The driving force behind SEO in 2018 can be encompassed in one word: mobile. With over 60% of web searches now coming from mobile devices the entire search landscape is coming upon some major changes.
Google plans to launch a mobile-first search engine in 2018. And Apple has recently made some significant changes to Siri that will potentially have a big impact on digital marketers.
Apple Google and Voice Search
Apple has announced that text search results for its digital assistant Siri will now be provided by Google rather than Bing although image search results will still be powered by Bing. This development encompasses two of the most important areas of search marketing: voice search and mobile.
Their reasoning was that with voice search currently accounting for over 20 percent of searches the change will give users a more consistent web search experience with Google search and voice search information all being stored in one place. If Siri’s response is not adequate users will now be sent to a Google search results page.
The launch of the latest version of Apple’s Safari browser also brought some significant updates. They introduced “intelligent tracking” that will block third party cookies namely ad trackers from following users as they browse. That browsing data is used for retargeting and other behavioral ad targeting. The move sets Safari apart from Google Chrome in terms of privacy.
What Does This Mean For SEO?
There is no doubt that these moves will bring about major changes in SEO – but the core principals of mobile SEO will remain constant. Here are some tips for winning at that game in 2018:
- For voice search focus on the most relevant answer to a query to increase the likelihood that Siri will select your content. Optimize for natural language queries the way people talk out-loud. Good SEO marketers strive to answer the underlying intent of the query rather than simply responding through keyword matching. In this case a sophisticated SEO strategy should not need much alteration.
- Make sure that all your content is optimized for mobile. Your site must be fast and responsive. If people happen upon your website during a search and it is clumsy on a mobile device or slow to load they are going to bounce right off.
- User experience and content will always be king. If you have great design content and navigation visitors will stay. Search engines take site “dwell time” into consideration when they are ranking search results. Google launched RankBrain which analyzes how users interact with search results and ranks them accordingly.
- Focus on local search. Location-based searches are on the rise because people are using their phones more to find things near them.
- Constantly refine your approach as more information becomes available. Mobile and voice searches are still a budding area of search marketing so make sure you adopt a go-with-the-flow mentality and be prepared to adapt based on customer feedback and results.
Apple and Google’s recent changes are driven by a desire to improve the consumer experience. By delivering fast seamless content that is readily available they are trying to ensure that customers are getting content they want to see and engage with. If you adopt this mentality and make the effort to provide your customers with information that meets their needs you won’t be left behind.
Is your website ready for SEO in 2018? Contact excelerate Digital now to prepare your business for the future of digital advertising.