Local SEO Trends To Watch In 2018

If you want to maintain your edge online, it’s important not to sink into complacency when it comes to the traffic your site receives. While it might be getting loads of traffic today, there is no guarantee that this traffic won’t be diverted tomorrow.

For this post, we had a chance to sit down with Tobias Gillberg who has a Miami SEO company, and according to Tobias there are the trends we should be looking out for in 2018! 

The Year of the Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants like Siri are nothing new. What is new is that voice searches have been made easier across a range of different browsers. That, and the advent of technology like the Amazon Echo, means that “Google it” takes on a whole new dimension.

Around one in five searches already are voice-based rather than typed out. If you want your website to remain relevant, you need to take cognizance of the fact.

This means incorporating more long-tail keywords and ensuring that the language that you use more closely matches that of your target audience.

So, let’s say that you have a gas station in Los Angeles. When drafting your content, you would refer to it as a gas station. The owner of a gas station in Johannesburg in South Africa, however, would use the term “petrol station” instead.

Think of the search terms your audience might use and incorporate those.

Link Building

At one stage in time, you could link your site to just about any other website, and this would help to improve its credibility in the eyes of a search engine. Now the search engines have become more sophisticated. They evaluate the sites that you are linked to and also how relevant they are to your site.

When it comes to link building in 2018, therefore, you need to be more discerning about the sites that link to yours. This means looking for quality sites to link to and ensuring that these sites are relevant to your own.

If there is no real value in linking to the site, or if they do not help your site to build credibility, don’t link to them.

Part of what will be important in 2018 is to start looking at guest blogs. The credibility of the blog will also come into question here so be sure that the blogger is not one that will come across as having questionable links. Your site’s reputation could suffer if you choose the wrong blogger.

A Better User Experience

Google will also be evaluating sites in respect of the user experience that they deliver. This means that you could be penalized or having a site that takes longer to load, or one that is confusing for the user.

How does Google measure this type of thing? By seeing how long the average user spends on your site. If they spend less than thirty seconds on the site, Google will “think” one of two things – either the content wasn’t relevant, or the site was too difficult to navigate.

In either instance, Google will assume that the user experience was bad and so mark your site down.

They will also consider how adaptable the site design is when it comes to different devices. A site that can be as easily used on a mobile phone as it can be used on a laptop will score higher points than one that does not.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets can be highly important when it comes to building page rank. For these to be successfully featured on Google, you will need to ensure that the content meets the standards Google has set in this area.

This means providing high-quality content and consistent information. The better the snippet that the visitor sees in the results, the more likely they are to click through to your website. Make sure that the content is relevant and expertly drafted for best results.

Getting this right can pay high dividends for SEO purposes. Making sure that Google picks up the right snippets is essential. Try having a Frequently Asked Question section so that Google can zone in on the right content.

Getting Mobile Ready

Companies have been focusing on making sure that their sites look good on a desktop or laptop and then adjust that template so that it works on mobile as well. The focus should now be reversed, however.

Phones offer an easy and convenient way to access the web and are becoming more popular than computers when it comes to searches. Companies that harness this trend are the ones that will be able to maintain their edge.

People want to be able to get information easily while they are out and about. This means that mobile searches will become ever more important.

Visual Searching

People want to find the easiest possible way to conduct searches. What is easier than snapping a picture on your phone and running a search based on that picture?

While some e-commerce sites like AliExpress have had this option for a few years now, it is starting to gain popularity with search engines like Google and social media sites like Pinterest as well.

This means incorporating visual content that is rich and engaging.

Machine Learning and AI

Artificial intelligence has vastly changed the way that we do things already. Google filling in the search terms for you based on what you have typed is one area where machine learning already comes into play.
Search engines will be better able to work out which sites are truly credible and which ones are using artificial SEO-boosting techniques.

That’s why it has become more important than ever to focus on the quality of the content that you provide. Remember this golden rule – if you wouldn’t be interested in the content provided, why would it be useful to potential clients? Provide something that you might pay money for instead of rubbish.

2018 looks set to become an interesting year for those in the SEO game. SEO is evolving, and so it is essential for businesses to start evolving their strategies in line with the changes. Focusing on gaining high quality, organic traffic is going to become more important than ever before.

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