The world of Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO as you may know it) is fast-moving and constantly shifting thanks to new technological advancement.

Computers are getting faster by the second, innovation is reaching new heights, and consumer expectations are higher than ever.

This is why it’s so important for your business to take advantage of proper SEO strategies; this is what will allow you to stay on top of your competition and maintain your place within online searches.

As the new year comes into focus, new SEO trends are beginning to present themselves. Some (like hyperlinks) have been integral to SEO for years but are now requiring new techniques, whilst others (like AI searches) are brand new and revolutionising the industry as we know it.

But what these top 6 SEO trends all have in common is that they are extremely important points of consideration when crafting your own SEO strategy.

Here are the trends expected to reach peak popularity in 2018:

Voice Search– This type of searching gained lots of traction in 2017, and is only expected to increase from here, as it’s a popular search option for mobile Internet users. The best way to optimise your SEO for voice searches is to integrate natural keywords. Basically, you want to write in a conversational tone (i.e. the way that your readers will speak and search for).

Long tail keywords that are specific to your products or services are also helpful for maintaining relevance within voice searches.

Visual Search– In this day and age, we are reading less but looking more. We’re living in a visual world where a picture is much more appealing than a string of text. Queue visual searches. This essentially just refers to when you make a Google search and hit the Images rather than the Web tab or when relevant photos appear alongside snippets of a site.

Images are useful for consumers because they want to see the goods before they buy. Images are also processed by the brain quicker than text is – further increasing their appeal.

To fully optimise your images for visual search and user experience, you will want to:

  • Avoid generic imagery; create unique images and graphics
  • Only use photos that are relevant to your text
  • Ensure proper image sizing
  • Use high-quality, high-resolution images
  • Add captions
  • Change image file names and alt text to include descriptive and keyword-centric titles

 AI Search– As we’ve said before, searches led by Artificial Intelligence are shaping the future of SEO as we know it. As this practice takes hold, website creators and business owners must be ready to keep up.

The best way of doing so is by staying informed about AI search innovation and catering your searches to human versus computer analysis. This means avoiding black hat SEO (because it’s neither ethical nor fruitful) and instead adopting more natural tactics.

 Quality Links– If you’re well versed in the world of SEO, you probably know that hyperlinks on your site are detected by search engines and therefore may increase your search rankings.

We say may because the effectivity of your hyperlinking is largely dependent on the content you are linking to. Search engines are smart enough to know when you are linking to spam and/or unreputable sites, and this technology will only continue to improve in the coming year.

Instead of resorting to black hat tactics…

  • Focus on highly relevant content associated with your primary keywords
  • Ensure that the location of the sites you link to is appropriate for your readers
  • Utilise the help of guest bloggers (this will also benefit you by sending referral traffic back to your site)                                                                                                                                                   5. Optimised User Experience (UX)– The Internet is such an integral part of most Australians’ everyday life that we take for granted just how easy it is to use… until we come across a slow-loading, dated website that reminds us of our dial-up days.

This mistake is guaranteed to keep visitors off your site and therefore dramatically sabotage any other SEO efforts you enact. Google can also assess web page loading speed; anything longer than 30 seconds will cost you (especially on mobile).

Combat this by ensuring smooth, quick UX for your website that’s adaptable to any platform and interface.

While sites should be optimised to suit all sorts of user preferences, mobile optimisation is particularly crucial, as this is currently the most popular way for users to access the Internet.

Intentional Copy Formatting– Google is now integrating “rich snippets” into their search results. These are composed of bits of content found around the web that are formatted to easily answer the search query.

(We’re talking bullets, lists, numbers, FAQ’s, reviews, etc.)

Content that features the former contains unique bits of code that are picked up by search engines and therefore will appear more readily in search results.

As a result, more readers may click through to your site simply because your content looks more appealing and readable.

Are you ready to boost your SEO strategy in 2018?

Then you can’t afford to ignore these top 6 tips and trends. And for even more professional web development and SEO assistance, contact the team at Search Marketing Group today!