The end of the year is almost upon us, and soon we’ll be bringing in the New Year, hoping for good fortune and new beginnings. Yet, aside from the New Year’s resolutions and January blues, 2018 (like every past year) will bring in new challenges and trends for people to try their hand at and conquer.
In the world of SEO, though, you need to be prepared for the potential game-changing SEO trends that could arise in the New Year. To be prepared, you are ready to adapt your digital marketing campaigns and dominate the scene, possibly before your competitors, making your business become the one to beat. So, if you’re looking to up your SEO game, here’s the ultimate guide to ruling Google’s search results in 2018.
With every new algorithm Google releases, one factor is constant – your site must be user-friendly and offer something of worth to your readers. For Google to determine a site’s rank, they use RankBrain (an artificial intelligence (AI) program) to simply measure how users interact with the search result and then rank them accordingly. As Google continues to refine its algorithm, RankBrain will become even more important in 2018 and years to come.
To fully utilise RankBrain, though, you must first understand how it works. RankBrain focuses on two things:
1. Dwell time – how long someone spends on your page.
2. Click-through rates – how many people click on your result.
RankBrain focuses strongly on dwell time, and a website’s dwell time can greatly impact a site’s rank. It’s believed that the average dwell time for a top Google search result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds. To improve your site’s dwell time, you need to draw people in through simplistic and pleasing design; your content should be simple, digestible and knowledgeable; you should also have internal linking to keep people interested as they click from one page of your site to another.
However, for people to ‘dwell’ on your website, you first need them to click-through to your site. To increase your number of organic click-through rates (CTR), invest time in title tags and have keywords embedded in them; write useful meta descriptions; optimise your URLs.
Fast Loading Times
This isn’t exactly a new necessity. In fact, keeping tabs on how quickly your website loads should constantly be on your ‘to do’ list. Google expects your web pages to load in under 3 seconds – that’s quick – and many websites don’t actually abide to this timing. Although many websites are tolerable, there’s always room for improvements. If your website manages to load in 3 seconds or less, then you’ll greatly improve your CTR and possibly your dwell time.
After the release of Siri in 2011, many people were sceptical of voice search and believed it was a novelty function that wouldn’t amount to anything. However, with the rise in popularity regarding Voice Assistants (Google Home, Amazon Echo being the most notable), you need to adapt your SEO campaigns to factor this growing demand. This means adapting your keywords (think conversational long-tail) and FAQ pages. For more information on this topic, though, make sure to visit our blog post dedicated to voice search.
SEO is ever-changing. To dominate your industry, you must implement the best digital marketing strategy possible. This means keeping track of upcoming trends, adapting to them and persevering.
Image courtesy of: searchenginebay.com