Know the latest trends of Web Development and Design by reading this guide

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SEO and content have been an important factor in the brand building during the 2000s. With every month and year, the trends shift and decide whether you’ll rank up on search engines or not. Saying ‘it doesn’t matter to us’ in this era of throat-cutting competition is pointless. The best thing that the SEO Agencies can do is – staying updated with the latest trends and deploying them before each of your competitors.

That being said, here are the top 10 trends which will decide the fortune of SERP and SEO:

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1. Transition to HTTPS:

It began in 2017 itself. Google had hinted the site owners to make a shift towards HTTPS from HTTP. To protect the users from insecure websites, Google search algorithm now shows a visible danger icon and color.

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Additionally, the secured websites are given special preference in the search results too. If your most of the traffic is coming from Google Chrome, you will surely see a decline in people visiting your website, which is due to the decreased ranking and Google’s warning. It will also reduce the sign-ups and sales to a great extent.

As Google has rolled out these changes, the marketers and website owners will try to get the SSL for their or their client’s websites as soon as possible. So, there are fair chances of increase in the number of websites in 2018, making the shift from HTTP to HTTPS, i.e. from ‘red’ zone of defaming URL Bar to a secure zone, which could be trusted by Google and audience.

2. Voice Searches, NLP Implementations, and Digital Assistants:

Typing isn’t what everyone likes, and some are not proficient in this (if we leave out the young generation). With the increasing public reach and busyness of people, there has been a rapid increase in the number of voice searches. Google’s Allo and other voice assistants are also gaining popularity.

Moreover, Google says its 20% of queries come in the form of voice. So it is quite natural that the SEO algorithms’ focus has shifted to Natural language processing in these years.

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In 2018, we are expecting this SEO trend to grow at a faster speed, dragging the publishers’ attention to optimizing of content for voice searches. At the same time, you will see multiple digital assistance arriving and existing one’s refining, in order to serve you better.

To optimize your content for the searches made through Siri, Cortana, Allo, Alexa and other similar digital assistants, SEO Agencies will have to put more focus on the long tail keywords. Content creators and marketers have to give a thought that what a user can say while performing a voice search.

3. Content Optimization according to SERP Features:

First SERP feature was launched in 1996. Currently, we’ve 16 common SERP features to care about. If you are confused about these, rewind your search memories a bit. When you ask a question or search for some location, Google search results show small Google snippet or question-answer accordions before the other search results. Understanding now? There’s much more to these SERP features.

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As users trust these results and crawlers like the rich content, your website needs to optimize your content as per these snippets too. Adwords, shopping results, informational snippets, the direction of location, news results, review details, video results and knowledge cards are some of the most trusted SERP features, going to stay in trend throughout 2018.

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Hence, SEO Agencies and marketers should consider them important while optimizing the websites for the search engine ranking. You’ll not only gain more and more new visitors but the ROI will also improve if you focus on these SERP features.

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4. You’ll need Great Visual Content to Rank High:

With increasingly rolling out SEO updates and numerous (30 to 60) algorithmic changes every year, Google is ever-changing, as we all know. Visual content wasn’t Google’s first preference if we look 5 years back. Content was the king and here ‘content’ translates to ‘text’. But the things have changed now. Hence, the visual content is getting almost equal, or sometimes, more preference.

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Google’s preference is to rank the websites, delivering user-friendliness and ease of understanding (for the audience), on the top of search results. The researchers have implemented the machine learning and artificial intelligence tactics to increase the human-like thinking capacity of their algorithms. With this, the OCR techniques help the crawlers read the graphical text, statistics and other such visual content (Note: As crawlers can read them, they can rank them).

The conclusion is: More informative and innovative visuals will be counted as an important metric in helping your brand get good search engine ranking. The related descriptive HTML tags such as ALT for images, and more, also need your attention alongside.

5. Info Snippets will motivate publishers to post more Question-Answer Content:

The human brain is curious. We ask questions. And most of us do the same to Google. That’s the reason why Google was started featuring ‘People also ask’ section, which appears when you search something trending. That’s a perfect implementation of analytics. It looks something like:

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This question-answer snippet has got a lot of attention from marketers due to its efficiency. Every site prefers to get linked in the accordions, present in the information snippet. Do you still think it’s not going to be one of the top SEO Agency Trends in 2018?

To optimize the websites and content for these infoboxes, publishers will more likely add more FAQs (frequently asked questions), question-answer content in blog/article format and more forum postings will show up in the year. All in all, this SEO trend will introduce a plethora of QA-formatted content to help the people easily get their issues resolved.

6. Increased importance of Sitemaps, Personalisation and Structured Markup:

Google performs a thorough structural analysis of your website, in order to understand your focus field, audience, niche, content, and many such aspects. For this, the crawlers make use of the HTML and XML data.

