It doesn’t matter if it’s a family meal; a trip to your local shopping mall or a long awaited vacation, planning ahead is always a good idea. And planning your search engine optimization strategy is no different. But things change fast on the World Wide Web. Internet giants like Google and Facebook have a habit of moving the goalposts just as everyone has settled down to watch the game, which makes it hard to keep up to date with the latest SEO developments.
This is why it’s important to recognize and implement both existing and upcoming trends in the field of SEO. So, to make things just that little bit easier, we’ve put together this list of 7 features leading digital marketing companies like edkentmedia consider to be the biggest movers and shakers in the world of search engine optimization, right now and in 2018.
1 Backlink Building
Building good, quality backlinks that add value to the consumer experience is one of the key ways you can show Google you have a trustworthy website. Care should be taken to ensure you link only to reputable sources and not just flood your copy with links that take your visitors to multiple directories. Backlink building should play a crucial role in your SEO strategy, and in 2018 will become even more critical if you’re looking for a top position in Google’s rankings.
2 Fast Loading Mobile Pages
Most of us hate waiting too long for a web page to load, and so does Google. In fact, the search engine behemoth hates slow pages so much they’ve introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open source project that enables mobile browsers to load individual pages 4 x faster than regular pages, while using 10x less data. AMP may not be a ranking factor as such, but faster loading times will cut your bounce rate, which in turn will boost your website up the Google charts.
3 Leverage Voice Search
More and more users are accessing the web via spoken commands. And in 2018 their number is set to grow exponentially. Your SEO content strategy should incorporate new keyword phrases with a more conversational tone. For example, the keyword phrase ‘downtown Toronto restaurants’ is more likely to achieve good results if it’s written in a way that sounds more natural, such as ‘Where’s the best place to eat in downtown Toronto?’
4 Optimize for Mobile
It was back in 2015 when the number of Internet searches with smartphones first overtook desktop searches. The trend is set to continue and rumors that Google is already experimenting with mobile-first indexing only proves that the future will indeed be mobile. If you don’t have a responsive website that works on mobile phones, tablets and other mobile devices you run the risk of losing a heck of a lot of potential customers and clients. Owners of e Commerce websites, in particular, should ensure visitors can scroll smoothly and efficiently through their product listings.
5 Build Your Brand
2018 will see a lot of companies and businesses undertaking measures to strengthen their brand presence. Having your brand listed in top rated SERPs (search engine results pages) means consumers will be more likely to use your services or buy your products. It can also open up opportunities for collaboration with other companies and organizations in your industry or niche. And while your performance on social media sites doesn’t necessarily play a part in Google’s ranking system, Facebook, YouTube, and co. are all excellent vehicles for spreading the word about your brand and should be utilized accordingly.
6 Increase Visualization
In 2018, a picture will still say more than a thousand words. Which is why including videos in your SEO strategy is a valuable tool to get, and keep, visitors onto your website. Research has shown that people tend to attach a much deeper meaning to rich visuals and elements they can interact with. As a result, the use of a well-produced video in your brand message will earn a lot more likes and shares than even the best ‘word-only’ copy.
7 Invest in Content
Filling your webpages with boring, rehashed copy isn’t going to win you any fans. Hiring a professional writer to produce high quality and original articles, reports, product reviews and descriptions will establish a solid brand presence and provide visitors to your site with real value.
Digital technology is becoming more sophisticated and globally accepted every day, which means that now more than ever, businesses and brands need to engage and interact with their target markets. Of course, there is a lot more you can do than using just these seven features, but as a heads up, they are a pretty darn good place to start.