Usually, people spend the days leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve thinking about all the good times they’re going to be having with their loved ones.

However, for those of us who are involved with content marketing, those days are also spent thinking about how we’re going to tackle our SEO strategy in the upcoming year – specifically what SEO trends 2018 will bring.

The problem with that is that it can keep you from fully enjoying the holidays since it’ll always be at the back of your mind.

While the whole family and your friends will be sitting around the table toasting and enjoying a delicious meal, you’ll be thinking about the SEO stats you just read the other day, and how they’ll impact your web traffic.

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Well, I’ve learned my lesson from last year, so I did some preemptive research this time around. I’ve also decided to share my findings with you all so that you’d get to enjoy the holidays the right way for once.

So, here’s my personal take on the main 3 SEO trends 2018 will have in store for us:

1. The Mobile-First Index

Back in June, Google made it clear that they’re working on this index, and that it would most likely make an appearance at the start of 2018.

Regarding how it works, I’ll put it in Gary Illyes’ (web-master trend analyst at Google) own words: “It only means that we’ll look for mobile content first.”

So, definitely a good reason to provide website visitors with 100% mobile optimization.

Plus, think of it this way: Even if by any chance Google doesn’t deploy the mobile-first index in 2018, focusing on mobile optimization first and foremost will still be a win for you.

How come?

Well, just recently, research has shown that approximately 57% of online traffic (which includes search engine queries) comes from mobile devices.

Providing top-notch optimization means you’ll be offering a great user experience (which also influences SEO), and you’ll be covered when Google will end up releasing their new index.

In a nutshell, voice search allows people to use a search engine by speaking into their mobile phones or desktops. Google’s Voice Search program is one of the most well-known examples, alongside Siri and Cortana.

That definitely sounds nice, but just how relevant will voice search be for SEO in the future?

Well, consider this: 40% of adults use voice search at least once per day. What’s more, around 50% of consumers who use voice search rely on it when looking up products.

Another bit of info worth mentioning is that approximately 28% of people believe that voice search is more accurate – not to mention more convenient, as users can rely on voice search while driving, for example.

Without a doubt, it’s definitely something to keep in mind for the upcoming year. If you’re looking for some tips, here are some things to consider:

  • Instead of thinking about what phrases users might type in to find your website, start considering what questions they might recite out loud to their voice assistant.
  • Your content will have to reflect the reader’s natural language, meaning the writing style should resemble a conversational tone.
  • You’ll also need to start focusing more on long-tail keywords. Unfortunately, until Google will add a new feature to their Search Console Analytics, you’ll have to keep an eye out for natural-sounding queries when checking your website analytics to find the keywords you need to target.

I also recommend using voice search yourself – at least until you become familiar with how it works, so that you can better understand how your website visitors might use it.

Visual search means that, instead of using long-tail keywords, some users might start looking up specific topics and products by uploading an image to a search engine. It’s similar to Google’s Reverse Image Search but more in-depth.

Bing was quick to act on this, and – back in June – they announced they’ll be working on adding visual search features to their search engine. Users are now able to use a visual search button (a magnifying glass symbol – quite appropriate) in the “Detail View,” which displays a visual search box on the photo.

Afterwards, they can drag the search box over the visual item they are interested in. Bing will then run a visual search to offer the user matching products.

SEO Trends 2018

Google has also made waves with Google Lens. Basically, mobile users will be able to take a photo of anything and get relevant info through Google Lens. And that relevant info can also include related search engine results.

Overall, like voice search, it would make looking up things online more convenient and straightforward for people.

What would this development mean for your SEO strategy?

That quality, detailed visuals will definitely be a must in 2018 (and the years to come). You won’t be able to get away with simply using a low-tier stock photo with basic design (or, worse, no visuals at all) if you’ll want people – especially buyers – to find your content on search engines.

You’ll either have to spend some time to find decent copyright-free photos, pay for them or – why not – take your own photos (the best option in my opinion).

These are the most noteworthy trends I managed to come across while researching this subject – in my opinion, at least.

Naturally, I’d also be very open to hearing what other trends you’ve heard about or researched. In fact, the whole community might be looking forward to hearing what you’d have to say about this.

So, feel free to let us know about any other trends we should keep an eye out for during the next year.