3 Important Trends That Could Shape SEO in 2018

With every passing year the algorithms used by Google and other search engines grow increasingly more complicated, taking into account new factors and altering existing rules. While no one really knows for sure what 2018 will hold, there are a number of trends that have been gaining ground steadily throughout 2017 that are likely to play an important part in shaping it.

Out of these trends the three that seem to be the most important are:

  • SERP features

Over time Google has gradually integrated numerous different types of SERP features into its listings, including knowledge panels, featured snippets, and localization packs. These features occupy a prominent position on the listings that they appear, and that has a profound impact on SEO.

The fact of the matter is that SERP features can help, or they can hurt. It is important that you optimize and position your site so that it could be listed in a SERP feature. On the other hand if you’re targeting keywords that have an existing SERP feature, it is likely to reduce the traffic that you gain from ranking on that keyword.

  • Voice search and digital assistants

Recently Google reported that of its users over 55% of teens and 40% of adults used voice search daily. That should give you an idea of how fast voice search has grown – fueled in part by the popularity of digital assistants that rely heavily on it.

The reason voice search is important is that it represents a fundamental change in the manner in which people search for content. Individual and brief keywords are less important than long-tail full queries and SERP features tend to be read out as responses – so SEO is likely to shift to take onboard these changes.

  • Speed matters more and more

The speed at which websites load have long been a part of SEO, and it is starting to matter more and more as mobile traffic increases. Generally mobile users have even less patience than desktop users when it comes to waiting for websites to load, and search engines are starting to take that into account.

In line with that optimizing websites for speed and identifying potential bottlenecks or issues is likely to play a big role in SEO for 2018. Keep in mind though that if your website is under the 3-second mark that Google expects – your SEO is likely already affected.

Needless to say there are other trends that will probably have a part to play such as the continued growth of mobile traffic, linkless backlinks, and further personalization of search engine results. The three factors outlined above are definitely the ones you should have an eye on right now however, due to just how big a role they could potentially play.

If you’re trying to future-proof your dental SEO for 2018, you may want to start planning while taking into account that potential impact. Keep in mind there are no guarantees, but advanced planning is likely to help you stay ahead of the curve.

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