How important is SEO in 2018?
As we head into another year, we want to evaluate the importance of SEO in 2018. Not surprisingly, we believe SEO will continue to play a huge role in your digital marketing strategy.
However, you need to understand the best practices of SEO in 2018.
To help you, here are the biggest strategies you can use in 2018 to increase the value of your search campaigns.
After all, 81% of businesses research their purchases on search engines. Additionally, 61% read product reviews prior to making a purchase.
With so many people using search engine to research their products makes it an important part of next year’s search strategy. Here is how you can incorporate SEO into your 2018 marketing plan.
5 Ways to Incorporate SEO in your 2018 Marketing Plan
1. Voice Search
Smartphones changed how we search for information online. It also affected how we search, as we started to use our voices to query information in addition to text searches.
As technology improved over the past few years, an increasing number of users search for content via voice search.
Currently, Google says 1 out of 5 searches are voice queries. Google even shifted their focus to intent rather than pure keywords for search because of voice searches.
They understand when someone searches with their voice they search differently than when they type on a keyboard. If you look at the intent behind their search you get a better understanding of how to help them.
Many search engine marketers struggle because they still look purely at keywords to improve their rankings. However, marketers in 2018 will look to incorporate keywords and natural search together.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Natural search leads us to the next part of your 2018 SEO equation: artificial intelligence. As users improve the way they search, search engines need better ways to interpret this information.
With over 1.2 trillion searches operating on Google every year, this is a lot of data to analyze. Both Google and Bing turned to artificial intelligence to interpret the results. As users continue to ply Google for every question imaginable the search engines intelligence grows.
If you want SEO to be important for your company in 2018 you need to study artificial intelligence to make sure your site ranks for the right topics.
3. Featured Snippets and Quick Answers
Google uses artificial intelligence combined with Schema data to help users find the best information for their needs. Two particular uses for this are Featured Snippets and Quick Answers.
Featured Snippets consistent growth over the past few years helped it become a major part of local search strategy. According to Ahrefs, out of 112 million keywords they track in the US, 14 million have Featured Snippets in their results.
In other words, 12.29% of searches have Featured Snippets.
One thing to be aware of when work with Featured Snippets is they do not get as many clicks as standard search results. A number one Featured Snippet ranking drives in 8.6% of clicks on a page. The first result usually gets 19.6% of the results on the same page.
Comparatively, those keywords without Featured Snippets ranking first garnered 26% of clicks.
At the same time, not only do Featured Snippets appear more often on search. They also steal clicks from top ranked websites.
Featured Snippets is not the only new method to dominate the search rankings. Many companies also use Google Answer Box to drive traffic.
Google Answer Box takes advantage of Schema data to answer quick questions directly on Google without having to click on another website.
A side benefit about Google Answer Boxes is they still increase click-throughs to website by 32.6%. Most users read the information, and occasionally want more. To get that information they then need to click on the website.
You get them with a little nibble of information then they come to your site hungry for more.
To use these tools, you need structured data. Google’s Structured Data Tool helps you describe your website page to the search engine. They use this information to decide which results would yield the highest number of clicks for your website.
4. The Rise of Video
Every year experts tell us this is the year of video. The year where video will grow. The thing is video already dominates the internet.
Video will continue to expand their dominance in 2018 through SEO. This means you need to have a video element to your SEO strategy.
Focus on creating quality videos that show the quality of your brand. Make sure the visual elements enhance the experience, so users watch the video longer.
Furthermore, make sure the message matches your brand and audience. Nothing worse than an informative video no one wants to watch.
The more views, likes, and shares your video receives, the more search traffic you can receive. It turns video into a traffic generating strategy.
Video is one part of content. However, if you want SEO to be important for 2018 you need to look at a diverse array of content options.
Content includes videos, articles, reports, product reviews, website copy, and a host of other content types. The wonderful thing about content is you have numerous options to create great content for your business.
The key is creating original and interesting copy. Whether that is a video, podcast, or blog post is up to you. How can you best convey your message and get that content seen by a larger audience?
If you focus on what your audience wants, you have the core share of your search strategy in 2018.
As you start to look at the importance of SEO in 2018 you need to focus more on what strategies will work in the year to come. SEO constantly changes, so the important strategies of yesteryear might not work.
However, when you focus on new strategies revolving around understanding the intent of user search and how they search for content you find better answers to whether SEO is important in 2018.
In the meantime, let us know what you think will be the best SEO strategy for your business in 2018 in the comments below.