need to keep yourself updated with all the necessary upgrades Google is making to improve its search engines.
It’s a dynamic world, where things are changing rapidly and continuously. And if you need to stay on top, you need to make yourself adaptable to those changes as soon as they occur. As for 2018, you cannot afford to miss the SEO trends mentioned above.