seo 2018
August 22, 2018

SEO in 2018: What You Need to Know

Few things on Earth evolve as fast as SEO. With each new year comes a new set of algorithm updates and challenges to solve, if you want your business to continue standing out online. As a Orange County SEO company,  GreatLike Media we are here to help with that.

Here’s what’s shaping the SEO landscape in 2018:

Mastering CTR (Click-Through Rates)

Ranking high for relevant keywords is great, but it’s only part of the equation. The other part is actually turning those searchers into visitors (getting click-throughs). And if you want to succeed in the 2018 SEO landscape, you absolutely need to master CTR.

Organic CTR is down considerably in the last year or two, especially as Google crowds out the search results with “Featured Snippets” in the form of answer boxes and carousels, often designed to answer user questions right on the results page. Just try searching terms like “what is a geoduck” or “when was the Taj Mahal built”, and you’ll see what we mean.

Now more than ever, your results need to scream “click me” if you want to convert those potential customers. The good news is that this is likely a problem your competitors are facing, too. Enlisting SEO marketing professionals can help you to sharpen your sales pitch.

Mobile-First Indexing

Toward the end of 2016, Google announced that they would gradually start prioritizing mobile results over desktop ones. It makes sense – at the time, a good 60% of all searches were already coming from mobile devices, and that number is only projected to grow. As part of this effort, Google’s ranking priorities are shifting in ways intended to better serve their mobile audience.

Preparing your website for mobile-first indexing requires changes to both content and your site’s structure. Make sure the topic of each page is immediately clear, clean up redundant writing, and be sure to remove any content that’s incompatible with mobile devices (e.g. Flash videos). And speed is a bigger priority than ever. Mobile visitors have no patience for slow load times or poor usability, so don’t give them a single reason to hit that back button. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to quickly evaluate your website and get recommendations for improvement.

On the architecture side, you need to ensure that your site is using responsive design to dynamically display content in a visually pleasant way, based on the visitor’s screen size. No more dedicated mobile sites (think – these have frequently shown to offer a poor user experience, especially when there are content mismatches between the desktop and mobile versions of a website.

Voice Search

It’s not clear whether voice-based search will exactly turn the world of SEO on its head, but its popularity is rising incredibly quickly. As of mid-2016, 20% of searches were already voice-based – and comScore predicts that number will rise to over 50% by the year 2020.

Voice search is relatively new and ever-evolving, so optimizing your content for it is still a bit tricky. But there are a few things we know about the ranking algorithm that can be applied to websites like yours. For instance, if your content exists to help people answer certain questions, it’s helpful to ensure that your content actually contains those questions, generally as a header right before the answer is given.

Remember above when we talked about featured snippets? Earning those is particularly important here, because that’s where virtual assistants (especially Google Home) tend to source their voice search results from.

Looking for an SEO expert in Orange County? GreatLike Media is an Orange County digital marketing agency that specializes in custom web solutions for business owners large and small, right here from our Irvine offices. Contact us for more information, and let us know how we can help you thrive.

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