As you already know, SEO is a constantly evolving know-how, so staying abreast of trends is essential so that you are not overwhelmed by your competitors.
Following are a list of seven SEO trends in 2018:
1. Voice search or voice assistant
This voice search phenomenon, already popular in 2017, you will see even more in 2018. You probably know the Google Home or Amazon Echo speaker. These are examples of voice assistants. Today voice searches are also increasing. Users no longer want to bother writing extended keywords on their smartphone. So they usually use voice search to simplify their life.
For multitasking addicts, it’s also a way to search online while cooking, watching TV, etc. Recent studies support these facts, they show that:
- 20% of mobile requests are currently voice searches, according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai
- 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020, according to Comscore
- 40% of adults now use voice search every day
Google’s voice search can recognize 40 different languages. It also recognizes accents, including Australian, Indian, English, Irish, and American…
Now you understand why it’s essential to integrate voice search into your SEO strategy. Long tail keywords, terms and phrases used in everyday language will allow you to position the pages of your company’s website more effectively in Google results.
2. Detailed content and net-linking or link building
Long detailed content and backlinks (inbound links) still play an important role in SEO at the moment. Without this, it is difficult to go back very high in Google’s results pages.
Google’s robots like to index new content, both unique and in-depth because they help users respond to queries or enlighten them on a topic. As part of a natural referencing strategy, we must focus on this long detailed content. The following points must also be taken into account:
- Writing an enriched article on a subject means putting yourself in the shoes of the user. Ask what information the user could look for and what does he need to know? You must include your user when writing content. In general, aim for 200 words or more.
- Find synonyms whose meaning adds value to your keywords. This helps search engines and your potential readers.
- Not to mention that a detailed article that responds perfectly to the interrogations of Internet users will have more opportunities to be shared and therefore develop your backlinks. It’s win-win!
Do a search on Google using your keywords. They will then be in bold. Also be interested in expressions around words in bold, they are important! It may be interesting to add them to your content. Then, if you scroll down the page, you will find the “associated searches”. Here, the words in bold are also to be taken into account.
Links are still essential in 2018. However, it is better to focus on quality links than to bet on quantity.
3. Google’s Mobile-First Index
The Mobile-First Index is the latest project developed by Google to make the web even more accessible to smartphones. This is a new way to scan websites by first crawling mobile sites and applying this index to the desktop version. A study by BrightEdge reveals that 57% of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices, which means that nowadays users prefer more and more their smartphone to do their research.
To display the contents of a page, the current system was based on the computer version. Google presented the same content that we are on mobile or computer. This could be problematic in that the algorithms did not evaluate the relevance of the results for mobile users. Now Google is focusing on mobile with its Mobile-First Index to provide more relevant and navigation-friendly results, based on queries and the device used
Your content must be consistent on both computer and mobile. Indeed, Google will first scan mobile content instead of watching the contents of your computer. For example, if your mobile site has less content than the desktop, Google will consider the mobile version. The rest of your content will not have visibility. So be sure to have the same amount for both your mobile and computer version.
With the Mobile-First Index, you must also pay attention to hidden content, for example, in tabs, accordions or expandable areas. They will be considered “normal” content on the same page, even if they are supposed to be hidden from users.
If you have a mobile version, m.xx.com for example, go to responsive design.
Add structured microdata. This can help your site be better ranked.
Improve the loading time of your pages: it is already an important factor for SEO but with the Mobile-First Index, it is even more! You can test your site with Google PageSpeed Insights. It will give you results to improve the speed of your page.
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile (not just mobile-friendly). A mobile-optimized site resizes according to screens and resolutions. Google’s mobile optimization test tool can help you see if your site is optimized for mobile devices.
4. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Google is currently deploying AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) pages in its mobile search results. But do you know what an AMP page is?
The AMP format is a structure designed to create mobile pages that load quickly. The AMP has three basic parts: AMP HTML, AMP JS and AMP CDN. If you want to create an AMP page, be careful with certain aspects:
- There are some HTML tags that you cannot use for your AMP
- You must use a simplified version of CSS
- Embed a canonical tag into your non-AMP page version
Google highlights AMP pages in its mobile search results. You can test your page with the AMP Test tool.
5. The Knowledge Graph, Featured Snippets and Quick Answers
The Knowledge Graph is a set of knowledge used by Google to improve the results of its search engine with information from various sources.
The Knowledge Graph, the Featured Snippets and the Quick Answers are now in vogue from a natural SEO point of view. Google tends to become a response engine more than a search engine. It is therefore recommended to have in mind the instructions to appear in the Featured Snippets (summaries of site content displayed directly in the results of Google).
6. The SEO user experience
In 2018, the user experience will gain importance in search rankings. As a reminder, here are some factors that affect the rankings:
- The loading speed of the page
- Responsive design
- The quality of the content. The more content is detailed with relevant information, the better!
- User behaviour and interaction with content
- The structuring of the markup
- The bounce rate
- The security of your site
- Optimization of text, images and internal links
7. Increase in video searches and images
You will see a huge growth in visual content in 2018. It is therefore necessary to create and highlight this type of content. For information, 1.37% of marketers say that visual marketing is the most important content for their business. 2.74% of social media marketers use it in their social media strategy.
Here are some examples of visual formats that you can use on your site and your social networks
- Visual content that provides information, added value and can be easily integrated with other sites
- Add infographics with relevant data
- Put videos on your blog or site
- Use screenshots