In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “…In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While that may have been the case when Franklin wrote his letter in 1789, it’s certainly not the case now. Here is our analysis of the top 5 SEO trends of 2018.
Today, there’s at least one more thing that we know for sure. And it’s this: SEO will continue to change on a constant basis. Algorithms and technology constantly change after all, so it’s only natural to assume that SEO will evolve right along with them as it has throughout the years.
While some SEO trends will carry over from 2017, such as making adjustments to content to accommodate voice search, new trends have already started to emerge in 2018. With Google’s algorithm having more than 200 factors alone, it’s imperative for you to be on top of the latest trends in order to stay in the game, let alone (get and) stay on top of it.
Keep reading to learn some of the trends that are currently dominating SEO and some of the ones that are just starting to catch the attention of SEO experts throughout the country and around the world.
More Features on Search Engine Results Pages
Do you remember when a SERP would provide a list of search results that simply included 10 links highlighted in blue and a few ads? If you pine for those days, you’re out of luck because they’re gone for good.
When you look at a SERP these days, you’ll see much more than results for what you’re looking for. You’ll still see ads of course, but you’ll also see widgets, listings for articles, social media snippets, images and videos. Almost forgot – you’ll see links, too.
With features on search engine results pages, it means there are many components competing for the attention of viewers. This translates into one basic fact – the added features are taking attention and clicks away from organic results.
To earn and keep your fair share of clicks, it’s crucial for you to see how you rank within these SERP features. It’s also necessary for you to track the features that appear for your keywords so you can identify the ones that are vying for the same traffic as your website.
Rank Tracker allows you to initiate a project for your website. Once you do so, you can see what SERP features are triggered by the same keywords you use. You can also track how SERP features change from one day to the next. Based on this data, you should determine how you can rank in SERP features for various kinds of searches.
Rank Tracker has several other key features you can use to your advantage throughout 2018 and beyond.
Carefully Structured Data
Put simply, structured data is what instructs search engines to interpret data a certain way. It’s also what tells search engines how to display data in their SERPs. Rich snippets and regular snippets have a clickable title, a URL and a meta description. While that’s the case, rich snippets have abbreviated titles and they use a | instead of a dash. Rich snippets also include an image and some reviews.
While you may think those differences are too subtle to really matter, they’re actually quite significant when it comes to clicks. Structured data like rich snippets can increase a listing’s click-through rate by as much as 30 percent.
Although you have numerous structured data formats to choose from, it’s generally advisable to rely on the guidelines provided by Schema.org. For a guide to structuring data Schema.org’s way, click here.
Top 5 SEO Trends: Page Speed
While you’ve probably known page speed is important for a number of years, it will be even more important in 2018 and the years that follow. Although that’s the case, you may be wondering what’s considered an acceptable load time in today’s connected, on-the-move society in which people are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for information.
According to Google, a page should load in three seconds or, preferably, less. Remember – page speed influences two things dramatically. It effects your ranking in SERPs. And it has a major impact on user experience. If your website is slow to load, your ranking in SERPs will suffer as a result. If your pages take too long to load, your website’s visitors will simply return to their original SERP and click on a different link hoping to come across a faster website.
To see if your website is fast enough, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Google tries to produce search results that match a person’s intent the closest. Even if someone’s intent differs from their query, Google will try to find the websites that have content that is directly relevant to the searcher’s intent.
To produce the results that people want, search engines evaluate the content on websites to see if it’s relevant. One of the tools that Google uses to do this is Latent Semantic Indexing. Using Latent Semantic Indexing, Google is able to collect content from a countless number of websites and search it for relevant phrases and words. This same tool enables Google to determine if a website’s content is all-inclusive, or want Google refers to as “comprehensive,” and whether the material has a nice flow.
Google also analyzes the search results that perform the best and examines them for similarities. The features these results share, such as keywords, may then evolve into specific ranking signals for the related search terminology.
To ensure the content on your website is comprehensive and relevant, you should check out the pages that perform the best that are related to your market and examine them for things they have in common. While that may sound simple enough, it’s a time-consuming process and one that’s almost impossible to do on your own given the amount of information that’s available on the Internet. Luckily, WebSite Auditor’s TF-IDF tool can expedite the process for you.
Contact Sunlight Media
While contacting our digital marketing agency isn’t a formal SEO trend for 2018, we think it should be if your business is in or near Los Angeles, CA. We have the proven ability to use the latest SEO trends to our clients’ advantage. Read about our SEO services now and contact Sunlight Media to learn what we can do for your Los Angeles-area business today.