While the landscape of digital marketing is in no way static, a lot of people overestimate the pace at which things change in this field. While it is true that today we see new technological marvels like biometrics, virtual reality and augmented reality, which was in the prototype stage just a while back, the truth is that not that much has essentially changed. Sure, virtual reality marketing promises to make a huge revolution in the world of resales, in reality, trends like social media marketing, email marketing and content marketing are still going strong.
A similar thing happens in the world of SEO, as well. So, let’s take a moment not to look at digital marketing prototypes which may or may not be huge in the future but reflect on SEO trends that will continue being relevant in 2018. That being said, here is a brief list.
1. Voice recognition SEO
In 2015, Google embarked on the path towards enhancing their search engine by adding a completely new dimension to it. We are talking about voice recognition. You see, the option to initiate a voice search is present for a while now, yet, a huge portion of the internet has chosen not to use it in the past. The reason behind it was quite simple. It was in a crude form and it was incredibly inefficient. In the end, you would most likely be forced to type in the term you are looking for so why bother?
Today, however, things have drastically changed. First of all, Google engineers started working closely with their linguistic team in order to try and enhance the engine with the ability to understand context. Still, in order to get there, they first had to rely on the GPS of the user in order to understand the geopolitical circumstances of the area, as well as to recognize the language that was spoken. The result was overwhelmingly positive.
Needless to say, this resulted in a major shift in the popularity of this feature and in 2016 about 55 percent of the teenage population was reported using voice search on a daily basis. Furthermore, 41 percent of adults used it in the same manner as well, which was on its own quite staggering.
On the other hand, it took SEO companies a while until they figured out just how important this new trend was about to become for their field. However, they were quickly on their feet and on their way towards devising voice search strategies of their own. In 2018, the growth of this trend’s popularity can be expected to continue on, pretty much, same intensity as in the previous several years.
2. Domination of long-form content
In the past, the size of an average blog post was somewhere between 600 and 1000 words, however, a lot of things have changed since then. Nowadays, it has been noticed that posts that contain more than 3000 words receive far more traffic than their smaller counterparts.
While this may seem a bit puzzling, in reality, there is a method to this madness. You see, the time spent on your page is one of the metrics that Google uses when determining your SEO rank. Needless to say, the longer your post is, the longer your audience is bound to stay on the page. Furthermore, spending more time on this piece of content will give you a chance to cover a topic more thoroughly, which means that your audience won’t have to go anywhere else.
3. Visual content gets the upper hand
It is undeniable that the world we live in is a mobile one. Therefore, mobile-friendly formats get much higher conversion rates. Sure, this doesn’t mean that textual content is getting outdated but it is incredibly inconvenient to read on the move while holding the tiny screen of your phone on the palm of your hand. However, if you were to present your content through an infographic or a video, you would have a much better shot at appealing to your visitors.
According to experts behind a prestigious SEO company, the greatest issue with this particular idea is the fact that, in order to pull it off, you need to have an in-house team capable of delivering such a content on a regular basis. This alone is one of the major obstacles that a lot of people have in the face of SEO.
4. Focus on user experience
Finally, you need to keep in mind that, no matter how Google changes their algorithm, the UX (user experience) will always be at the forefront. Like any other provider of services, Google remains No. 1 search engine, due to the fact that they offer the most user-friendly results.
Needless to say, this answers to all the other questions you might have about SEO. For instance, why is responsiveness important? Because it improves the overall UX. Why are long-tail keywords efficient? Because they give more specific answers to the questions asked by users.
Overall, whenever you are in a dilemma on whether a trend is SEO-friendly, try to imagine yourself as an average Google user. Would you wait for 6 seconds for a random page you’ve just entered to load? Would you enjoy the page with an unreadable font or a content crammed with links? The answers to most of these questions are fairly simple.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that SEO is intuitive or easy to understand, still, a lot can be learned through a simple role-play or a change of perspective.
At the end of the day, while the world of SEO is constantly evolving in order to adjust to the daily changes in the algorithm, some of its basic principles are quite durable. Of course, when you look at the early 2000s (keyword cramming and similar practices) and compare that situation to what we have today, this is a completely different story. Nevertheless, bear in mind that this was nearly two decades ago. Needless to say, when it comes to 2018, there is no reason to believe that, at least, these afore-mentioned four trends (especially the last one) are going to diminish in significance.