2018 SEO tips and predictions
Gone are the SEO days when all you had to do to build a solid online foundation was splash as many keywords as possible across a web page and hope for the best
Gone are the days when all you had to do to build a solid online foundation was splash as many keywords as possible across a web page and link to as many (non)relevant sources out there.
Though we may feel like we have put these rudimentary tactics behind us, many are those who are still looking to get the easy way out – they rely on the unethical practices in order to yield the best possible results in the least amount of time.
But here’s the trick – search engines tend to nip such people in the bud. In the long run, this shortcut has done more damage to your website than good.
Manipulation of results is out of the question, and while you are under Google’s roof, you obey its rules. Over the years, these rules have more or less changed, and quite often we found ourselves surprised by the new regulations, that only makes it more difficult for users to predict the search engine’s next step.
Still, if we were to look at the past changes a bit more carefully, we might be able to notice a pattern; we might be able to conclude which area of the digital marketing world search engines are likely to target next.
AMP as a ranking factor
As the whole world is going mobile, Google is about to make sure the Accelerated Mobile Pages project takes center stage. So far, AMP has not been officially declared a ranking signal, however, it still has a great impact on website performance and search.
Users’ abandon websites which don’t load in two seconds and are usually using their mobile devices to check out one of your pages, it is only logical to make sure they load fast on a small screen.
Beyond links and keywords
Search engines are beginning to pay more attention to the way users interact with your website. While SEO used to be a job for the technical team, the responsibility was transferred to online marketing professionals; they are required to possess rich knowledge of on- and off-site SEO, need to be creatives in order to craft quality content pieces and need to understand user behavior. After all, they are the ones you are after.
If Google is devoting more time and energy to improving its understanding of visitors’ queries and needs, why wouldn’t you? Search engines are doing their best to fully understand the semantics behind each query, website owners have to do whatever it is in their power to optimize content in such ways that both users and search engines understand what the pages are about.
Emphasis on the design
Note that design still plays a significant role. Aside from the responsive, mobile-first approach to website development, we are hearing more and more about the importance of a visual effect. In fact, experts from Websitesthatsell report that from their own experience, users will stop interacting with a website if they find it unappealing. For this reason, we are seeing more and more graphic elements, high-resolution photographs, video and other visual content being implemented on websites.
Now, while glitz and glam can make a lasting impression on some, bear in mind that the 2018 user will appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of your website’s message.
Minimalist design is the preferable option, since the 21st-century visitor is always on the go, looking for an instant solution, and is as such in need of a site that will lead them right to the answer to their query, not bombard them with a multitude of flashy elements.
Believe it or not, a not-small number of those who dare to call themselves online marketing professionals implement these activities in their digital strategies. It also represents one of the most irritating tactics around.
Namely, the comment section of a quality article quite frequently contains an abundance of relevant opinions and advice from industry experts, what makes it a great appendix to the post you have read a few minutes ago.
When you leave a clearly promotional comment, you not only kill the conversation, you also lose respect from your fellow colleagues. In 2018, it will be all about building relationships and reputation via informative statements – slowly but surely, you will not only be rising in the search results but also the eyes of your peers.
Have you noticed search engines putting emphasis on any other elements? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section, but remember – make your contribution to the discussion relevant.