Search engines will improve this year, and so will search engine optimization. That’s nothing to fear. But it is something to learn about.
Here are a few trends to look for. And remember, for the best in custom website management and search engine optimization, Print Killer Media is an excellent resource.
Voice search will improve
We’re all familiar with how clunky digital assistants can sometimes be. But they’ve improved radically since becoming commonplace, and they’ll only get better. Tereza Litza writes in Search Engine Watch:
This changes the search market and we’re expecting to see an even bigger shift towards voice search in 2018. When it comes to setting up an SEO strategy, the rise of voice search brings out the need to focus on more long-tail search keywords and a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone.
Gaming Google’s getting more difficult
Google is getting better at sniffing out useless content. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make sure your content meets search engine standards. According to Search Engine Land:
How do you make sure your content is comprehensive? By researching the top-ranking pages in your niche and looking for the features they share, just like RankBrain does. Clearly, you can’t do this manually for each term, so here’s a simple framework that uses WebSite Auditor and its TF-IDF tool.
In WebSite Auditor, jump to Content Analysis > TF-IDF and select a page. The app will go to Google’s search results, analyze the 10 top-ranking pages and calculate a TF-IDF score for each term used on each page. As a result, you’ll get a list of relevant terms and phrases, sorted by the number of competitors that use them.
Link building refinements
It will still be important to get coverage from other websites. But you need to take care that those sites are relevant. According to Search Engine Watch:
Link building is not expected to disappear in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to create a strategy that seeks out quality links. There’s no need to aim for new links if they don’t add value and help you build an authority in your target niche.
This doesn’t always mean that the best backlinks come from the most popular sites, but it’s still crucial to seek coverage from sites that are relevant to your industry. Referral traffic can still contribute to your site’s organic search rankings, while it is also useful to start thinking of link building as a long-term process.
A successful SEO strategy in 2018 will move towards relationship building, helping a brand develop powerful contacts and links that will be beneficial in a longer term.