Search engine optimization is constantly evolving. The new year is sure to bring new opportunities, as well as new challenges; due to changes in technology, changes in consumer search behaviors, and even changes to Google’s algorithms, SEO professionals must show constant vigilance and flexibility.
There’s no time like now to start preparing your SEO efforts for whatever 2018 may bring. Start by reading up on some of the key trends that are poised to shape the year. Here are some of the ones the Driven2020 team is keeping an eye on.
Voice Search/Digital Assistants
Thanks to Siri, Alexa, and other virtual assistants, voice search is on the rise—and in fact, it’s predicted to become the dominant search methodology by 2020.
If you’ve read anything at all about current SEO trends, this probably comes as no surprise to you—but the question is, how can you make sure you’re accommodating the needs of voice search users? A couple of thoughts:
- Optimize your content for natural-language, conversational queries—including statements and questions. While a more traditional text-based search might be, “Justin Timberlake wife,” a voice search is more likely to be something like, “Who is Justin Timberlake married to?”
- Aim for the answer box—position zero on the SERP. Here’s what makes the answer box position so important: If there is an answer box listing for the voice search query, that’s the content that will be read aloud to the user. You can aim for this prominent position by making use of numbered lists, bullet points, and tables, or by formatting your content in a Q&A style.
Link building is one of the most tried-and-true SEO practices—but it’s changed and evolved a great deal in recent years. What’s popular today is linkless link building—which might at first seem like a contradiction in terms.
A linkless link is one where your brand is mentioned/cited on a page without an actual hyperlink present. This may not sound valuable, but actually, it’s an increasingly important Google ranking signal. Getting these linkless links—as well as a few well-earned and high-quality hyperlinks—is crucial to your SEO efforts.
How is it done? There’s no easy answer here. The best way to get links is to work on long-term relationships with other bloggers or brands. Additionally, create the kind of customer experience that builds brand prestige and gets people talking about your company all over the Web.
Here’s one more way to prepare your SEO for 2018. Google has long encouraged the development of mobile-friendly sites—but now, it’s actually necessary to prioritize your mobile page over its desktop equivalent. The reason for this is simple: Google now uses the mobile site as its primary ranking signal.
Some general tips for ensuring that your mobile website is firing on all cylinders:
- Make sure it’s fast! If it takes more than three seconds to load, it’s not fast enough.
- Ensure responsive design; the user should not have to do a lot of scrolling, squinting, or resizing just to see your content.
- Remove any content types that don’t work on mobile devices—CSS, certain image types, etc.
- Write content that’s succinct and easy to ready even from a mobile device.
Are You Ready for 2018?
As you seek to ready your marketing efforts for the new year, make sure you’re getting the right guidance. Driven2020 stays on top of all the latest SEO trends, and we can help you develop an adaptable and future-proofed SEO plan. Start that conversation today: Contact the SEO experts at Driven2020!