In the ever-changing world of SEO, it is imperative to be on top of the latest algorithms and updates to ensure website success. Knowledge and understanding of how search engines work is the key to being a great SEO-er. In a way SEO is like a math and science game, if you understand how the game’s controller, which would be Google in this instance, numerically reads and categorizes a webpage it is a lot easier to “win” via a successful website. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest SEO trends we are seeing in 2018.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
We have heard how important a mobile-friendly website is over the years, but the chatter has steadily increased since 2017 following mobile surpassing desktop usage in 2016. To help sites optimize for mobile, Google introduced an open source project called AMP. After the launch of AMP in 2016, Google began highlighting AMP pages in search results. It is subsequently more important than ever to optimize your site for mobile usage, whether with AMP pages or not. Make sure images are compressed and feature a mobile-friendly navigation menu and fast page load time. These are all factors that create a great mobile experience that helps with rankings.
Speaking of page speed, Google expects sites to have a page load time of less than 3 seconds. It’s not only important to have a fast website to please search engines, it is also crucial for user experience. No one wants to wait for a page to load, they will just leave and visit a faster site. To test your web pages, Google offers this helpful tool to let you know how your pages are loading that includes a list of items to help speed up load time.
Providing visitors with seamless website experiences is priceless. With so many websites out there competing for traffic it is imperative to make navigating your site as easy as possible. One of the new UX trends that is starting to pick up speed in 2018 is the personalization of websites for customers. This creates a more intimate experience, such as curating the homepage to show location specific products or content. Conversational bots are becoming quite useful to customers, with major brands such as Sephora using these ‘conversational apps’ to help increase customer interaction and shopping. Impressive results are starting to roll in, meaning people enjoy this time-saving feature by asking a question via a bot rather than spending time to find a phone number. If you have an ecommerce site, these bots can give your customer support a great boost.
Of course, content is still the core of a website. The job of content on a site is to answer questions and get people the information they need without having to dig or click around a lot. That said, the number and different types of content offered on a site are becoming very important in addition to on-page content. For example, video content is very useful today since YouTube is the second-biggest search engine after Google. Social media Is another important area of content, especially with Facebook and other platforms becoming points of search for people to learn about brands or businesses. Regular content posted on social platforms goes a long way these days. White pages and infographics both help customers understand more complex information. Downloadable PDFs or white pages are a great way to craft a branded piece of literature someone can share while also giving the reader more time to digest information about your brand or service. Blog articles are another type of content that can help boost authority and thought leadership. Finally, podcasts and webinars allow a site to add to thought leadership and authority by broadcasting content. It is also easy for mobile users to access. Webinars in particular give people a platform to ask questions and learn more about specific products and services. Think about adding different mediums and types of content to sites to make them more robust and accessible via different mobile platforms.
The world of search, UX and SEO are always changing, but staying on top of the latest trends helps make a successful website. Take all the above into consideration while working on a website to foster positive change. Staying true to your brand and market while also keeping up with latest trends in order to stay ahead of competition is a win for both the website owner and its customers.