What’s in store for SEO in 2018? It wasn’t really that long ago when SEO was developing at a snail’s pace. Google would have one or two major algorithm changes yearly. Every tiny tweak to the results page made major headlines, and user-facing feature development was incremental at best.
Google was glacial, and it seemed like it would always be basically the same.
These days, the SEO landscape needs to be re-evaluated on a quarterly basis. This might be as fast as it gets – after all, Big G is careful enough not to baffle the end user – but there’s no way to know for sure. Constant monitoring of the latest search features is imperative.
Here’s the menu of leading search trends for SEO in 2018:
Speed has always been an important user experience factor, but the mobile shift has it growing more prominent as a ranking factor. Caching, lossless image compression, and lazy loading are all valuable techniques you can combine to improve performance.
The Rise of Voice Search
40% of adults use voice search daily – and teens are even more enamored of it. Here, users tend to search how they speak and phrase queries as more natural-sounding questions. This opens up a whole new vista of useful queries and semantic relationships to leverage.
Mobile’s Continued Growth
Well over half of Google searches now come from mobile. Google is making mobile more intuitive by ensuring mobile-optimized content gets preferential indexing over desktop-focused content. A fast, responsive site that delivers excellence on mobile platforms is essential.
More SERP Features Than Ever
Think about the Google of ten years ago and the word “plain” might come to mind. Ads were less prominent and the focus of attention was on the ten blue links for each query. Getting those coveted top spots is still a useful goal, but they’re not the only premium real estate anymore.
With knowledge panes, top stories, local, and much more, it’s time to start tracking your presence in a multidimensional way. Determine what kind of positioning is most valuable for you and make feature monitoring an ongoing part of your SEO maintenance strategy.
Rich Snippets and Structured Data
Structured data provides search engines with the clues they need to identify, grab, and organize data in more user-friendly arrangements. Structured markup has been shown to increase CTR by as much as 30%, making it a worthwhile measure for popular pages that could draw even more traffic.
Search engine technology is transforming faster than ever. It’s up to SEO leaders to move with the changes and ensure their company’s unique value shines through. These five innovations will be major pieces of the puzzle for SEO in 2018, so get your planning hat on!