Search engines are constantly evolving to improve user experience and deliver more relevant results. According to Moz, Google updates its ranking algorithm up to 600 times a year. As a result, marketers must familiarize themselves with the latest trends in search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some of the top SEO 2018 trends you can expect.
According to Search Engine Land, rich snippets will play a larger role in SEO next year. Also known as structured data, rich snippets give search engines additional information about the web page. This information is then added to the web page’s search listing in the form of text, links, customer ratings and thumbnail photos.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source project for creating blazing-fast, mobile-optimized web pages. According to Google, AMP pages load 400 percent faster and consume 1,000 percent less data than traditional web pages. Because of this, AMP is expected to gain traction in 2018 as being a powerful ranking signal.
The same Search Engine Land article previously cited also predicts “linkless backlinks” as being an important SEO trend for 2018. Linkless backlinks aren’t actual links, but instead they are mentions of a brand name or company. If a small business is mentioned thousands of times by authoritative sources, search engines will assume the small business is popular and authoritative, so they’ll respond by raising its rankings.
Quick Answers is a feature in Google that automatically displays relevant answers to search query questions above all other organic search listings. Since 2014, Google has been displaying Quick Answers to create a more user-friendly search interface. Some digital marketers, however, are now optimizing their websites to rank for Quick Answers. If you create detailed answers to common questions on your website, you could rank here as well as Google’s organic search results.
High-quality content has always been the backbone of effective SEO. It gives users a reason to visit your site and search engines a reason to rank it. In 2018, though, you can expect to see more visualized content dominating the search results. Articles and blog posts aren’t going anywhere, but there’s a growing trend involving visualized content like infographics, photos and videos.
Mobile-First Web Design
Finally, 2018 will continue the reign of mobile-first web designs. As the name suggests, this involves creating and optimizing a website for mobile traffic. Responsive websites, for instance, are designed to look and function flawlessly on smartphones and tablets.
There’s no crystal ball that will tell us the future. However, current and historical trends suggest the SEO trends outlined here will gain traction. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, consider using these strategies in your search optimization efforts.