Content Marketing & SEO Trends 2018
Updated: Jan 22
In 2018, it’s going to be more challenging than ever before for businesses to stay competitive via online content marketing. Google has made major updates to their algorithms and there have been changes in the way users interact with content providers, so search engine optimization, or SEO trends, in 2018, will take shape under these new pressures.
In 2017, there was at least one, but possibly two major updates to Google’s algorithms. These updates seem to have mostly affected sites using spammy links or links with relatively little authority. Shortly after these updates, there was one final update that was much larger in scale and positively affected reputable sites as well as the white hat SEO community (marketers using transparent techniques and following search engine rules). As in years past, Google strongly disapproves of ads that are deceptively featured throughout the main body of an article. When ads are presented in this way, they are easily mistaken for legitimate content.
These links mislead users rather than helping them. Often users are misdirected off-site onto malicious sites that infect smartphones and computers with malware. Websites that devoted too much space to ads, even reputable ads, were similarly penalized under Google’s 2017 updates. Your website can still contain ads, but they should be clearly identifiable as ads, should only redirect to safe retailers, and should be minimally featured on pages that are helpful and informative to your visitors.
If companies want to become or remain competitive this year, they will have take the current search engine climate into account as they shape the direction of their digital marketing campaigns in 2018.
So which approach should you be taking to help your content climb the Google ranks in the coming months, or is it just too challenging to set your content apart from the tidal waves of new material flooding the internet weekly?
In this article, we will shed light on 5 SEO trends that can help you keep fresh traffic flowing into your virtual marketplace in 2018.
1. Update your concept of content.
In recent years, having a team of writers creating fresh, original content for your safe, reliable website was almost all you needed to rise to the top of the search results. This year, it’s time for an updated view of the content landscape.
Blogging on its own doesn’t fully integrate into the platforms and marketing strategies of new companies, nor does it meet the ever-growing demand for novel, untapped formats for consumption.
As a result, your content staff will need to expand beyond your team of writers to include members skilled in:
Content optimization for a wide variety of formats
Sound design and audio editing
Graphic design, digital illustration, and editing
Media buying and advertising
Analytics, metrics, and reporting
2. Get mobile responsive.
A site is considered mobile responsive when it adapts itself to be viewed or interacted with by mobile users. When a site isn’t responsive, the smartphone user must zoom in on each bit of the site to view it, though more realistically, they’ll just navigate away from your business.
When websites aren’t responsive, they’re penalized by search engines. Google knows their users don’t want to have to navigate to your site when it isn’t responsive. Therefore, if your website isn’t optimized for smartphone users, you must get up to speed as quickly as possible in 2018.
3. Be honest about your motives.
Consumers ages 18 – 35 feel more invested in companies that take steps to be transparent and authentic as well as those that are driven to use their success to create positive change in society.
Overall, these values tend to be shared by consumers at large, which may be part of the “advertisement fatigue” consumers are reporting around claims of “green” manufacturing, charitable contributions, and support for political parties.
Even when brands try to draw such efforts together as part of a cohesive company culture, consumers often perceive this kind of promotion as deceptive and greedy.
Brands who want to earn loyalty and trust from their customers are going to have to hone their efforts in transparency and disclosure as well as customer care.
4. Nurture the buyer’s experience with your brand.
A bird’s-eye view of the digital marketing landscape reveals that there are very few tactics that are at all effective without being backed by quality content.
The average business performs at least several of these daily:
Social media posts
Recorded and live video
Rather than only focusing on grabbing the attention of new customers, you will be better served by supporting each stage of your buyer’s journey with content.
In order to do this, your content will need to be diverse, interconnected, nurturing, and purposeful. Your efforts will result in customers that are vocal, proud brand ambassadors.
5. Go live. Be real.
When a content creator takes to Facebook via video, they see an average of 135% more organic reach than they do via still images. Live interaction creates similar post engagement.
Because only fourteen percent of marketers are using live video, this is the time to begin interacting with your clients before your competition does.
While it can be nerve-wracking to step in front of a video camera, please remember that your customers only want to see that there’s a real, kind, genuine human behind the brand