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2018 SEO Predictions Made by Our Industry Experts

2018 seo predictions
15 Jan 2018

With a new year comes new SEO predictions, and our team has put together some of their best. From capitalizing on the influx of digital assistants to ensuring your website is secure to taking advantage of schema markup on the SERPs, here are our top 2018 SEO predictions:

2018 SEO Prediction: Voice and Digital Assistants Playing a Larger Role in SEO

From Alexa to Google Home to Siri and beyond, digital assistants are more than mainstream, and so is the voice search technology they use. This means that many users are no longer need to pull out their device and type in their question—they simply need to ask their digital assistant of choice.

As such, Tim Dugan, Director of Natural SEO, predicts that even though the core components of SEO will remain essential (onsite SEO, links, content, page speed, etc.), how we optimize for these users, and this technology, will change. He points out that Google has been improving their ability to understand natural language, and digital marketers need to optimize their content accordingly.

What You Can Start Doing Today

Dugan points out that now is the time to “consider a more holistic approach to your content strategy.” Instead of focusing your digital marketing efforts on very specific keywords, concentrate on how people actually speak. These are the best ways to target your SEO for voice search:

  • Implement long-tail keywords that answer more specific queries.
  • Choose keywords that answer who, what, when, where, why, and how in a conversational way.
  • Incorporate an FAQ page on your website, with the questions worded how people would ask them to their digital assistant. Then, answer them with clear, informative answers.
  • Take the time to research your users’ needs and then provide content with the solutions.
  • Remember to incorporate local SEO, since many voice searches are looking for places nearby.

Why does all this matter? With the standard SERPs, the user is shown an average 10 link options after the first query. With digital assistants, only one answer is given. Don’t you want that answer to be from you?

2018 SEO Prediction- HTTPS Protocol in 2018 Will Be More Important Than Ever For SEO

We have mentioned before the importance of having an SSL certificate installed on your site, but our Digital Marketing Strategist, Evan Hoeflich, believes that in 2018, it will become a non-negotiable. He adds, “This is especially relevant now that certain web browsers such as Google Chrome are beginning to mark all HTTP websites as ‘Not Secure,’ which can have a direct impact on visitor behavior as well as conversion rates.”

Additionally, it is rumored that Google favors sites that are secure. Many websites have reaped the rewards of higher rankings after making the switch. In fact, Dr. Peter J. Meyers of MOZ predicted that before long, 65% of the sites on page 1 of Google would have the HTTPS protocol, and this number is only expected to grow.

What You Can Start Doing Today

Converting your site to HTTPS should become a top priority starting immediately. With both the SERPs and Chrome taking notice, there are sure to be many others following in their footsteps. Not only that, but if you are collecting personal data, it is the ethical thing to do. The good news is that getting an SSL certificate is relatively inexpensive and simple, the bad news is that it is considered an entirely new website. That means implementing the proper 301 redirects is critical if you want to maintain your current URLs and page rankings.

2018 SEO Prediction: Schema, Website Structure & Feeding Google Info Will Play a Bigger Part

Have you ever searched for a “Top 10” and received the list right in the search results? Or asked a question and had the most relevant answer featured? Maybe you googled “bitcoin price” and received the USD to BTC converter right at the top of the page. That is all structured data markup, or schema, in play. And recently, Google increased the meta description limit to 300 characters, which is just one more sign that Google’s mission is to keep its users right on Google instead of having them click away.

Considering this, Ricky Weiss, SEO Strategist, believes that websites that provide Google with valuable information (a.k.a. websites marked up with schema) are more likely to rank in the first three positions for a search term or phrase. While traditional SEO elements, such as title tags, meta descriptions, and H1 tags, will still be important, if sites take the time to implement schema, they will be rewarded. The bottom line is that schema tells Google what your data actually means instead of just what it says, so it becomes more valuable to Google.

What You Can Start Doing Today

There is an abundance of schemas available to use, including things like movie times and restaurant information to events and products, and so much more. Check out Schema.org and see which ones are relevant to your industry. Create a list of the pages of your site and try to find a schema markup option for each one, if possible. You will also want to make sure any contact details and ratings are up-to-date, because even with schema in play, if those are not accurate, you may not be shown as often.

 

2018 is sure to be an incredible year for digital marketing. Online usage only continues to grow, and technology continues to improve, and we can’t wait to see what is next. At Zero Gravity Marketing, we always stay ahead of the digital marketing trends to make sure that you are prepared for any advancements in the industry. If you want to get started on any of these 2018 SEO predictions, contact us now. We would love to help you beat your competition to the punch.