Search Engine Optimisation plays a large role in bringing people to your blog posts, guest articles, website and other various forms of content. Unfortunately, this is a field dominated by Google, so if you don’t play by their rules, then your web traffic will drop significantly. To help ensure that your SEO efforts don’t go to waste, we’ve rounded up 14 of the biggest SEO trends that will influence the world of digital marketing this year and beyond.
We have seen a surge in user engagement with videos. Thanks to an increase in the use of smartphones, coupled with faster internet speeds and user-friendly social media, we have seen video content soar in popularity. As this year goes on, search engines will begin to recognise this trend in user behaviour and reward companies that appeal to current user preferences. We will begin to see large improvements in both image and video recognition by search engines.
Voice search services are a rising trend of 2018 and thanks to the use of virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri, it’s no surprise the use of voice search is rising. It’s predicted that by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches. These devices make recommendations based on organic search results. So, by optimising keywords as conversational phrases will lead to long-term success.
Consider the storm of media criticism, many businesses have suffered due to them allowing fake news to exist on their website. Scammers and content farms have messed with the system and managed to disguise themselves as trustworthy and credible sources. The aim of the big search giants (Google and Bing) is to prevent this from occurring. They will scrutinise content to prevent these errors. It will no longer be good enough to just have a well-written and well-researched article. You will need to ensure it’s supported by other credible sources in order to rank.
Mobile is dominating desktop and SEO marketers are facing the reality of Google’s mobile-first algorithm and are being forced to adjust. The updates are due to roll out in July, but before that, it’s essential that all businesses review their mobile ranking factors and make adjustments as necessary. One of the major factors that have been confirmed as an official ranking factor for mobile ranking is page speed. This will change the way that SEO is prioritised for content updates. It’s never been more important to focus on mobile SEO designs.
It was typically the priority of Google to ensure that information is delivered to searchers as quick as possible in the form of search rankings. Now, Google is providing a vast amount of information directly within the SERPs with structured snippets and custom widgets. If you have top-ranked content which ranks for high-volume search terms, then you may deliver that information to the user without them ever actually hitting your website.
Influencer marketing is constantly rising and it’s extremely effective in certain industries. Rather than simply creating direct conversions, the use of influencer marketing can actually provide high-level links at a quick pace. This can effectively help a website to rank better for their services and products creating a win-win situation. As this trend increases, this is going to be another way for marketers to increase domain authority and procure links as a whole.
It was long preached that in order to enjoy good Google rankings, you needed to be producing content all the time. Of course, there is a place for that, especially for building brand authority, however, if your aim is to rank for a highly competitive keyword or phrase, then short and recurring content isn’t going to be good enough. This year, businesses need to focus on long-form content alongside a solid promotion strategy.
Traditional advertising campaigns which included television ads, radio ads and print advertising, no longer have the reach that they once did. Today, it’s all about awareness campaigns that use vlogging, blogging and social media. Your potential customers will come to associate your business, products, services and brand with the message you choose to convey and promote. Whilst this can often be tricky to execute, it’s wildly effective, so it’s worth the hard work. Plus, it’s the way of the future, so if you’re not on board, you could get left behind.
Rather than filling your content with countless words just to make it seem more interesting or longer, it’s time to get straight to the point. Copy doesn’t need to be a “minimum” word count anymore. It’s all about writing useful information that your prospective customer is there to read. Remove the hoops. It’s also beneficial to bring in other forms of media to your content. It’s important to make use of high-quality graphics and videos to help showcase your products or services in a new way. If your content is good quality, relevant and fun, then your visitors will stay, which will increase the chances of your desire call-to-action being fulfilled.
More and more people are using social media as search engines, and whilst search engines still dominate, they are transforming into a secondary platform for searches. This brings added benefits to businesses, but as this trend increases, it will be necessary that content (both profiles and posts) is optimised for social media platforms just as much as it is for search engine platforms. This comes with the additional benefit of using both paid and organic targeting.
Consider the past few years. Thanks to more visually-friendly social media platforms, (Instagram and Pinterest being two great examples), faster internet speeds and an increase in public desire to engage with more videos and images has led to an increase in online interactions which are visual. This will see some changes to how Google and other search engines treat videos and images in an online environment. We will see a vast improvement in search sophistication for visual assets.
RankBrain continues to remain Google’s biggest jump into machine learning, however, the parent company of Google, Alphabet, has continued to invest heavily in AI and machine learning over the past several years. By the end of 2018, we could have machine learning provide a larger influence over typical search results. In the future, we could eventually see algorithm updates disappear away completely. In replacement, we would see a continuous, iterative and automated algorithm updating process that is carried out via machine learning.
We’ve touched on this concept previously with the idea of social media platforms becoming secondary search engines. However, whilst Google remains the dominating force in the search engine sphere, retaining its position as the most popular search platform, the increased use of third-parties like Amazon and Yelp as well as digital assistants such as Bixby and Siri are now relevant search engines in their own right. So, if you want to be able to introduce yourself to the widest audience possible and be found by a significantly larger percentage of user searches, then this is the year you’ll need to begin to think ahead of Google’s range of influence.
From sharing valuable information to targeting the correct keywords using Google Keyword Planner. Content marketing will always remain the king when it comes to important SEO trends for years to come. Therefore we shouldn’t overlook its importance in SEO strategies and the impact it can have on digital marketing. As Google’s algorithm reads your information and indexes it to provide a ranking, the more high quality your content needs to be. To ensure you are ahead of the game, you should hire professionals, optimise keyword strategies, make sure of long tail keywords and indulge in high-domain link building tactics. Don’t forget to ensure all that wonderful content you are producing is optimised for mobile, otherwise, you are missing out on a massive range of potential customers!
These SEO trends will shape the world of digital marketing both this year and beyond. Now that you know what changes are in the wind, it’s time to make sure your SEO strategy is ready for what’s coming. If you want some help and assistance from the best, then get in touch with us today to see how we can help your business rank!
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