Trends for SEO in 2018

By Purplebox Digital

As search engines are evolving, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) must also adapt. It is useful to keep up to date with the latest SEO trends so you too can maintain a successful SEO strategy for your business. Combining both traditional SEO techniques with new trends can significantly improve and optimise your ranking.


User Experience Signals & RankBrain

RankBrain is Google’s third most important ranking factor and as Google refines its algorithm in 2018 it’s going to become even more important.

RankBrain focuses on two things:

  1. How long someone spends on your page, known as Dwell Time
  2. The percentage of people that click on your result – Click Through Rate (CTR)

Dwell Time

This is how long a user spends on your page. RankBrain helps sort Google search results as it measures when a user clicks on a page, how long they then stay on the page and when they go back to their Google search. Google can then rank them accordingly.

Recent industry studies show that the average Dwell Time for a top 10 Google result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds. If a user spends a long time on a page its likely to indicate that they like the content and if other users do the same, Google will uprank the content to make it easier to find.

If a page gets an above-average CTR, Google uses that as a sign that the page should get a permanent rankings boost. So, if no one clicks on your page Google won’t keep it on the first page, but if lots of users do click on your result, they won’t keep it buried in the 11th spot either.


a group of people using their mobile phones to browse the internet for websites using search engines

Mobile-first index

Studies indicate that 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Mobile-first content is required to have the best chance of being visible in mobile searches, and there is a big difference between how keywords rank on mobile compared to desktop.

Mobile-first indexing means that Google will consider the mobile version of your site the ‘real’ version. Even if the user is on a desktop. This means that your content needs to be consistent across mobile & desktop as any content that is hidden for your mobile version will be completely ignored by Google.

The demand for responsive web design will continue to increase, and businesses need to see the potential of considering mobile first rather than an afterthought to desktop, especially as it’s likely that Google will deploy its mobile-first index in 2018.

So if your website isn’t already responsive we suggest you switch to responsive design as soon as possible. Even if your site technically works on mobile, if mobile users find it hard to use they won’t hesitate to bounce off the page and RankBrain will measure this accordingly.


Voice search and digital assistants

This year it is expected that there will be more of a shift towards voice searches with the rise of digital assistants and smart home hubs, not to mention mobile devices.

  • 40% of adults perform at least one voice search every day
  • Voice searches performed in Google are up 35x since 2008
  • 20% of all searches on mobile are voice searches

Knowing that, smart SEOs are starting to optimise some of their content for voice search and there are a couple of things to think about when figuring out your SEO strategy.

The vast majority of voice searches are question based (“How long does it take to boil an egg?” or “Who designed the Titanic”?). When that happens, Google usually picks a page that contains a) the question and b) the answer.

It’s also good to consider using a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone and long-tail search keywords.


youtube search bar open in internet browser

Video SEO benefits

If you’re not creating video content, you’re missing out. Online insights research shows that it is expected that online video will make up 80% of all online traffic by 2021.

Google owns Youtube, 55% of all Google search results contain at least one video and they have even started to blend Youtube results into Google Image search.

Youtube is the second largest search engine in the world and it’s reported that the amount of time people spend on the platform is up 60% compared to last year. So with more and more people skipping Google and searching straight into Youtube, if you want to get more traffic from SEO in 2018, its recommend to create and optimise your content specifically for YouTube.

Here are a few basic elements to help optimise your content:

  1. Identify your key words – This is what the entire piece will be centered around, your focus keyword or phrase. You will want it to appear in the title as well as using keywords sparingly in your meta and tags.
  2. Title – The headline should be short (not more than 66 characters so that Google will display it easily), intriguing and compelling.
  3. Meta – A description is necessary to help viewers understand what the video is about. Keep this short and succinct as most people don’t read the descriptions; they are more interested in the video.
  4. Tags – Help YouTube associate your video with text. It is best to keep tags to a minimum and avoid irrelevant tags.

Find more information on how to optimise your Youtube videos here.


Now that you know what to look out for in 2018, it’s time review your SEO strategy. See what you could do to optimise your content and improve your website ranking today.

Get In Touch