All digital marketers know that organic traffic is essential to an overall strategy. One of the biggest sources of this traffic is going to come from search engines, and Google in particular. There are hundreds of factors that go into what shows up on search results pages, and it is becoming more complicated each day. While there is no ‘one size fits all’ SEO solution anymore, there are a few things that we do know are going to be key in 2018. Look over these items and make sure your site(s) are ready to reap the benefits.
Page Load Times
Site load times has been becoming increasingly important over the past year, and that will continue into 2018. In fact, most people believe that search engines are going to be done just giving advantages to fast sites, and will begin more actively penalizing the slower sites. Take some time to run some speed tests and see the results. It may be time to consider a new hosting company, making some optimization efforts on your site, or taking other action to increase your site’s speed.
For many people, voice search still seems a little gimmicky, but that is actually not the case. Recent reports from Google said that 55% of teens use this feature every day, and adults aren’t far behind at 40%. Optimizing your site to rank well with voice search key words is going to be critical in 2018 and beyond.
Backlinks…Without the Links
Backlinks have been essential for SEO for many years now, and that isn’t changing. What is likely going to change, however, is the importance of ‘mentions’ without a link. Patents and comments from search engines have shown that they can now identify when a site or company is mentioned on another page, even without an actual link. For example, if I were to mention Ford Motor Company, Google would almost certainly factor that into their ‘trust’ rankings for SEO.
Mobile, Of Course
Of course, mobile is going to continue to become more and more important in 2018. If your site isn’t already optimized for mobile browsing, you are almost certainly going to see your traffic levels start to drop. More and more people are moving to mobile for most of their browsing, and in many cases, all of their browsing. Take advantage of this trend if you can!