Seo industry approaching $80 billion but all you want is more web traffic

Google & the wider industry have dropped many hints as khổng lồ what will have sầu the biggest impact in 2018. With all the noise, it can be difficult lớn see where to lớn put your focus.

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With that in mind, here’s our take on the seven most important truths you need khổng lồ accept along with the biggest SEO mistakes you need to lớn avoid in the coming year.


1. Google’s mobile-first index is already here

Originally announced in năm 2016, Google has already started rolling out their mobile-first index. This essentially means that Google will rank thiết bị di động versions of nội dung, or whatever nội dung would perform best on điện thoại devices, over non-di động nội dung. This has been a long time coming, especially since Google reported that more searches are made on Smartphone way back in 2015.

However, Google has confirmed that websites that are not ready for the mobile-first index won’t be moved across just yet. In other words, you have sầu a bit more time lớn prepare your website.

Here are some focus points khổng lồ help get you there for 2018:

Create consistent content for Smartphone and desktop users. This means not hiding or creating different nội dung for specific devices.

Site speed vs. search engine ranking, via Neil Patel

2. You can’t neglect the influence of machine learning

Briefly, RankBrain is Google’s machine learning system that measures how searchers interact with their results pages. As one of Google’s top three ranking signals, RankBrain helps it determine search rankings along with content & backlink quality.

In 2018, put focus inkhổng lồ two areas that RankBrain analyses to help determine rankings – clichồng through rates và dwell time.

Optimising your organic click-through rates can provide significant gains. High-ranking từ khóa with poor CTRs in the Search Analytics section of Google Search Console are vulnerable khổng lồ losing their rankings. Prioritise từ khoá in the top 5 with CTRs below 10% & refine with more enticing titles & mô tả tìm kiếm tags.

Dwell time is the period between clicking on a page in the Google search results & returning baông chồng to the tìm kiếm results – very similar khổng lồ bounce rate, but only taking the user’s return lớn the SERP into lớn consideration. As an indicator khổng lồ RankBrain of user intent & engagement, take the time to lớn identify pages within Google Analytics with high exit rates from organic visitors. Address the chất lượng of the content and intent match to lớn better retain searchers.

3. You can’t over-rely on guest blogging for links

Above all, it’s important to rethành viên that SEO is primarily about nội dung và links. This isn’t going to lớn change in 2018, và the recent study below confirms this.


Number of backlink vs. Google position, via Backlinko

Content must be at the foundation of your liên kết building strategy. If your content is bad, you won’t get links. It’s that simple.

If there’s one area of focus for 2018, it’s don’t rely heavily on churning out guest posting. While building links through guest posts still works và will continue lớn be effective sầu in 2018, a return of one or two liên kết for each article may not warrant the investment.

Instead, focus on creating content for your own site that has the potential lớn be picked up by influencers in your industry and adds real value. We’re drowning in nội dung và it’s often khổng lồ see dozens of blogs covering the same topic with the same level of depth. If you"re not adding anything new, why would people liên kết to it?


Via Brandwatch

Use 2018 as the opportunity to lớn start adding real value to your audience. Also take the time to:

Identify existing nội dung that has gathered great results, and make it better. If there’s an authoritative article on link building in 2018, why not turn it into an Infographic or an interactive sầu piece? Both Buzzsumo và Ahrefs provide insight into lớn what nội dung has gathered decent traction. Export the data, và pichồng out popular pieces that could be updated or improved on.Scan knowledge bases & community hubs such as Quora. Listen out for common frustrations that your target audience shares, & create nội dung lớn remedy them. Also consider investing in a social listening tool such as Hootsuite to gain further insight into what’s hot, và what’s your audience is talking about.

Traditional sources of links building are still relevant and still get results. So be sure khổng lồ monitor and capitalise on native sầu & competitor broken link và brvà mentions.

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4. It"s time to lớn kill your thin, poor quality content

It’s always important khổng lồ remember that Google’s objective is to show searchers the best result, & the algorithms keep changing khổng lồ serve sầu that objective. This will continue to lớn be the case in 2018 & beyond.

There is a clear correlation between content depth và rankings, as shown in the findings of a study undertaken by Backlinko below.


If you’ve sầu noticed key pages slipping down the rankings, it’s important to lớn address depth, và whether it’s still relevant. It’s also very likely that someone else has done a better job at addressing the topic since you wrote it.

For in-depth pieces such as guides & articles, always aim for 2,000 words, & kill any nội dung that’s old, irrelevant & doesn’t contribute anything khổng lồ your website in terms of authority and traffic. This is known as pruning, và I highly recommkết thúc auditing legacy content khổng lồ find pages that don’t make the grade (i.e., no little to no organic traffic or links). However, always attempt to lớn improve the content before cutting away completely.

5. You must actively optimize for featured snippets

Nearly 30% of Google’s tìm kiếm results contain a featured snippet according khổng lồ a recent study undertaken by Stone Temple. In addition, Stone Temple’s study revealed that featured snippets significantly impact the CTR’s of traditional organic search results below them.

More SERPs are being dominated by featured snippets, knowledge graphs & rich snippets as Google continues to lớn generate a more visual information source beyond the traditional organic results. Throw text ads, product ads and image results inlớn the set, & your organic listings are going to slide further down the pages.

Here are some actions you can take to lớn ramp up your content’s visibility in featured snippets:

6. Voice search shouldn’t be an afterthought

Voice tìm kiếm has been the one lớn watch since 2011, but the increasing adoption of virtual assistants và smart speakers have upped the game significantly. It’s been reported that voice-enabled smart speakers will reach 55% of US households by 2022.

If voice tìm kiếm isn’t on your agendomain authority, take a look at these statistics:

For those relatively new lớn voice tìm kiếm, here’s a few tips to lớn best optimise your nội dung for voice search:

Buy a virtual assistant or smart speaker such as Google Home or Amazon Eđến if you haven’t already lớn get a handle on exactly how they work.As previously highlighted, invest time in optimising content that currently ranks on page one khổng lồ appear for a featured snippet.Use tools such as Answer the Public to identify conversation queries & create new nội dung around these.Structure relevant content to include a question & answer. This would particularly apply to lớn blog posts & FAQ nội dung.

Google has hinted that they will be introducing better voice search reporting to Search Console. Hopefully we’ll see this come khổng lồ light in 2018 along with more granular voice search reporting in Analytics, perhaps.

7. Video is a necessary investment

Video has exploded và well & truly really taken off in 2017. This is reflected in some mind-melting industry statistics, including:

45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week

In a recent study by STAT, the number of Clip carousels appearing in Google’s SERPs has nearly doubled.

Video carousels per rank via STAT

What does this mean? Google is paying more attention khổng lồ video & placing it in prime real estate on the SERPs. If you’re not currently embracing video sale & incorporating it into lớn your strategy, now is the time khổng lồ step up your game.

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There are many opportunities to lớn explore for đoạn phim, including:

Explainer videosProduct demosVideo testimonialsVideo bloggingLive video clip such as webinars and interviews

Don’t just stop with YouTube. Create và giới thiệu video content on other platforms such as Vimeo and Dailymotion. Share on social truyền thông media platforms Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn as they continue to better accommodate video clip in user feeds. Above all, take more opportunities to lớn drive visibility and attract natural liên kết with đoạn Clip.

How is your SEO strategy evolving in 2018?

About the author

Tom Whiley is Head of Demvà Generation at e-days Absence Management, a global SaaS solution providing simple employee holiday and absence tracking. 

Chuyên mục: Công cụ tìm kiếm