Since businesses first caught on to the importance of online search, SEO trends have been changing faster than you can even say the word. With Google and other search engines fast realising the importance of user experience, 2018 is set to see the emergence of SEO trends that prioritise users before anything else. So what should your small businesses be doing to prepare for the SEO changes to come?
This trend isn’t exactly new to the realm of SEO - search engines have long been penalising businesses who have tried to “trick” the system in a bid to climb the rankings. However, if there’s one thing businesses can take on board in 2018, it’s that search engines are making even bigger moves to prioritise content that is written for users rather than search engines. The latest study from leading SEO tool SEMrush shows that time on page and number of pages viewed have become leading ranking factors in modern SEO - both of which are indicators of how much users are enjoying, reading and engaging with content. Businesses will have no choice in 2018 but to focus their efforts on user-driven content that encourages interaction.
With users craving something a little more visual in their browsing efforts, more and more businesses are turning to alternative forms of content to grab their followers’ attention. Having already picked up popularity amongst brands and consumers alike, video content is set to explode in 2018, and will eventually surpass all other forms of content. If your business is thinking of capitalising on this growing trend, make sure your video content is well optimised for search.
With cyber-crime on the rise as the world goes digital, search engines are crunching down on spam sites and websites with low authority. Your website’s trust score will play a big role in determining your ranking position in 2018, with search engines more likely to show trusted websites to users. If you haven’t already, make sure the information on your website is encrypted and secure with an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This will ensure that all data passed between the server and browser remains private, increasing your chances of securing a higher trust score. If you don’t do this, prepare to be penalised - websites without the certificate will display as ‘not secure’ in the URL bar, which could prove detrimental to your marketing efforts.
With voice-controlled home assistants like Alexa and Google Home rising in popularity, businesses have a chance to capitalise on ‘featured snippets’ in 2018. These are the small pieces of information that are fed back to users when they ask their home assistants those all-important questions. Whilst these little snippets of information have been appearing in search engine results for a while now in the form of the answer box, businesses will now need to think about optimising their content for voice search.
With mobile searches now exceeding desktop search, Google’s recent announcement that they would be switching to a “mobile-first index” came as no surprise to many users. Although not yet implemented, the fact that Google will be considering the mobile version of a website as the “real” version means businesses will need to improve their mobile game in 2018. This will encourage more businesses and online brands to make that much-needed switch to responsive design.
SEO trends and organic search are constantly evolving to cater to the needs of the modern market, and your business needs to evolve too if you don’t want to be left behind. At Undergrnd Marketing, our SEO specialists are constantly staying up-to-date with the latest developments in SEO to ensure we offer our clients only the best service and advice.
Need help with your SEO strategy? Contact our SEO specialists and content marketers today for chat.