Brittany Reis St. Louis
November 24, 2017

Breaking Down SEO Trends for 2018

What Changes Will SEO Trends see in 2018?

As the last quarter of the year comes to a close it’s time to start thinking about what changes we might see to SEO trends in 2018.

SEO is changing every day and there’s nothing we can do about it – content that was once ranking is no longer on the first page of Google – and if you don’t adapt, your content will become less visible to the audiences you’re trying to reach.

So, here are some predictions on what SEO trends we might see in 2018.

SERP Features

Getting your how-to, Q&A, lists, tables or graphs in the SERP Featured Snippets (also known as “position 0”) should be added into your SEO content strategy for 2018.

According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show Featured Snippets.

Here’s what Google has to say about featured snippets: “When we recognize that a query asks a question, we programmatically detect pages that answer the user’s question and display a top result as a featured snippet in the search results.”

Even though there is no guaranteed way of having your content in a featured snippet, the need for a strategy on how to optimize a site’s content to meet Google’s standards for Featured Snippets is important. Your strategy can be as simple as writing content that answers your user’s questions.

Voice Search

“Hey Siri, search for news regarding [topic].”

In 2018 desktop searches will likely decline, and voice searches will continue to rise.

If you’ve ever had your hands tied, you know that the quickest way to search is with your voice and a digital assistant. For example, if you have an Apple product, you may have asked Siri to search for news regarding a recent event. Your digital assistant will search the web to find the best content that relates to your keyword, and pull up content you want to see.

For those who once thought voice search was a fad, it’s time to wake up and look at the statistics on voice search usage:

  • “1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries.” – Google
  • “40% of adults now use voice search once per day.” – Location World
  • “25% of 16-24s use voice search on mobile.” – Global Web Index
  • “19% of people use Siri at least daily.” – Hubspot
  • “45% of those who have used AI personal assistants said they’ve used Siri. 33% have used Google Now. 27% used Microsoft’s Cortana. 10% have used Amazon Echo or Alexa.” – AYTM
  • So, what’s the reasoning behind this switch from using a web browser to voice?

  • “Humans can speak 150 words per minute vs type 40 words per minute.” – Katherine Watier
  • “28% think voice search is a more accurate way of searching.” – Katherine Watier
  • “21% don’t like typing on their mobile phone and so turn to voice search.” – Katherine Watier and Statista, 2015
  • What does this mean for your content plan? Content marketers will need to focus on long-tailed keywords and use a ‘natural tone’ to reach audiences who use voice search. ComScare predicts that voice search will reach 50% by 2020, and we’re not that far away.

    Link Building While Building Relationships

    The need for quality linkbacks was all the rage in 2017, and we can expect this trend to continue into 2018.

    Yes, quality linkbacks are important, but not all links are created equal. If you’re not getting referral traffic from a site that you’ve already collaborated with, then it’s time to rethink your content strategy all together.

    In 2018 SEO will be about building relationships with websites that align with your content. Take the time to do your research about potential companies or publishers you wish to contribute to.

    By using outreach tactics such as email, phone or in-person conversations, you can make your intentions clear about what you wish to get out your relationship. State what you’re willing to do for them, and how you’re going to help their business grow. No business relationship should be one-sided.

    Google’s RankBrain

    Google announced RankBrain, an AI that helps Google filter and sort search results by simply measuring how users interact with search results, how much time they spend on your content, and the percentage of people who click on your result.

    As your organic CTRs continue to grow, your content rank position increases too. It’s essentially a win-win.

    Add Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords to Your Content

    What are LSI keywords and how can they help your content rank higher and reach further?

    LSI keywords are words and phrases that are strongly associated with your targeted keyword.

    Google’s RankBrain will scan through your content to determine if you’re knowledgeable in the topic you’re covering. For example, if you’re covering a topic about depression, you may want to include LSI keywords like “mental illness,” “signs of depression,” “natural remedies for depression and anxiety” and “coping with depression.”

    Essentially, you’re adding additional keywords and tailored phrases in your content to help you rank higher in search engine results without the keyword stuffing.

    In Conclusion

    Traditional SEO will still be effective in 2018, but it’s still very important to adapt to future SEO trends if you wish to see your CTRs grow and your rankings climb.

    We can’t quite predict what SEO will be like tomorrow, but we can predict what the future of SEO will show as it continues to add new tools to the marketing mix.

    Resources

    Search Engine Watch (Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018)
    Search Engine Land (8 game-changing SEO trends that will dominate 2018)
    BackLinkO (The Definitive Guide to SEO in 2018)
    WordStream (The Ridiculously Smart Guide to Boosting Your Organic Click Through Rates)
    Campaign (Just say it: The future of search is voice and personal digital assistants)