Important Search Trends That Could Influence Online Revenues of 2018
How often has it been proclaimed that SEO is dead only to have it rejuvenated again! SEO is alive and kicking and will remain so as long as search engines rule. As the number of online businesses increases, the demand for SEO will also increase. The Giant search engine -Google- ever on the alert to increase user experience has evolved its algorithms and shifted its goalposts to ensure that relevance and quality are always rewarded and websites adopting illicit means to rank higher will be penalized.
SEO in its new avatar is going to be challenging and with the changing face of SEO, the way businesses market their products and services will also change, the way marketers claim their ranking spots will change, the way users surf the Web will alter- in short what worked once upon a time will no longer work. The latest Penguin update will ensure that this happens.
Social Media will become more important
The year 2018 is going to be all about how strong the overall online presence of a brand is and with social media making it big time, websites will necessarily have to incorporate more of it into their online platforms. There’s no doubt that Facebook and Twitter will help boost SEO and marketers will be looking to exploit that.Facebook posts and tweets will boost a company’s Search Engine Result Page or SERP, helping them to rank higher. Google and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing will begin indexing social media content and brands will shift their focus to gaining more influence across social media.
The fact that Google takes note of tweets, likes, re-tweets, and shares -does augur well. An active social following and sharing of content and posts, will automatically lure more visitors and increase Web traffic, which in turn ups the ante on your search engine rankings. Google places a great onus on social networks, and profiles that figure on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and other platforms could well be exposed to more limelight. A strong link binds SEO and social media, so leveraging it to the full could well cause your SEO efforts to spiral upwards. The more active you are in social media, the more content you publish, the more publicity your site gets and the more data that Google collects. This is bound to push you up the rankings ladder.
Mobile is in the driver’s seat
According to a Pew research, the number of people are beginning to rely on mobile devices for access to the Internet. In fact, an estimated 19 percent of Americans appear to depend only on their smartphones for accessing the Web. The number of mobile apps has also increased and so has their usage. From messaging and shopping to fitness and games, apps have made a dent in the user market. As these apps influence buying behavior and customer choices, competing brands will have to ensure that their apps are optimized for the mobile.
This means the user-friendly must be responsive, for Google loves sites that are mobile friendly and ranks them higher. This is because such sites can be easily viewed on mobile devices and you don’t have to pinch or zoom to read the contents. Every effort to become mobile friendly such as having mobile payment, mobile e-commerce, mobile integration with social media, is likely to earn dividends. Search engines love user friendly sites and gives brownie points for those.
Link earning more important than link building
Links have always played an important role in SEO; however, with social media and content marketing ruling the roost, it has become easier to manipulate links and that’s why the focus in 2018 has shifted from link building to link earning. This is where links from good, solid websites achieve greater meaning. Earning such quality backlinks will have a positive impact as they will provide value to Web visitors. As the focus will be not on the number of links, but the quality of links, SEO will recognize the effort. Good quality content is sure to be linked to and your backlink profile gets a boost. There can be no doubt that content not only attracts visitors, but is also a means to offer value, create brand awareness and engage usefully and meaningfully. The recent Penguin updates made companies realize, that search engines want links from quality sites, links that used a variety of anchor text and also links that happened organically.
Structured Data is gaining more significance
When search engines crawl the Web, they do have a hard time trying to understand web content. Structured data are small pieces of information that help them understand information on a web page. If, for instance a thumbnail image and a ‘play’ symbol appear on the page, then the search engines identify it as such and users know that the content contains video too. The richer the quality of structured data, the better the visibility in search engines.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning an important ranking signal
When Google announced its new RankBrain signal on October 26, 2015, it found a way to accurately rate the quality of content, and rank it. This triggered a new way for search engines to understand search intents better and also to interpret customer needs. This algorithm from Google is regarded as “one of the biggest revolutions in SEO history, “and is considered as the third most important Google ranking factor”. Machine learning and artificial intelligence help identify patterns in user searches and give them what they are looking for. If RankBrain encounter words or phrases that are new, it filters results and handles search queries more efficiently.
Site layout a pillar for customer engagement
While not denying the fact that content is King, it becomes meaningful only when customers engage with it. This can happen only when usability is given top priority and sites are designed with layouts that are easy to navigate, are intuitive and optimized for mobile. That way, customers will find what they are searching for, regardless of the device they use. Pages should load fast, sites must be dynamic and personalized and the user experience enhanced. This automatically boosts customer engagement and keeps them coming back for more.
Video vs. Written content
A battle royale is going to be fought, and though written content will never really lose value, video content is on the verge of overshooting because of its ability to engage more, outreach more and be more effective. It’s a trend that’s in the offing and very likely to figure in search engines. Google is biding its time and a new algorithm or update could just upset the apple cart once more for website owners.
Voice search to change the search landscape
As websites and web pages become more informal and friendly, spoken or voice search could well become the norm and search engines could handle search queries in a totally new way. Know more about How to Enhance Mobile Search in 2018
Change is in the air and Google is more than determined to enhance the user experience according to new consumer trends and expectations. It definitely means business and will be looking to constantly improve the quality of the SERPs.
In the ultimate analysis, rich content, integration with social media, good site layout and keeping tuned to changing search dynamics are what you have to watch out for. With Google rolling out new algorithms in 2018, businesses would do well to toe the Google line and keep themselves in its good books. Here is brilliant article on How to turbocharge your local marketing strategy.