So finally you are here to read about the best SEO practices for 2018.
First of all we all should know that SEO has changed a lot since it started and keep on changing.
It is not so easy to rank higher on Google as it was in early ages of SEO.
Good thing is all these changes are happening to give us good and relevant experiences on web.
You won’t find these best SEO practices in any book you purchase from bookstore because algorithms of Search Engines are changing day by day and that is why
I am writing this blog post to give you something advanced apart of the basic SEO trends.
What are the new SEO trends in 2018?
How to rank higher in 2018?
In this blog post i have listed 10 SEO trends you should follow in 2018 in order to achieve good SEO results.
Here is the list of 10 SEO trends I will be discussing further in this post –
- Long Tail Searches and Natural Language (Voice Searches)
- Keep AI and Machine Learning in Mind
- Focus on Rising Visual Searches
- Focus on Mobile Friendliness more
- Focus and Optimize Featured Snippets
- Schema Markup
- Improve User Experience
- Link Building is still there but in another form
- Create Long Blog Posts
- Link Less Mentions
There are some older and unchanged SEO trends coming from 2017 in this year as well and some of them are new.
Link Less Mentions and Voice Searches used for Digital Assistance are something very interesting which will blow your mind if you are really interested to learn about them.
1.) Long Tail Searches and Natural Language (Voice Searches)
Because 20% search queries are Voice Searches already, we need to focus on how people are searching on Search Engines.
Our SEO efforts should reflect in 2018 that we are producing Voice Search friendly content.
Keeping user intent in our mind we should always use questions and answers in our content because Voice Searches are generally in the form of questions.
When we talk about optimizing the content according to Voice Searches we need to focus on Natural Language and Long Tail Keywords that match when user file a query via Voice Search Software.
For quick and relevant answers people are using Voice Searches currently in their mobile devices.
As it is becoming the need of the time we need to write the content by keeping user’s search intent in our mind.
With the time Digital Assistance will improve and more people will be using Voice Searches in their mobile devices.
As this Digital Assistance is growing continuously it is supposed to go beyond Smartphone Devices and that is why we should understand the advantages of using Long Tail Keywords and User Friendly Language in our content with questions and answers so that our content is findable when a user is filing any Voice Search.
2.) Keep Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning in Mind
Nowadays search engines are more focused on their Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) based algorithms. It is changing the way Search Engines work and show results.
It is very important for us to understand how it works and understands our content.
To show more personalized results and most relevant results to their users Search Engines are working on AI and ML continuously and so it requires an advanced SEO strategy which works well when Search Engines show results.
Google’s “RankBrain” is one of the examples of artificial intelligence based algorithm.
There is no Artificial Intelligence Optimization Technique available now for our websites but expected to come soon.
If you want to optimize your content for AI and ML algorithm like RankBrain you need to do following practices –
- Write a natural content, don’t write like machine
- Use a natural language in content and ask people if your content seems to be natural to them
RankBrain tries to identify new search queries and finds out the connection between different topics and results.
So it finds out the pattern and intent behind user’s different search queries and teaches itself new ways to serve relevant results like a human.
If user doesn’t find accurate results at the first time then next time RankBrain will display another result to satisfy user’s search query. (source – Niksto.com)
It means as long as you are writing a natural content like how a human does a conversation, it is fine.
3.) Focus on rising Visual Searches
Visual searches are very new in the industry and complex as well. Bing started its Visual Search algorithm and then Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and many search engines are using it now.
A clear example is Facebook which automatically recognizes Faces of individuals.
It is more than an image search and it requires more sophisticated algorithm. It directly converts image as a “search query” rather than text.
It clearly shows that internet is becoming more visually focused and we need to use this great opportunity to create content for future.
We need to create a content which has the optimized content for Visual Searches now.
All brands need to go beyond text and focus on their high quality and rich visuals more for better SEO.
4.) Focus on Mobile friendliness more
Recent study says that more than 57% of the web traffic is coming from mobile devices.
And you should care about this because keywords rank differently in Mobile Devices and Desktops.
In order to be first on mobile pages we should optimize our content and website for mobile because this is going to be the trend this year.
Mobile devices are generating more page views and if your page is not mobile friendly then bounce rate increases 5 times than average.
We need to focus on Google’s Mobile-First Index now. Earlier Google was considering Desktop Index as a primary factor but now Google has started indexing Mobile Sites first.
Google’s Mobile-First Index primarily considers the Mobile Version of the Website now and Desktop Version is secondary now.
