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SEO Changes to Expect in 2018

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Online marketing has changed a lot since the early days. Getting your content to the top of search engine results is no longer a simple matter of stuffing in enough keywords. Keywords do still count, but the search engine algorithms have become a lot more sophisticated over the last few years.

The goalposts always seem to be shifting. It has never been more important to have a solid marketing strategy. You can boost your business by offering discount vouchers and promos, like Amazon and eBay, do on a daily basis, but you need to do more than just that.

You need to anticipate changes that might affect your SEO results. If you don’t, you will only notice a problem when it’s too late – when your traffic drops. In this post, we look at some of the changes to expect in 2018 so that you can be prepared for them.

The Mobile Search Index

This is the year where Google is said to be rolling out a mobile search index. This will take priority over the standard index when it comes to how well the site loads and performs. The idea is to make sure that this index prioritizes sites that will translate well onto mobile devices.

So, if for some reason you have not made sure that your site is optimized for different devices, now is the time to do so.

The Move to Natural Language

Keyword usage is still a highly popular SEO technique. But expect things to change a lot now that voice search is being more widely adopted. This means that the use of natural language when devising keyword phrases will become a lot more important.

Artificial intelligence is making it easier for search engines to interpret what people are saying. It is predicted that in just two short years, around about half of all search could be voice searches.
You need to start adapting now by focusing more on natural language and semantic search so that you can score more highly in future. This basically means using longer-tailed keywords that make the intent of your site crystal clear to the search engine.

Expect Less Predictable Results

Traditional methods to improve SEO are becoming less and less effective as machines become more intelligent. Search engines today are something like a child that understands how a trick is performed. They are no longer fooled by it and can recognize it as a trick straight away.
How do you compensate for this? By upping your game. You need to ensure that your content is stellar and interesting. The search engines are relying more and more on statistics like user engagement over sheer volume in traffic.

So, while clickbait may get someone onto your site, if they click off again too fast, it will continue to harm your search engine rankings.

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Visual content has been important for a while now. Videos or photos are a lot more likely to be shared on social media. Search engines are tightly lipped about the effect that increased social sharing has on rankings, but it makes sense that this is an aspect that is taken into account.

Even if visuals have no effect on SEO results, the fact that they are a lot more likely to be shared over social media makes them an important tool. The more eyeballs you get on social media posts, the more likely you are to get good traffic to your site.

The key to visual content, however, is to ensure that it fits your brand and brings qualified traffic to your site. A cute video of cats will get a lot of likes on social media, but it is not likely to bring qualified traffic to your site unless you sell cats or cat-related products.

Be sure to start including a visual strategy in your overall marketing plan and when developing your strategy of going forward, it is important to focus on building a strong brand by producing top quality content. That will do you a lot more good in the dynamic SEO industry than any kind of keyword stuffing exercise.

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