With the advancements in search engine algorithms it is extremely important to remain updated with all the recent developments and trends. Professionally executed search engine optimizations (SEO) play a pivotal role in achieving higher search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Organically achieved ranks ensures consistent and constant flow of online traffic with a positive visiting – to – payee customer ratio. Although the best approach for any business to generate higher online presence is to employ SEO professionals to ideally optimize your web profile in accordance with the latest prevalent trends, however it is helpful to have a basic insight. With advent of 2018, let’s take a look at some of the SEO techniques that will remain dominant in the coming year and which require particular attention.
Image and Voice Search. With refined and updated search engine algorithms aiming to improve the coherence of text based searches; a gradual shift is being observed in favour of image & voice based searches as well. According to Google, almost one third of online searches are now image based while 1 in 5 are voice based. Improvements in digital assistants and due to the integration of smart devices (phones, tablets, gadgets etc.), image and voice search present a quicker, targeted and convenient mode for users as they can incorporate long-tail keywords and natural language. SEO practices need to target these to generate greater online traffic in 2018.
Qualitative Back-Linking. Link building has been a contributing factor in SERPs since the latest WebMaster updates by Google (and other search engines). Updated web crawlers and spiders not only quantitatively analyse the backlinks of a webpage but also qualitatively assess the. Fraudulent, repetitive, unproductive and useless links can now lead to a page getting blocked as well. A holistic SEO based web development approach would be to generate a positive relationship, contacts and links between web pages to mutually benefit from each other in the long term.
User Experience. Upcoming years will focus on the user experience while ranking any web page. Tools like ‘Rank Brain’ and metrics like ‘Dwell time’ by Google are recent examples of how these search engines’ algorithms are focusing on its user’s experience. Google has reported that in the short time since its deployment, Rank Brain has become the third most contributing factor in SERP ranks. Rank Brain scrutinises the user’s response on the web pages presented in the SERP to dynamically re-rank the search indexes. Other features like speed, navigation architecture, database, content, visual aesthetics and readability etc. are play a role in user experience. SEO practices targeting User Experience (UX) will be essentially required in 2018 to generate a loyal online traffic base.
Featured Snippets / Answer Box. In addition to rise in image and voice searches, text based short and quick search options are also gradually on the rise. A study by Stone Temple Consulting revealed that ~30% search results are now answered by featured snippets. These are developed while catering and optimizing for long tail and a wide range of keyword combinations. Snippets also provide the opportunity to achieve position ‘0’ on the SERP. A combination of snippets, Q&A, tables, graphs, short precise content that can double as some question’s answer, images and voice will be targeted by SEP experts in 2018 to achieve higher SERP rankings.
Mobile based web traffic is reported to contribute to ~57% of all online traffic and this trend is expected to further rise; a study by BrightEdge revealed. It has also been found that keyword behaviour changes for mobile and desktop traffic. A multitude of techniques exist that all require due attention and deliberation to best suit individual business needs. An optimum combination will be to deploy SEO practices for some targeted audience while incorporating a wide array of variables like voice, image, long tail keyword, snippets and detailed content.