11 SEO Practices that Marketers Should Look Out For in 2018

The digital landscape continues to evolve, and digital marketers should always update themselves with the current trends to keep the competitive edge. Google always tweaks its search engine algorithms.

The following are the 11 most important SEO trends that digital marketers should be aware of so that you can craft a marketing plan based on these ideas.

Prepare for Google Voice Algorithms

Google voice search is growing in usage numbers. It is the future of search, and the company has been successful in reducing its speech recognition error rate. One thing unique to voice search is that instead of keywords, people use conversational sentences to do research. This means that your content should be optimized for Google voice search algorithms. Look out for more research into voice algorithms and technologies.

Accelerated Mobile Pages

 Soon, internet traffic from mobile devices will soon eclipse traffic from desktops and laptops. Google has even announced that it will prioritize the indexing of websites that are mobile friendly. Thus, it is critical that your digital assets are mobile friendly, i.e., fast and design responsive. Do a speed test on your web pages so you can identify the website technicalities that slow it down.

User Experience is Critical

Google now places a premium on website speed, and your search engine rankings could plummet if it loads slowly. The digital giant expects your web pages to load in less than 3 seconds. Check if your websites can meet this standard.

Aside from speed, other website statistics that Google collects are time spent on your site and how they interact with your content. Aside from strong content, your website should also be pleasing to the eyes so that users get attracted to navigating your site and learning more about what you offer. To enhance the user experience, make it easy to navigate and avoid annoying things like too many advertisements and pop-ups.

Backlinks and Mentions

One way Google uses to determine the authority of a site is the number and quality of backlinks to the site. Now, mere mentions of your brand will now be important criteria for search engine rankings. It’s critical that your company monitors your brand perception and mentions online and find ways to influence others to mention their brand in their content activities.

Search Engine Results are Now Personalized

One way search engine results are evolving is that the results it shows are now personalized. This is based on many factors including personal data about the person as well as their previous search activities online. This is good for web users and is an added incentive for digital marketers to try to rank well in the search engine results. When your site is often clicked by web surfers, your website becomes a preferred website for those users.

How Relevant is Your Content?

Your content must remain top notch to remain high in the Google search engine rankings. One way Google figures out great content is through comprehensiveness which they measure using Latent Semantic Indexing. This means that with all the web pages that Google has indexed, they know which terms are related and so they can predict when the terms are likely to appear together in a given context and content.

Also, they use data from best performing search results and analyze the similarities between them, one of which is the frequency and usage of specific terms. The higher your content ranks on these parameters, the more ‘comprehensive’ it is and will give you a boost in search engine rankings.

Artificial Intelligence

Google has been investing heavily in AI companies, and some of these technologies will be used to enhance search engine results. As a digital marketer, you should keep up to date with developments in this field and how Google intends to use the technology to enhance the algorithms governing the search engine.

Start Marketing Cohesively Across Channels

This means being present on different devices and platforms. An integrated marketing approach across channels will likely improve your SEO results. Part of this would also require you to invest time and resources to build a strong personal or corporate brand. Google is using algorithms to determine strong brands. A strong brand would show up higher in search engine results.

Rich Snippets in Search Engine Results

The results Google search provides is getting more comprehensive and richer. This means that strong content will show up in these snippets in search engine results. Your task as a digital marketer is to ensure that your content (in different media forms) should be strong and relevant so that you can take advantage of this SEO trend.

In SEO language, this is called structured data or schema markup, and there will be a future soon where you don’t need to visit the website of the company because you’ll get to see comprehensive snippets of their content.

You can do well in schema markup through the use of long tail keywords which can boost traffic and help increase your site’s authority.  Your content could get highlighted in featured snippets.

Understanding Your Customers is Key!

An important task for a digital marketer is to have a deep understanding of their target customers. On the SEO side, this means knowing what are they looking for online. It means you know what search terms or phrases they use. Knowing this will allow you to craft content optimized for those search queries. But make sure your content educates your target consumers. Make it comprehensive and evergreen. Make it the ultimate go-to resource on a specific topic. Not only Google will love you, but also your target consumers.

Blog Comments are Important

Blog comments are still in, and this sign of engagement will help you rank high in the search engines. Create content on your company blog that is fresh, and is interesting enough to compel reactions in the form of comments. This is an easy way to get backlinks and the beauty of comments is that there is a possibility of continuous exchange of ideas and other people can jump in when relevant.

Nicolas Finet

Nicolas Finet is the Co-founder of Sort-list.co.uk – an online solutions company which helps customers to find the best marketing agencies. Follow him on Twitter @nifinet!