Not only Google but every search engines prefer the Schema structured data for the purpose of studying the site structure. It means that it is mandatory (well, as per Google) for your website to have well-structured pages and sitemap in place.

Deploying a good structure will increase your chances to rank high, as well as appear in the SERP knowledge panels, boosting the CTR by 30 percent.

Apart from this, there is another SERP feature, for which you can optimize your content. That’s the personalized results, which are shown the Google users when logged in. These results are rendered as per the locations, contacts, shares, previous searches, and other such metrics. To influence them, you’ll need to improve your strategy and personalization techniques too.

7. More focus on LSI and Relevance:

With every passing year, the task of SEO is becoming tougher. More you try convincing the most intelligent and powerful brain of the world i.e. Google’s search engine, more it will introspect to dig deeper into your content, in order to decide the worthiness and notability. So the chances of getting penalized are more in 2018, than 2017.

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Latent Semantic Indexing is being used by search engines from years, but marketers and publishers generally put the forced keywords in the content. RankBrain Algorithm, which is said to be an AI implementation, is launched to find out how relevant your content is (for the query, made by a user). Therefore, the SEO Agencies will definitely focus more on content quality, readability, and other such metrics to ensure ranking high – for themselves and their customers.

8. The Mobile Factor:

This decade is undoubtedly mobile-first age. The major SEO SERP algorithm changes, rolling out in 2018 are related to the mobile AMP pages and other major mobile features. There are chances that Google will roll out its mobile-first algorithm very soon.

As more than half of the search engine queries and most of the voice searches are made using mobile devices, your website cannot (anymore) rank high if it is not mobile-friendly. It, at the same time, means that the hidden data (which shows up on clicking or hovering on the UI elements), will soon start getting more preference for the web and large-screen devices too. The whole concept indicated towards increasing demand of concentrating on the mobile-first layouts and other mobile-friendly features.

2018 is going to be crucial for those, who put mobile device as a secondary priority. Our advice is: Don’t be the one! Using the right SEO auditing tools, you can easily find out the major issues in your current presentation and layout. Implement those gathered details to rank higher in the mobile-first world.

9. Speed Matters A LOT:

How does your website ranks in the Pingdom Test?

We are asking this because search engines are going to rank your website on the basis of this matrix in 2018. Hence, it surely becomes a trend for SEO Agencies to latch on to. From content or links, from code to visuals, you have to optimize everything if you are willing to increase your search engine ranking. ?

Speed is a major ranking factor now, while always being the important user experience factor for your website. By increasing your website’s speed and page loading speed, you can also attract your current visitors to spend more time on your website.

If you’ve understood that the speed is crucial, you should ask your SEO marketers to suggest you the code and content optimization tricks as soon as possible, right?

10. Brand Building through Linkless Mentions:

No shadow of a doubt that SEO Agencies put their efforts in linking and backlinking the brands, but the fact is – half remain unlinked. Google understands this. So, the algorithm will now give equal importance to the linkless mentions of brands or words, as given to the linked text. SEO Agencies can, therefore, focus more on ‘real talking’ about the brands rather than mere link building.

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As a result, you may see lesser hyperlinks in stories, blogs, news posts, press release and other off-page online content. It is obviously the good news for many companies, especially if they get a lot of mentions but fewer backlinks.

Thinking what else may become an trend for SEO Agencies in 2018, apart from the top ten mentioned above?

  • Here’s a quick listing:
    • Search engines will implement more algorithms which use machine learning, analytics, and reporting. It will increase the user-friendliness of the search result and change the way how the search queries are solved today.
    • You may need to restructure your content according to the rich snippets, as it will significantly increase the CTR of your web pages.
    • To get additional advantages to ensure your ranking in personalized searches, you will need to get most shares and mentions by your customers.
    • Google will no more accept stuffed meta-tags, which means your site may face critical ranking issues very soon if you were doing that for years. So beware!
    • Focus more on brand building over link building, as SEO ranking algorithms are going to be really intelligent from 2018.

Conclusive Summary

2018 is going to be an important year for the search engine agencies, marketers, websites, blogs, you and us. Crawlers are becoming more human-like, and no manipulative content will now be able to win over them. The increasing shift towards AI and machine learning approaches have also initiated the wave of big change. To survive, SEO Agencies should solely focus on delivering great quality content and visuals. Nothing can help your site rank higher than this.

  • Future isn’t predictable and nor the Google’s strategies. What else the SEO science (yes, it is) may bring, no one knows. The search engine algorithm releases are half disclosed and a half, a secret. Better will be to keep your eyes on the latest release and SEO trends to understand how you can sustain on the top, in the SEO war.

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