2017 in Digital Marketing and Forecast for 2018
2017 has just ended, and there’s no better time to wrap-up the year in digital marketing. In this post we will cover the main trends that ruled 2017 in search engine optimization and try to forecast the trends that will rule 2018.
Top SEO Trends in 2017
Although Google announced years ago that mobile usability is an important ranking factor, but with Google moving gradually to Mobile-First Index, now you must make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
Site speed is not only an important ranking factor, but also a key part in the website’s usability (which is an important ranking factor by itself). So if your website takes longer than 5 seconds to load (or 3 seconds according to Google’s recommendations), the average visitor would probably not stick around.
- Voice Search & Digital Assistants
Voice search became more popular and more reliable. According to Google, one of five searches is a voice search.
- Zero Ranking
In 2017 Google search results continue to evolve, causing the number 1 ranking, previously the holy grail of SEO, to disappear in the blend of local packs, featured snippets and other types of listings.
- Structured Data & Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets improves click rate, and as long as the search results are move varied and complicated, implementing structured data will give you an edge over your competitors.
- Local Search
For local businesses, ranking at the Local Packs search results is more desirable destination than the number one position, and in 2017 Google improved the local search results and added more information about businesses, from live updates on crowdedness to average waiting time.
- Less Links
The traditional link building is slowing down, if not extinguishing, and it may be replaced with linkless building, i.e. search engines can already relate between a website and its (linkless) mentions and to assess its authority accordingly.
5 SEO Trends for 2018
- Google AMP Project: with AMP standardization and the rise in demand for fast mobile sites, we can assume that AMP’s popularity and importance will grow in 2018.
- Voice Search Optimization: in 2018 you won’t be able to ignore voice search and you’ll be required to optimize your content for spoken search queries as well.
- Visual Search: as the internet becomes more visual and the image recognition technologies get smarter, we are about to see more visual search tools in search engines, social media and online shops.
- Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Google introduced RankBrain back in 2015, and in 2017 extended its activity to dozens of new languages. We expect to hear from Google about more new developments in that area.
- Usability: the relationship between UX/UI and SEO is expected to tighten in 2018, and Google are expected to continue preferring sites that offer a pleasant user experience.
- Social Media & SEO: Although Google continue to deny any impact Facebook Likes has on search engine rankings, the relationship between SEO and social media cannot be denied. Even if social media is not (yet) part of Google’s ranking algorithm, successful social media activity leads to more links, brand awareness and high CTR, which all improve rankings.