Search traffic has always been the most valuable resource for all online businesses. It is a fact that is verified by numbers. Here are a few-
- 75% of people who use search engines don’t scroll past the first page
- 14.6% that’s the closing rate of search engine leads
- 70% to 80% completely ignore the paid ads and move directly to organic results
But most of you are already aware of these numbers and also of the fact how important it is to rank in top ten results in Google search. The entire internet ecosystem is largely dominated by the aim of maintaining the first page SERP rankings at all cost. We all spend our day trying to soar up the ranking or to maintain our current position.
In 2018 however, there have been some changes that you might have missed. This post is going to all about these turnovers that are going to take place in SEO realm this year.
“This year video will be ruling content creation domain while voice search will start to set foot in SEO. Google will further its mobile-first indexing goal making mobile results its priority,” says Ankit Pandey, CEO of digital marketing firm SeoEaze.
Let’s take a closer look at these recent changes in SEO and how you can leverage these changes for higher rankings in 2018.
Video content will take precedence over text content
There’s a reason why YouTube is the second most used search engine in the world. Video content has always been a better alternative over written content simply because it’s more comprehensive. Now almost 55% of Google search results contain at least one video result. It means almost half of search results in Google have video embedded in its pages.
Some of you might argue that this is because some webmasters are using more videos than written content but experts say it’s because Google is actually giving more preference to video content. I won’t say it’s a huge surprise but this is a change you need to embrace as soon as possible.
As the sole owner of YouTube, it is a big advantage for Google to promote video content that will get them more revenues from YouTube.
Other than that 60% of searchers prefer video content over basic text.
The reason why video content ranks better than regular posts is that:
- Bounce rate of video content is 28% less as compared to basic text content, as videos prevent visitors from leaving the site immediately.
- Videos keep visitors on your site for a longer duration.
- Memory retention of videos is a lot better than text so visitors remember more from a video.
Video content engages people a lot better than text that makes them spend more time on your site all of which forces Google to rank your page better than the competition.
“All marketers should leverage this video-loving trend. The best way to do that is to start creating their own videos, but if they can’t they should at least use videos in their content,” add Ankit Pandey.
His suggestion makes sense as it is not difficult to find a video that relates to your content on YouTube.
Voice search entering SEO
How interesting are the products like Amazon Echo and Google Home isn’t it? Their rapid adoption has led to a 35x increase in voice search results since 2008. Today, 40% of adult perform at least one voice search every day.
You can understand the silent growth of the voice search from the fact that today all cell phone and home assistant devices have voice search incorporated in them. This has led experts to believe that by 2020, 50% of the searches will be voice queries.
Some webmasters still are in dilemma over the growth of voice search but Google has already hinted at the changes to come by introducing a better voice search reporting. During an interview, a Google analyst commented,
“I don’t know what the exact plans are there, but we have discussed something like that. To kind of make it easier to pull out what people have used to search on voice and what people are using by typing. Similar to how we have desktop and mobile set up separately.”
No one is yet sure how voice search will be making its mark in the realm of SEO, but one thing is for sure that 2018 will be the beginning year for voice search exploration.
To incorporate voice SEO, marketers need to target long tail keywords that are more conversational in their content as people tend to use more words when they are speaking than writing, as suggested below.
Voice search will further increase the importance of featured snippets as all products like Alexa, Echo and Siri tend to give featured snippets priority when responding to queries. Therefore, if your content is optimized for zero position snippets you will rank better for voice searches.
Mobile results will be a priority
This one is a no-brainer as Google explicitly came out with an announcement in March this year explaining the adoption of mobile-first indexing.
The year 2018 will see SERP ranking mobile results like never before and by the end of the year, the change will take effect in full swing. This is why it is very important for bloggers, webmasters and marketers to optimize their web assets for mobile-first indexing.
As you can see a larger portion of SERP results are already different on desktop and mobile for the same keywords.
Good news is you don’t have to worry much about this rollout as a Google representative suggests,
“If you have a responsive site, then you’re pretty much good to go. Because the content on your desktop site will be pretty much the same on your responsive site. The structured data on your desktop site will be the same. There is going to be slight differences in how you present the data, but we’re trying to be prepared.”
How faster will you adapt to SEO changes in 2018?
SEO is all about ranking on the first page in Google but getting there and staying there are two entirely different fights.
You need to be on your toes to adapt to SEO changes and this post has listed what changes you need to embrace in 2018. If there’s a change we have missed, do share with us.