Here is what you need to do –
- Make sure you have a Responsive Website
- Keep Dynamic and Mobile Friendly content on Website
- Use different URL for Mobile Site
- Verify your Mobile Site URL in Google Search Console
- Use canonical links for Desktops and Mobiles both
- Make sure that structured data is available for Mobile Site also
- Make sure that your Website’s Mobile Version is accessible by Google Bots and use Robots.txt testing tool to verify that
5.) Focus and Optimize Featured Snippets
It is about position ‘0’. To secure this position zero on Google we need to know how featured snippets work and what are they.
To gain Featured Snippet in search results you need to perform some special activities because Google considers several factors to give you position zero or a Featured Snippet.
Featured Snippets are there to provide you answers of some common questions in form of list. We can say that it is related to Voice Assistance.
Featured Snippets will be used by Voice Assistance generally as people are more likely to ask questions in Voice Searches.
We need to learn about the standards to be followed in order to gain Featured Snippets for our website.
Here are some factors listed –
- Provide answers of simple questions in your Website in form of table or bullet points. Specially what and how questions.
- Provide additional information like images, videos, graphs and charts
6.) Use Schema Markup
It is kind of Micro Data we add to a Web Page and it creates Rich Snippets, which appear in search results.
It was founded at schema.org and has been considered since 2011 by all search engines as an SEO signal.
When we add Micro Data to our Web Page they appear more effectively on SERPs and as the result we get higher Click Through Rates (CTRs).
We use Schema Markup for events, recipes, reviews, videos, businesses, products, and people.
It has become important to add Schema Markup so our Web Pages can stand out of the general search results to achieve higher attention and Click Through Rates.
Search Engines are changing their algorithm to provide more relevant information and in order to do so they like the structured search results where Schema Markup is used in HTML.
7.) Improve user experience
Search Engines take user experience as a strong SEO signal now.
Our pages should have more engaging content because Search Engines take this factor very seriously in ranking.
More engaging content is the signal of a useful content and thus Search Engines are taking it in consideration while ranking your web pages.
This is the list of few things we need to do in order to improve the user experience on our website-
- Monitor the loading speed. Users are less likely to stay on our Website if the loading time is more than 3 seconds.
- Have a Mobile Friendly and Responsive Design for the Website.
- Write Headings and Subheading properly so that user can understand your content better
- Make your site secure. Users and Search Engines both favor Secure Websites. Have a basic site security SSL and convert “http” into “https” Search Engines don’t like your Website when it is not secure and so users are also not ready to visit those sites.
- Use more images and videos but optimize the size.
8.) Link Building is still there but in another form
Getting good quality backlinks from good authority Websites is always a best practice in SEO. But the way Search Engines are thinking now is totally changed from what they used to think earlier.
Add links to the pages those are adding values to your Website or increasing its authority.
The successful strategy of SEO in 2018 will be building relationships and developing connections using links.
Guest blogging and including them into website without harming the reputation of your brand will be a challenge in 2018.
Google has already released a warning for those who use too many guest postings in order to develop links.
Google will keep an eye on the websites those are having too many links from guest posts now in order to control spammy and suspicious links.
It means we should have diversified links, should not over optimized anchor texts in guest posts, always consider link relevancy, use natural looking complete backlink profile and shouldn’t focus on single link that can give you powerful results.
9.) Create Long Blog Posts
Lengthy blog posts are always ranking higher on Google.
Because of these reasons-
- Google’s algorithm can understand your post intentions better
- Naturally you will be using keywords in headings and texts
- With more links and more pictures you can make your post more relevant
- You can rank for multiple long tail keywords and topics
Statistics say that the best length for your blog post is 2250 to 2500 words .Blog posts those are having word count around 2400 are getting more organic traffic in general.
The longer the blog post is the more the chances are to rank higher for long tail keywords because web users are becoming smarter day by day and they need specific answers of specific questions.
If we talk about social shares, blog posts with more than 2500 words are likely to get most social shares.
There is one more reason to create longer blog posts is to stand out from the other contents which under 1000 words on web in present.
It means longer blog posts have more information and knowledge and this is what Google wants.
10.) Link less Mentions
It includes mentioning your brand or business in any forums, news story, blog comment, social network, review, or video description without any link.
We should always remember that search engines are smart enough now to identify if a person is trying to spam with links or without links.
Search engines are able to identify that where our brand is mentioned and in which context or sentiment so that they can include it in their search results.
Their algorithms are getting smarter and smarter everyday and they are considering link less mentions to identify your brand’s connection with topics and keywords.
Traditional SEO still works and it will work. But when I talk about best practices in 2018 these are the trends we should follow in order to get more traffic and rank higher on SERPs.
There are so many new updates search engines are coming up with everyday. We need to follow the latest SEO trends always. If you follow above mentioned best SEO practices in 2018 you will definitely going to get higher rankings and increased traffic.
Thanks for reading the post