2018 is here and everyone is scrambling to start the new year off on the right track. For businesses looking to grow you need to expand your online presence that means finding out what is coming down the pipe and how to pivot to answer it. We here at Helix House have rounded up what we believe to be 5 of the most important marketing trends in 2018 that marketing managers and SEOs need to use. These aren’t gathered from oracles and soothsayers. We didn’t spill animal entrails and inspect the contents. These are thoughtful predictions based on hard facts and data from a number of industry studies. In today’s blog, each trend will focus on SEO for a very important reason. Hint: SEO is alive and more important than ever!
Keyword stuffing used to be the way of the SEO Samurai. If you wanted to ensure your pages were in front of the eyes of prospective buyers or clients, you made sure to include the keyword phrase in the title, in bold, in a heading, and as a link. This is no longer the way. As Google continues to evolve, learn, and adapt to both searchers it is critical to stay abreast of these changes.
Now, Topics are taking the lead from keywords. Google will scan your content and summarize it under these bigger umbrellas. To match that it is important to craft in-depth, comprehensive blogs and articles which answer “searcher intent”. Average content stuffed with keywords will never rank above well written, useful content.
60% of searches are through a mobile device. That number is continuously on the rise and what’s more, Google has announced their plans to focus on mobile-centric searches. While we don’t know when Google is going to roll this out, we know that the plan is to treat mobile websites as the ‘real’ site. All content will need to be crawlable on mobile for Google to even think to rank it. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) allow for fast loading pages on mobile devices. Google ranks faster loading sites higher than sluggish ones. Using AMP is a win-win for sites.
Dwell Time and Bounce Rate. These two metrics which Google tracks are the markers of a User’s experience with your website. If the user stays on your site for 5 minutes that tells Google that there is something worthwhile on that page and Google will then give your page a bump up in the rankings. Bounce rate has to do with the percentage of visitors or sessions to the site that only view a single page.
Looking back is the way forward. Do you already have a website overflowing with content? Re-optimize your existing content to keep them ranking. Depending on how often your site gets new content consider doing these annually, semi-annually, or even quarterly. You will see where you can interlink pages, how to refocus their keywords or topic and see them rise through the ranks.
No matter how the Google algorithms change, content will always be king. Quality, in-depth articles and content are the backbone of all SEO efforts. If you are not delivering a worthwhile product (in this case website and information) attempting to design a great mobile website or user experience won’t matter.
Looking at those keys to success in 2018 we can now create a strategy for approaching SEO in the upcoming year. First, you need to develop an incredible mobile-friendly site. Use Google’s own AMP to increase mobile performance and get yourself green in Google’s eyes. Next develop high quality, in-depth content throughout the site. Be extensive. Engage the readers. If your audience can read not only the answer to their original question but the next logical one, and the next after that you are going to be you are going to do much more than dominate SERPs. You are going to turn searchers into customers. Personalize Call-to-Action buttons based off the search and path the user used to find your landing page.
With quality content, your Dwell Time will skyrocket and your bounce rate will plummet. Google will push your pages up the ranks faster than ever before. After 3/6/12 months, go back to the successful content you have been creating and run an audit. Moz has an excellent post on how to run content audits. Redirect links as your website has changed and grown. Create new internal links between pages. The structure will become so much more robust, allowing Google to crawl faster, and for your audience to follow relevant information page to page (increasing Dwell Time and drop Bounce Rate further).
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO in 2018. For instance, Voice Search is up 35x. While it may not become the dominant search technique in 2018, it may do so in the not so distant future! That changes how keywords and phrases are sought out. Featured Snippets are meant to be read aloud by Google, tailoring your snippets to that goal will get results. The rules of engagement are constantly changing, and even us experts are constantly learning, practicing, and mastering the skills needed to succeed in the digital space.
If you are looking to leverage our skills, knowledge, and know-how, get in touch and together we can conquer Google Search Rankings and bring prosperity to your business.