February is upon us. No, we (unfortunately) won’t be discussing who we think will take home the gold in South Korea for the Olympics or the Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Oscars. Instead, it’s time to dive into our picks for the 5 biggest SEO trends of 2018.
1) The year of schema
Although schema, or structured data, has been around for some time now, a lot of websites skip including the markup entirely. While that may have worked for them before, there will be no excuse to be without schema in 2018.
With the continued rise of Google’s rich snippets and knowledge graphs, schema markup is becoming necessary to organic success.
Plus, schema can help you rank for position zero. Yes, you read that right! The chances of your article or content being included in the rich snippet are much higher if you include this nifty tool.
Still unsure of how schema works? Check out our Schema Markup 101 Guide.
2) “Hey Siri, how can my website rank higher?”
With the success of smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo, it’s no shock that voice search will be big in 2018.
With this emphasis on voice search, the SEO landscape will also likely see a shift in keyword trends. Search queries in the form of questions will reign, and the answer users receive will most likely be pulled from the rich snippet answer box. (Psst. Re-read trend #1 to learn how to win position zero.)
3) Mobile-first takeover
We’re sure you’ve heard it before. The mobile-first index is upon us. More than half of Google searches are mobile, and it’s continuing to grow. Mobile-friendliness is the name of the game.
With the impending mobile-first rollout by Google, steps have to be taken to ensure you won’t fall in rankings or lose traffic by being behind the curve. Make sure you read this and prep your site for the update.
4) The need for speed
Site speed has always been important to user experience. Google expects pages to load in less than three seconds. The big news is that site speed will officially become a ranking factor for mobile this year.
There are tools available to help you find areas on your website that have room for improvement. Google PageSpeed Insights and WebPageTest are worth checking out. Test these tools to find out what optimizations have already been made, as well as specific assets that can be optimized.
5) Linkless (gasp!) backlinks
It sounds crazy, we know. Yes, links have been an extremely strong trust signal for search engines for a while. However, linkless backlinks are emerging.
These unlinked mentions are slowly becoming an off-page signal for domain authority, and this once unheard-of measure of quality is going to become a lot stronger in 2018.
We’re excited about these emerging SEO trends. Share your excitement and ask any questions by tweeting us @Perfect_Search.