January 17, 2018

SEO Trends In 2018: How To Get Ranked Higher On Google

It’s a new year, and that can only mean one thing: new ways to think about SEO.

Search engines are always evolving, of course. Google updates its algorithm several hundred times each year, though most of the changes are quite minor. And although it’s been a while since we saw a major shake-up to established SEO principles, there are always little clues as to where search is heading – and how we can help your business stand out better than ever.

Take a look at a couple of notable ways our Orange County SEO company experts at GreatLike Media suggest to boost SEO in 2018:

Focus on Voice-Friendliness – Especially Earning Featured Snippets

Conventional SEO wisdom would say that the best way to get noticed online is to earn the top organic ranking for your target search term. So it might shock you to learn that there’s another approach you can take – one that might soon rival the importance of having the #1 spot on the results page.

We’re talking about “featured snippets”, those blocks of on-page content that sometimes appear at the very top of Google search results. They’re a relatively new addition, and usually serve as an attempt to provide an instant answer to a user’s query. While you can’t specifically mark content to be used as a featured snippet, there are ways to adjust its structure and formatting in order to improve the chances of being selected.

To understand why featured snippets are growing in importance so quickly, we need to take a look at a fast-rising trend: voice search. With virtual assistants (like Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant) blowing up in popularity, and ever-better voice recognition software on mobile devices, the number of searches being made with voice commands is skyrocketing. Back in mid-2016, Google announced that roughly 20% of searches were already voice-based. comScore predicts that number will rise to over 50% of searches by the 2020.

Why is this relevant to the topic of featured snippets? For one reason, it’s because Google often looks to the content in featured snippets when sourcing its voice search results. Structure your site with the goal of earning more snippets, and you’ll be taking a huge step towards getting your content into searchers’ eyes – and ears.

Implement Structured Data

What is structured data? It’s a special way of formatting your HTML, using a standardized set of vocabulary that tells search engines how to interpret and present your content. It’s what allows the display things of like cards, graphs, and breadcrumbs – taken from your website and shown right there on the results page. These formatting attributes were selected by the big search engines back in 2011, and supported by the initiative

If you aren’t familiar with structured data as a concept, you’re not alone. Although has been around for quite a while now, a study published last year by Bing found that only 17% of marketers reported using Schema markups in their SEO strategies.

Structured data isn’t thought to be a ranking signal, so it probably won’t directly cause you to rise in the rankings. But implementing structured data will make search results from your site more visually pleasing, and can thereby increase your click-through rate significantly – and it’s well established that an increase in clicks does boost rankings.

With shockingly few marketers taking advantage of structured data formatting, 2018 is the perfect time to get ahead of your competition. Opportunities to stand out like this don’t come around every year.

Looking for an SEO expert in Orange County? GreatLike Media is an Orange County SEO company that specializes in custom web solutions for business owners large and small, right here from our Irvine offices.

Get in touch for more information, and let us know how we can help you thrive.

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