8 SEO Trends every blogger and website owner needs to understand and implement.
#1 SEO Trend -The voice search explosion
Voice search is all around us. With the launch of the voice-activated speakers like Google Home, Amazon Echo, Android Auto, etc., voice search is becoming more and more a new platform for marketing and advertising. It is totally changing the way the users’ are communicating with search engines to find solutions to their issues.
Take a look at the latest statistics:
=> Google says that 20% of search queries are accounted for voice search.
=> 40% of adults use voice search once every day.
=> 50% of all searches will be voice related by 2020.
Of all the SEO Trends currently, Voice Search is perhaps the most important.
Frankly, if you are not catering for Voice Search you are being left behind!
How to optimize for voice search?
It is not enough to use traditional keyword phrases.
People are asking different questions like “how to”, “what”, “where”, “best”, etc.
Create more question-related content by describing their problems.
Top Tip: Use words like ‘what’ , ‘how to” and ‘best’ in your Blog Post Titles (H1 and H2 Tags)
How To Do Voice Search SEO?
What Is RankBrain?
What is VPN?
Tips For Voice Search SEO
=> Try to find question-related keywords and develop a content that provides an answer to those questions.
=> You can create Q&A section in your site where you can quickly answer all possible questions from your clients.
=> You can use instruments like the keyword suggestion tool from SE Ranking to find what those questions are.
Just go to Keyword Research, enter a keyword and get results:
Related link: Optimize Your Site for Voice Search
#2 SEO Trend – Video
Video as a must-have part of any content strategy.
Video is still growing and becoming an integral part for any serious brand or company. People spend less time reading a bunch of information on a site, instead they prefer watching videos. Video is one of the most persuasive form of content that helps retain users on the page and, as a result, let Google know that this page is great.
Video marketing is a must-have job skill.
Especially, it will work well for e-commerce businesses that use videos on their product pages.
Here are a few interesting facts:
=> 55% of users watch online videos every day.
=> Video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021.
=> Almost 50% of people search for videos involved with services or products before visiting a store.
If you want to get the most out of videos, YouTube is your partner of choice!
YouTube takes the second place as the most visited site on the web, after Google.
Some Video SEO optimization tips:
a. Start keyword research in YouTube.
Just enter a keyword in the search, and you will find the most popular search terms on YouTube. Gather a list of your niche-related keywords and use the best ones from your list.
b. Create high-quality videos.
Keep your videos on point and informative. People love watching high-quality and long-form video content. Videos that have at least 5 minutes in length will have good chances to rank higher in Google search results.
c. Make punchy video titles.
Titles affect the ranking of your video, that’s why it is vital to develop video descriptions with utmost care and consideration. them seriously. Create complete titles – at least 5 words long and include a target keyword you want to rank for.
d. Write a smart description. [This is KEY]
It is important to add video descriptions as it helps search engines better understand the content of your video. The better you explain your video, the higher you will rank. Write at least 250 words and make sure to use your keyword in the first sentence of your description. (see perfect example below from Brian Dean)
e. Embed your videos in blog posts.
This is obvious, but a surprising number of people who create great videos, do not embed them on their own blogs.
This gives you a perfect opportunity to connect with readers who may not be YouTube visitors
Not only that, done correctly, it can help you stand out from the crowd and increase conversions.
#3 SEO Trend – Mobile-first indexing
With the forthcoming mobile-first index, the rise of the voice search, the fact that 60% of all searches come from the mobile devices and mobile optimization becoming a ranking factor – we can’t ignore mobile SEO anymore. Google prefers more and more mobile-optimized web pages and recommends to focus on the user experience for mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it is time to to do it.
What can you do about it?
Check out whether your web pages are mobile-friendly.
You do it with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Just enter the URL you want to test and get your results.
If you have some issues, you can get instant recommendations on how to fix it and re-run the test once again.
It is essential to pay attention to things like your mobile speed, AMP, and mobile UX optimization. Mobile audience is less endurant while waiting for the web page to load. Test your mobile site speed and fix all issues that can hamper your mobile pages to load quickly.
A truly responsive design is crucial if you want to hold and attract customers that search and shop using mobile devices. Along with a responsive site, there are things you should focus on like content, images, videos, slideshows. Make sure that content for mobile devices is easy to read, titles are short, and the touch elements are clickable.
If you don’t have time to make your site mobile-friendly, you can do it using the mobile website builder by SE Ranking. It will help you create a mobile version of your site within a few minutes and increase conversions by 28% on average.
#4 SEO Trend – Featured Snippets
Based on this survey, Google provides instant answers to users’ questions in the form of the featured snippets, and it makes up to 30% of all search queries.
This is a Big Deal for SEO as these featured snippets take the new position #1 or position 0.
Featured snippets are stimulating the development of a new type of content like Q&A content. They help users find a clear answer to their questions.
Google takes the best content to answer users’ questions from web pages.
If you want to get listed as a featured snippet, you need to work on SEO optimization too.
