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Is SEO Dead? How Will You Rank in 2018?

22

NOVEMBER 2017

Search engine optimization (SEO) has kept marketing and content creation professionals on their toes over the past few years. In an attempt to stop system abuse, Google changed its ranking algorithm multiple times. Some of the latest changes that occurred in 2017 have left the optimization community troubled and worrying about the level of transparency on behalf of the world’s largest search engine.

Will traditional SEO die completely in 2018 and will it have an impact on other marketing approaches? What will its relationship with content marketing in 2018 be? Keep on reading to find out.

The Short Answer

The short answer is “no.,” SEO will not die in 2018 Search engine optimization will not go extinct any time soon. Rather, it will become a much more complex strategy, consisting of dozens of elements. The aim of SEO will be to ensure website quality, online reputation establishment and a positive audience experience. Marketers and content creators who manage to accomplish these goals will see positive results.

SEO is a transformer. While it will be here in 2018 and the years beyond, chances are that its nature will change. Content marketing in 2018 is going to be more relevant when it comes to optimization than ever before. A few other trends and techniques will also have to be explored in relationship with effective website optimization in the future.

Photograph by TierneyMJ via Bigstock.com

Content Wins Every Single Time

The phrase content is king has already become a cliché in the optimization world. While it’s been so overused over the past few years, the phrase still remains true today.

Content marketing in 2018 will be the key optimization component. Long texts are gaining more and more prominence. Articles that exceed 2,000 words make it possible to tackle an in-depth topic and to provide the audience with a lot of actionable data. Search engines see such content as incredibly valuable for readers, which has a positive impact on website optimization efforts.

Topic selection is another factor that will play a role.

General article ideas that have been explored dozens of times already will add very little to an effective optimization strategy in 2018. Instead, the focus should be on niche topics that few others can discuss. The more specific and detailed the article is, the better.

User Experience is Also Important

A few years ago, Google’s Matt Cutts said that the search engine will eventually become less reliant on backlinks to determine website quality. Search engine algorithms have already moved away from this traditional strategy and much more towards assessing the online reputation of websites.

Online reputation depends on several things – high-quality content, social media reach, audience loyalty, and referrals are just a few of the essentials. Giving website visitors the ultimate user experience is of paramount importance, as well.

The user experience is a bit tricky because people today and the years to come will become less reliant on the computer and more prone to accessing internet through other devices.

A focus on user experience should incorporate mobile design, fast loading, voice search considerations, relevant functionalities and a completely bug-free experience. Even content formatting, making texts readily visible on a small screen, will play a role.

Your audience is your number one priority. Search engines and their algorithms have a secondary role in the process. If you work towards pleasing the audience, chances are that you will also see improvements in your search engine placement.

Quick Answers and Featured Snippets

Chances are that you’ve already seen a change in the way that search results are presented on the SERP page. If you type a question, chances are that you will get a featured result that addresses the specific query.

Here’s a simple example – type “what is search engine optimization” in your search bar. You will get a featured listing on top that gives you the definition of SEO.

Getting your content to rank among the featured snippets and quick answers should be yet another ultimate SEO goal for 2018.

The featured snippet is known as the so-called “position zero” because it appears on top of the regular SERP entries. Statistics show that nearly 30 percent of searches lead to the presentation of a featured snippet. As voice searches are often submitted in the form of a question, chances are that the popularity of quick answers will increase even further.

To get to this position, focus on Q&A formats within the respective niche. Breaking down content in sub-sections, each one answering a specific question, will be another great idea.

Visual Searches Will Also Grow

Apart from the voice search, another type of Google query will also grow in prominence. Visual search is not the same as image search. In fact, both Google and Bing have announced new investment in the development of visual search engines that will act as separate entities.

Google Goggles is a specialized app that focuses on image recognition. It bases searches on pictures taken via a smartphone, for example. Most of data in our world is visual in nature. Thus, the appearance of visual search technology is nothing but the next logical step.

A SEO strategy in 2018 should take this brand new trend in consideration. People may soon start inputting images for the purpose of getting access to relevant data. Search engines will go beyond text, which will change how websites are ranked.

One of the first things to do in order to begin visual search adoption is create visually-rich content. Descriptive image names, alt tags, photo captions and proper image placement within relevant content will all play a role.

Are you feeling a bit confused about SEO and content marketing in 2018? The rules of the game change all the time and you probably lack the time to learn about innovations and adopt those. Getting professional assistance is a viable alternative that will result in a high ROI over a long period of time.

Iris Content’s team is dedicated to adopting innovative content marketing and text optimization strategies. We know what it takes to build your brand authority and to increase the attractiveness of your content. Please do not hesitate to contact us or to try one of our 2017 holiday packages.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

If you need a professional to handle all your content during the hectic festive season, Iris Content is launching a few holiday packages that you can take advantage of. Reach out to us and we will help your business shine this holiday season!

Contact Annie to learn how you can take advantage of our holiday packages.

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