There has been a lot of talk in the last few years about voice search and how it might end up making SEO strategies obsolete. It’s not surprising that it’s made a few headlines with around 92% of smartphone users either already using voice search, or being open to using it.
But is all the hype correct? Are keywords really going to become obsolete? Are we really heading into an era where you are unable to manipulate search engine results? Quick fact, we have been heading in that direction for a while now.
As Google develops better search algorithms, our chances of gaming the system have substantially reduced. Think about the early days of the internet, where all you had to do was to add in your keyword as many times as you could.
Back then, it didn’t really matter what the quality of the content was, or even if it made sense. As long as you had the most keywords shoved in there, you could rank highly in searches. It was like the Wild West – just about anything was possible.
Which was great for the owners of spammy websites, but not so great for people who were trying to access credible information. Then Google and the others started looking at other metrics to determine whether a site was a good fit for the search.
Latest SEO Trends 2018
SEO Is Dynamic
As the search engines became more sophisticated, new updates were made and sites could literally lose all their traffic overnight. Updates with cute names like Panda and Penguin struck fear into the hearts of many marketers.
Check out the neat overview of the most significant SEO stats and trends in 2018. The point that we are making though is that SEO has always been a dynamic process.
What works today might not work tomorrow – it’s something that experienced SEO experts have understood for a long time. So, are all the concerns about voice search valid? Certainly, we can be sure that SEO strategies will have to change, but they would have done that anyway.
What Can I Do To Future-Proof My Site?
That is the million dollar question. If you could answer that, you could make yourself a lot of money. The truth is that there is nothing that is guaranteed to future-proof your site. But there is a lot that you can do to get the odds in your favor.
We know that Google has constantly been looking for ways to weed out bad, irrelevant content. So, all these changes can actually work in your favor if you are a legitimate business. All you have to do is to be prepared. Here are the tactics that will be most useful in that respect.
This is one area that Google has been very clear about. They want top-quality content. That means well-written content without glaring errors. Are there grammar Nazis at Google? They’ve never said as much, but poor spelling and grammar can affect your ranks.
But, let’s stop worrying about Google for a second here and focus on the people actually visiting your site. Why? Because they are going to play a big role in how Google rates your site. The longer they spend on your page, the better your site is going to seem.
So, the key to better content is content that is written for your visitors rather than just for the search engines. Write content that they want to read and that provides useful information.
Traditionally, the advice is that a blog post should be at least 400 words to be useful. We recommend that you start at least at double that figure. How much value can you really add in just 400 words? Choose more in-depth content, even if it means publishing on a less regular basis.
Try to use the kind of language that your target audience does. This step helps to prepare your site for the use of voice search. Think about the type of questions people might ask when it comes to your business and base the content around those.
Keywords are thus still important, but there are a lot more possible variations. Hedge your bets by using long-tailed keywords and also add a frequently asked question section.
Links still do count in your favor if they are from quality sites. The best way to get these kinds of links is through providing excellent quality content.
The internet is constantly evolving and, as a result, so is SEO. While some fear that voice searches mark the end of standard SEO practices, we disagree. We have seen and survived some massive changes in SEO over the last few years.
The key to getting optimal results is simply to provide the search engines with what they want – great content. With the advances in artificial intelligence, it is becoming harder to fool Google and the others.
It’s a much better strategy to get the content right in the first place and work from there.
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