As most of us know, search engines are continually advancing their algorithms to keep up with other digital technologies, aiming to continually provide a better experience for their users across all platforms and devices. This can be a blessing and a curse, as it does tend to create a lot more work for digital marketers, but the end result is an easier, more elegant experience for our users (and ourselves).

Check out three of the most recent technological advancements that we think will have a big impact on organic SEO in 2018 and beyond.

Voice Search:

With the rise of home and mobile assistants such as Siri and Cortana, voice search is going to be a big player in terms of organic search traffic in 2018 and onwards.

Voice search as a technology isn’t all that new, but as online assistants become better and better at understating different nuances in language and phrases, we have to step up our game to match!

As content producers, business owners and marketers, we need to get more conversational in our approach to the content we provide. For example, voice search queries are more likely to be much longer and in full sentences/questions rather than in broad and/or individual keywords.

Featured Snippets:

Featured snippets are all about real estate. Featured snippets, no matter the kind, take up more space on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and are usually shown right at the top of the page. Due to these factors, Featured Snippets can push the 2nd and 3rd results below the fold, especially on mobile, so they quickly start to gobble up a higher proportion of the click-through traffic.

Some of the most common Featured Snippets we see are Quick Answers & Articles. If you type a few questions into Google, you’ll see what we mean pretty quickly. An interesting phenomenon is that the Featured Snippet on the page isn’t always taken from the highest ranking search result. Sometimes it’s the site ranking 2nd or 3rd that gets the Featured Snippet real estate.

Mobile First Index Rollout:

Google announced quite some time ago that they are working on a new mobile first index. If you haven’t heard of this before, it’s basically a completely separate index of the web purely for mobile search. We’re expecting to see search results differ on mobile and desktop devices more and more as each index becomes better targeted to the device it’s being searched on. If you ask me, I wouldn’t be surprised if we started to see a rollout of more mobile specific SERP features before the end of 2018.
So if you’re not already closely monitoring your website analytics and mobile vs. desktop metrics, there’s no time like the present. And by that we don’t just mean monitoring total mobile sessions vs. desktop sessions….

Here are a few other metrics you may also want to keep an eye on:

  • How many individual pages drove organic search traffic
  • Bounce rates
  • Average page per session
  • New users

Join the Conversation!

Is there a big SEO trend in 2018 that you think we’ve missed out? Let us know in the comments below 👇 or jump onto our Facebook page to share your thoughts with our team. If you want to take this conversation offline, then shoot us an email at rf@pn.com.au to organise a catchup.