Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is an ever-evolving field. As SEO relies heavily upon guidelines and algorithms of search engines, changing tactics and adapting strategies is crucial. In 2018, SEO practices will continue to be modified in efforts to remain relevant.
1. Voice Search Optimization
In the last year alone, voice searches have doubled in popularity. Nearly 55 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults report utilizing voice command features on their mobile devices more than once each day. In 2018, this number will only continue to grow. Because people speak much more differently than they type, this means that SEO will shift to focus on more natural-sounding, long-tail keywords.
2. Mobile-Friendly Content and Links
It is estimated that nearly five billion people around the world have access to smartphones. With around 93 percent of online encounters beginning with the use of search engines, many websites have already been optimized to ensure that they are mobile-friendly. Unfortunately, however, not everyone has hopped on board. In 2018, websites that are not optimized will continue to see less visitors and they will also be utilized less in link building strategies.
3. Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are becoming increasingly popular on search engines such as Google. They operate differently than the standard SERP and utilize a different algorithm. These featured snippets are convenient and do not require a user to click a link to find an answer. While this may decrease overall click-through traffic, it can be valuable for gaining trust and credibility. Many websites are now shifting their focus to accommodate the standards set forth by this new algorithm to get a featured snippet. As the algorithm seems to prefer lists, charts and images, content will be created specifically for featured snippets.
4. SSL Certificates
Security is a huge concern for people who shop online, and search engines agree that it should be. As a result, search engine algorithms have been modified to ensure that websites that lack SSL Certificates continue to descend on the SERP. This means that an increasing number of websites will focus on improving security as a component of their methodical SEO strategies.
5. Content Is Still King
As the old adage goes, content will still reign supreme in the world of SEO. More than ever, it will be crucial to feature well-written and accurate content. The difference this year will be the shift from a formal tone to a more conversational one. This is largely due to the increase in the popularity of voice search, though other platforms such as social media and video content, has also led to the increase of conversational content.