Use Q&A style content on your website and follow the structure and formatting of the content to help Google find relevant information for the featured snippets.
Tables with highlights of your content or bullet point lists can also have good chances of becoming a featured snippet, even for small websites.
See this example from our sister website: RetireAt21.com
=> Do research and ask yourself what your target audience wants to know?
=> What kind of information you should solve their problems or answer questions they are asking?
=> The more useful the answers you provide, the higher chances of ranking better you have.
#5 SEO Trend – Linkless backlinks
Major search engines like Google and Bing have developed the ability to gauge a website’s reputation via any reference to a brand, anywhere online, together with the sentiment it is mentioned in. These references are known as “linkless mentions”, or “linkless backlinks” ~ Search Engine Watch
Over the years, links have been the foundation of SEO.
Right now links are still important, but the best links are those that naturally integrate with the web pages and those that spark users’ interest and encourage them to click on them.
At SMX West 2016, Duane Forrester, Bing senior product manager, announced that Bing is taking into account linkless mentions for ranking.
In other words a mention of your website or BRAND – even though the ‘mention’ does not link to your website.
Some marketers believe that these may be even more valuable than backlinks, as they are more difficult to create.
What can you do about it?
First, you should rely on long-term link building and get natural and quality links. Learn to lay weight on unlinked backlinks. Search engines are associating more and more mentions with brands that can be a direct signal to define a website’s authority.
It is important to invest not only in the backlink monitoring tools, but use a good web monitoring tool to track any brand or product mentions.
Mention is my favourite tool to get live monitoring data in real time and focus on your brand awareness and reputation management.
#6 SEO Trends – The User Experience
Talking about SEO optimization, we don’t do that for search engines to rank well, we do for the users of search engines to find our websites. On this basis, the user experience is becoming more and more important for SEO.
Google throws no doubt that a poor user experience will affect site rankings. That’s why it is critical to be adapted for desktop and mobile devices to help users find what they are searching for easily and quickly.
Here is the following to-do list you should focus on:
=> Fast-loading website:
Do you know that the 40% of users leave websites that load more than 3 seconds? In other words, the success of your business doesn’t depend on minutes; it depends on seconds. Make sure your website is loading quickly. From time to time, test your site’ speed and fix any possible issues.
=> Mobile-friendly website:
Given that about 60% of all Google searches come from mobile devices, it is critical to optimize for mobile.
=> Technically functional website:
Users are really picky, and if something doesn’t work on your site, they will leave for good. Try to improve your site’s navigation and avoid using flash.
=> Easy-to-read websites:
If you want to attract users’ attention and increase engagement rate, you need to organize your content in an easy-to-read form. Create catching titles and subheadings, keep your paragraphs short, use visual aids and bullet lists, make your fonts readable, highlight important things.
#7 SEO Trends and Content
Content is still one of the key Google ranking factors.
But content alone is no longer a king.
Context, organization, relevance, and connectivity – all of these elements help you achieve your goals and make the most out of your content.
Over recent years, Google has remarkably improved the analysis of the textual content with the help of the RankBrain technology that understands content better.
So, you should work hard to make genuinely useful and unique content. Make sure that it meets users’ needs and interests. Ponder over the goal of the content you are creating. If you want to get an intense payoff eventually, you need to offer the best content in your industry.
#8 SEO Trends and RankBrain
On October 26, 2015, Greg Corrado, Google senior research scientist, announced that RankBrain has become the third-ranking factor.
Since then Google became more intelligent about detecting links and content that are not natural and unique. With RankBrain, you will get answers to the most challenging questions and get relevant results for the ambiguous search queries with different meanings.
If you want to succeed in SEO, start preparing for search engines. Focus on making natural links and quality content to reach the first page of search engine results. Moreover, Google will pay much attention to usability and technical SEO factors like page speed, site security, schema markup, site architecture.
How to get ready for RankBrain?
a) Drill down your keyword list
Stop using just one keyword or keyword phrase.
Try to expand your semantic core and use more variations and synonyms:
=>Use trending words and hot topics.
=> Pick up your competitors’ branded keywords.
=> Enrich your content with semantic keywords.
b) Write for people, not for search engines
A few years ago it could work, but not right now. Don’t try to please search engines, try to satisfy your target audience. Pick up on designing a better user experience, reviewing users’ behavior and making changes properly.
Make your content comprehensive.
Whatever your Niche – Go in depth!
=> If you’re serious about SEO, you NEED to optimize for RankBrain.
Final Thoughts On SEO Trends In 2018
More than ever, it is not about tricking the search engines, it is about working with the search engines!
While the SEO strategies mentioned above are important – it should not be forgotten that creating quality content, acquiring natural links, offering a great user experience and making sure your website functions technically* still remain essential.
* Survival of the fastest – Keep an eye on website Site Speed
* Keeping Plugins and Software Updated (checking for any compatibility issues)
More Related Links:
Are you optimizing for Voice Search, Featured Snippets, Mobile friendly SEO and RankBrain?
Author Bio: Irina Weber is brand manager at SE Ranking.
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