Voice search and more – the predictions that will affect almost every search marketer in the year ahead. Here’s our SEO team’s top 5 predictions for the world of search marketing in 2018. Make sure they align with your search strategy.

1. The Rise of Voice Search

With 20% of Google’s queries coming from voice search, and this figure only set to rise, smart marketers are looking to develop ways in which they can tailor their SEO strategies for voice search.

That means integrating natural speech patterns into your online content, using conversational tone to pick up on everyday nuances and to answer those ‘I want to know/go/buy/do’ moments.

Consider using long-tail words to attract the conversational user and, with many users opting for voice search on-the-go, place even more emphasis on mobile.

2. Featured Snippets and Answer Box

Google’s new approach to show direct answers within their results page, continues to rise in popularity.

Ben Goodsell reports that the click through rate on a featured page actually increased from 2% to 8% once placed in an answer box.

Brands need to start thinking about optimising their website content for answer boxes by providing quality content and formatting it in a way that provides answers to question type queries and responds to users’ informational search needs to increase traffic from search results.

3. The Rise of Visual Search

Major tech companies including Bing, Pinterest and Google have already invested heavily in developing powerful visual search engines in a bid to capitalise on this new development.

With real-time visual search rising in popularity, brands need to start optimising their visual content in order to be found in these moments.

4. Mobile First

Google has slowly started to roll out their mobile first index, ranking sites first based on their mobile content as opposed to their desktop content as has been done previously.

Mobile optimisation has always been important, but it will now be even more crucial for brands to not only have a fully responsive site fit for mobile, but also a mobile site which hasn’t been ‘dumbed down’ content wise from its desktop counterpart.

5. User Experience

Google has always made it very clear that their focus is on the user.

But as SEO moves towards more relevant and personalised experiences, user experience will become more important than ever. So you may want to review how well your user can navigate your site to achieve their own goals rather than just yours.

So, if these five trends aren’t accounted for in your search marketing strategy for 2018, you’ll want to think about taking another look at it, to avoid being left behind.

 

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