As we come to the end of 2017, it’s time for business owners to start thinking about the year ahead and make plans to improve their search engine optimisation (SEO). Of course, getting the basics right is essential, but some trends are expected to become prominent as we head into the new year. Below, we’ve rounded up four.​

Optimising for voice search

Voice search has been on the rise for a couple of years now, and 2018 is set to see the technology become even more widespread. With Siri or Google Assistant installed on practically every smartphone, and Amazon Echos and Google Homes on everyone’s Christmas wish-list, optimising your website for voice search is essential.

Creating FAQs pages, using conversational keywords and following Google’s structured data markup guidelines will help you get more engagement from voice search.

Mobile-first index

Google has already announced plans to search mobile-first, and although it’s rolled out for some, a worldwide rollout is still ahead. Make sure your website is truly mobile-first rather than treating responsive design as an afterthought.

Machine learning and personalised searches

Google and other search engines have come a long way from their beginnings, and today’s complex search algorithms are becoming increasingly personalised. Google’s RankBrain, its deep learning algorithm, is expected to become even more intelligent in 2018, with the search engine giant offering personalised searches based on user intent, search history and demographics. To capture more traffic, make sure your website is populated with high-quality, relevant and authoritative content and follow Google’s best SEO practices.

A shifted focus on link building

Link building is one of the most important parts of SEO, but today’s practices must be adapted to meet Google’s increasingly high standards. The quality of links will become even more important; so a link from a site that’s relevant to your niche could be more valuable than a generic link from a high-authority news site like the Huffington Post. Focus on building relationships with other bloggers and news sources that will provide value for years to come, rather than looking for quick wins in your link building strategy.

At Jumping Spider Media, we specialise in search engine optimisation. Get in touch today on 020 3070 1959 to find out more about how we can help your business.