Website Magazine Recap of 2018 SEO Trends & Predictions
Many of the organic search trends that were anticipated to be influential in 2017 have been slow to gain genuine traction and usage in enterprises while for others the same trends have become a core component of their business operations.
Forecasting trends is no easy business of course; it requires a certain level of familiarity with an industry few possess and even when based in quantitative data can prove difficult to keep pace with and be innovative and effective in the face of many enterprises.
There are literally hundreds of "SEO trend" roundups floating around the Web this time of year but for the most part, they tend to share the same few predictions even though they have used different data and may have different business experiences. The producers of these prediction pieces, however, are intimately familiar with their industry so gaining a broader view of their predictions on the trends can prove useful. Why? Well, because knowing could help you prioritize projects, invest your resources (time and financial) wisely, and accelerate more quickly toward success with digital initiatives.
Immediately below you'll find a recap of the areas most often mentioned in this year's crop of SEO predictions and some interesting articles published recently that provide confirmation of their importance.
MOBILE OVER DESKTOP
With mobile devices playing such a central role in the digital experience today, enterprises must develop versions of their pages that are viewable in any possible format. While AMP has been slow to gain traction with SEO professionals and Google seems to be struggling with managing it somewhat, the best course of action moving forward appears to be continuing to use techniques such as responsive design and continually testing new versions to ensure optimal accessibility.
STRUCTURED DATA RELIANCE
A recent announcement from Google that they're now supporting longer meta descriptions indicates search engines still need business data and enterprises have an incredible opportunity to provide it in a variety of ways. Usage of Schema markup, for example, can provide a powerful SEO advantage and has long been discussed at Website Magazine. As evidenced in most of the prediction pieces SEOs are encountering today (including those below), the use of "rich data" is increasing in importance thanks to search results which reward pages that take advantage of the approach.
The rise of voice-enabled smart devices has not gone unnoticed by search engine optimization professionals. Coupled with recent data showing that the types of questions search engines are providing answers for are broadening (to include more "how" questions for example), SEO professionals who are forward thinking enough to capitalize on the voice search trend stand to benefit the most. While still very much a nascent marketing technique and development approach the rewards can be immense.
SEO workers have numerous responsibilities but one of growing importance is how they help to manage the user experience. This increasingly means focusing on technical aspects including security, site architecture, accessibility, etc., just as much as the creative. Those enterprises that deliver better (more targeted and personalized) experiences in formats consumers want (video, interactive, etc.) and when they want it (social, local, search) are those best positioned for success.