Dominant Search Engine Optimization Practices For 2018
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is ever changing and have proved to be far more beneficial than advertising and other online marketing methods. With Google rolling out more frequent and complex updates, SEO will significantly shape the future of many companies. Google is constantly pursuing a better search experience. Focusing more on user experiences. The result had been the changes to how they index and rank pages, resulting in changes to SEO.
It is likely that in 2018 and beyond, new tips and SEO practices will start emerging. In this post, we shall look at some of the emerging SEO Trends expected 2018 and beyond.
Before we proceed to examine the upcoming SEO trends for 2018 and beyond, let us delve briefly into some background understanding of SEO.
What is SEO
We will adopt the definition of Rand Fishkin which serves our purpose quite aptly. He defined Search engine optimization (SEO) as the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic results in search engines.
This definition underscores three components: Quality of traffic, quantity of traffic and organic results.
Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they're coming to your site because Google search engine results presents you as a resource for web hosting when you are actually only involved on website hosting and not providing any learning resources, you will find that you get the traffic but they won't be quality traffic. It is better to attract traffic who are interested in products that you offer.
Quantity of traffic. Having the right interests click your link from the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Organic results. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don't have to pay for. These come from several sources including links and referrals.
Now that you know what SEO means, you probably have an idea on why websites should be properly optimized. Let's look at some of the gains of SEO and why it should be taken seriously.;
1. Voice and Mobile Search Functionality
People Want immediate answers to their queries. With release and improvements in applications like virtual assistants like Cortana and Google Now, we could see an increasing use of the feature in search and problem solving.
2. Direct Answers in Search Results
Google will likely continue the use of its knowledge graph to provide direct answers to search queries. These answers are pulled directly from websites and highlights the need to properly optimize your posts to be as enticing as possible.
3. Stronger Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
In some countries, mobile search has already taken a greater percentage of the total search volume. The growing emphasis on mobile friendly design for websites is expected to continue in 2016 and beyond. As more people access the internet on mobile devices these days, than ever before. If your site doesn't respond and adapt to these different screen sizes, you will be penalized by Google for poor user experience.
You will take care to ensure that your website meets up with the requirements and check your website for its compatibility with the following tools and adaptations:
Run your website through Google's Mobile Friendly test tool If you're using WordPress, find a mobile-responsive theme. You can also hire a designer to make the changes to your site.
4. Nitche-Based SEO Becomes a Major Focus
The use of the internet has increased tremendously. This has created profitable small nitches like web hosting in Lagos, which is the highest web traffic-driving city in Nigeria. Appealing to smaller nitches will be a best way to stand out fast for less competitive keywords. This will provide a focus for your SEO strategies and narrows the pool of competition.
To take advantage of this opportunity, implement the following strategy:
- Utilize keywords focused on your location and area.
- Provide up-to-date Google Maps information
- Offer app integration with Google as well (this will show up in search results)
5. SEO and Digital Marketing Become One and the Same</strong>
SEO and digital marketing which is also called content marketing are increasingly becoming one and the same thing. Social media campaigns and other elements of digital marketing has now become part of the SEO strategy. The two will continue to work together.
Build this into your SEO strategy and keep in mind that:
- SEO and Digital Marketing are no longer separate.
- High quality content, social media promotion, and marketing all connect with SEO
- The goal is to build organic links, increase engagement, and build brand awareness
- Bing will become more competitive than before
Microsoft search engine, Bing, has always been a competitor to Google. In 2018 and the years ahead, it will become more important than ever. The integration of Cortana with Bing brings voice search and direct answers to this platform.
Take note that:
- Many of Bing's SEO is identical to Google
- Take a look at Bing's Webmaster Tools
- Bing Looks at physical location more than Google (so local SEO is important here)
Building a Natural Link Profile Becomes more Important
The backlinks you have pointing to your site have always been important, but now it's also important for them to be natural, relevant, and diverse. In 2018, you'll want to avoid any link building services that promise quality links for money.
- Links that are earned based on the quality of content.
- Ensure your backlinks are coming from the proper anchor text and from high-quality sites.
- Vary up your anchor text constantly and keep the steady flow of new links.
Also read: Do Google Ads Affect Search Engine Rankings?
User Engagement Becomes a Focus
In 2018, a high bounce rate and low user engagement will be killers for your SEO ranking. Your site needs to captivate and capture readers, or they won't stick around to visit other pages. If people are leaving immediately, that shows Google they didn't find what they were looking for.
Understanding what your audience wants and needs is the first step in creating a high user engagement. Take these steps next:
Take steps to engage your readers in the comments and on social media
Learn what they want and need from your site and provide that from the get-go
9.Google's Focus Turns to the User Experience
Google's focus wiill point towards them finding new ways to measure the quality of the experience on your site. Things like bounce rate, the number of ads, the mobile responsiveness, and other factors all affect this overall metric.
- Keep these things in mind:
- Always look at your site and its content through a reader's eyes.
- Simplify and streamline the elements of your site to ensure ease of use.
- Maintain a focus on reader intentions and desires in your content.
10. Ads Must Go
Google has announced that it would begin penalizing sites with Interstitial Ads. These are ads on mobile sites that appear right as you arrive and block you from seeing the content within. They usually prompt you to download the app and won't go away until you find their small close button.
- Are any ads blocking users from reading your content?
- Do ads appear quickly, interrupting a reader just as they arrive?
11.Reconsideration Requests Become More Difficult
Websites will find reconsideration requests more difficult. That is, getting a penalty lifted will become more difficult in 2018 and beyond.
So, you've got to:
- Stay up-to-date with the rules and on new updates and try to avoid penalties.
- If you need to submit for a reconsideration request, ensure you've removed the problem entirely.
That will be all. Did we miss anything? Let's have your thoughts on these