I, for one, am so excited for this year. I have so many plans and ideas for 2018 and I can’t wait to see how this year will unfold. In 2017, I have met some wonderful people, got some wonderful clients and had so much fun running this blog and my business and I know that 2018 will just be so much better!
Naturally, with the new year, comes a lot of change, especially after spending some much time strategizing and goal digging. And it is no surprise that there will be some major SEO changes in 2018, thanks Google.
Still haven’t jumped on that SEO bandwagon yet? Here’s how to optimise your old content for SEO.
Below, I share the top 5 SEO trends you must take note of in 2018.
Voice search is changing the way we communicate. According to Google, 1 in every 5 searches are done through voice search, so naturally there will be a big movement towards optimising your content for voice search. When optimising for voice search, long-tail keywords will be even more important than it was before. Something else that will be really important is the use of natural language. And by natural language, I mean, language that we use in day-to-day conversations. I quite often see people optimise their content for SEO, and when they start adding keywords, they change the voice of their entire content piece and it reads almost robotic.
One thing I always tell my readers and my clients is that you should always focus on your readers/customers first. When writing, your reader/customer shouldn’t have any issues understanding your content. A well-written, easy to read and understand content piece will outrank a badly-written, keyword-stuffed content piece.
Personalised search results
Personalised search results and accuracy will go hand in hand! In 2018, search engines will display more personalised results to its users. These results will be based on your location, search history, interests, etc. and whenever you search for something on Google, it will show you a list of personalised results, curated just for you. Your search results could also include emails (if you are on Gmail) that only you could see. What does this mean for you? You will have to work harder on your SEO efforts so that if your reader/customer click on your content, chances are that search engines will display your website in the top spot in future search results of your reader/customer (for a related query).
Fast and Furious websites
Your website speed will have a big impact in 2018. Not only is speed a big ranking factor, but speed is also important for user experience (UX). The faster your site or pages load, the better it is for your reader/customer and the more likely you are to rank higher in search results. According to Google, the ideal site should load in less than 3 seconds.
The rise of mobile
I have chatted about how to optimise your website for mobile a lot, and this year, more than ever, mobile-optimisation will be HUGE! Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and that your content reads easy on a mobile (font/image size, spacing, etc.). If your website is not optimised for mobile, you could risk a decline in organic traffic (traffic coming from search engines) and risk losing out on sales or clients (money). Make sure that you implement responsive design on your website as soon as possible.
Death of the guest post?
Okay, so not really, but it is worth it to note that excessive link building strategies will likely be penalised in 2018. In an article about large-scale article campaigns by Google Webmaster, it reads:
“For websites creating articles made for links, Google takes action on this behavior because it’s bad for the Web as a whole. When link building comes first, the quality of the articles can suffer and create a bad experience for users.”
This means that guest posts that do not add any value could be penalised. When you consider publishing a guest post, always ask yourself: “Does this article REALLY help my readers?” If the answer is no (or even a hesitation), then do not even consider publishing this article. I always recommend always only publishing guests posts that help increase your brand awareness and that will be beneficial for your readers.
Also make sure that this article is exclusive to you and not sent to 100 others. Uploading duplicate content is a big no-no and you will be penalised.
There are a lot of marketers out there who send their articles to thousands of people asking to guest post in the hope that they can increase their backlinks. They don’t consider your readership and simply want a backlink to their site in the hopes to increase their search engine rankings. Publishing these guest posts could possibly be detrimental to your search engine rankings.
Personally, I don’t think there will be a HUGE change in SEO in 2018. Of course, there will be some important minor changes, but it’s nothing we can’t handle. Just keep working on your long-tail keyword strategies to stay competitive.
Some exciting news from my desk: In 2018, I will be adding a new SEO specialist to my team. By expanding my team, I will have more time to spend on social media (for growth, of course), this blog AND I will be able to take on more amazing clients.
Hi, I’m Imka Webb and I am the owner of Imka Webb Digital Marketing. I live in sunny South Africa with my husband and our beautiful daughter. When I am not helping businesses grow their online presence, I am reading or trying something new in the kitchen. I make a killer meatball and my cupcakes are to die for!