Google and other search engines process millions of searches every day. Here are five new SEO challenges to know in 2018 and beyond so your website can rank well in search results…

Guest post by Donna Moores

What new SEO challenges should we expect in 2018?

The SEO challenges 2017 brought are history as we head into a new year…

Did you know Google now processes 40,000 searches every second of every day?  That means that since you started reading this paragraph, 320,000 searches have been conducted on Google alone (and that does not to include Yahoo! or Bing).

What does this mean for Digital Marketers, business owners and SEO experts in 2018?

Well, it means this is no time to rest on your laurels.

Search engine optimization has never been more important.  In turn, new challenges are emerging as search engines become more sophisticated, and the way we use them changes.

Here, we look at five new SEO challenges for 2018 and how to address them.

Video Content Is King

One trend we’ve seen through 2017 that is set to continue through 2018 and beyond is the domination of video content. For Millennials and Gen Z in particular, it’s their preferred way to consume content. YouTube is a search engine in its own right, with 30 million daily users.

The beauty of video is that it can be used for:

  • ‘How to’ instruction
  • Education on multitudes of subjects related to your brand
  • Branded content related to music and comedy
  • TED talks
  • Sports analysis

And much more.

Brands who care about SEO should be seriously thinking about the best way to engage their audiences through video.

SEO Challenges Pro Tip: Brian Gareth at WebCEO believes that companies who start investing in video content now will see an enormous pay off in the years to come as this trend continues “… make your video debut now and start 2018 off with a bang. When the 2020s hit, you’ll be riding that gigantic tide of traffic.”

Donna Moores outlines SEO Challenges - Siri And Alexa Are Taking Over at Idea Girl Media

Siri And Alexa Are Taking Over

An emerging trend likely to grow as a challenge in 2018 is voice search. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has said publicly that 20% of mobile searches are currently coming from voice search, and since more than half of teens regularly use the function, this number is very likely to increase.

However, the voice search is still in its infancy and there’s a lot of fine-tuning to go before it’s as accurate as typed searches. Bearing that in mind, SEO experts who optimize for voice search now will have the advantage of being early adopters.

SEO Challenges Pro Tip: Purna Virji at Search Engine Land recommends adapting longtail keywords for more natural, conversational phrases than the keywords used for typed searches. Keep in mind that those who are conducting voice searches probably belong at the top of the marketing funnel.

Increasingly High Standards In User Experience (UX)

In the past, search engines focused primarily on the quality of content on a given page. Currently, however, Google is paying more attention than ever to UX.  That means your site needs to:

  • Load quickly (three seconds or less)
  • Be clearly laid out
  • Navigation should be intuitive

SEO Challenges Pro Tip: Here at Idea Girl Media this rule of thumb is followed: Heavy graphics work and images can slow down a website… resize your images and graphics to help your website to load faster.

Underestimate Your Audience’s Attention Span At Your Peril

If you think shorter articles are the way to go due to shorter attention spans, you’re dead wrong. The data is in, and it consistently shows that the longer an article is, the more time that people spend on it.  Google rewards that by placing detailed content on page 1.

The thing is, while there is an almost infinite amount of content online on any given subject, people reward detail. If you can give your audience everything they need on one page without making them go back to Google for more info, you’re winning. Aim for 2,000 words+ if you truly want to rank for that topic.

SEO Challenges Pro Tip: Brian Dean, SEO expert and founder of Backlinko says: “Remember: Google’s #1 job is to show their user the BEST result. And in most cases, the “best” result isn’t a piece of keyword-stuffed content. Instead, the best pages cover an entire topic in-depth.”

The Basics Still Matter

Don’t get carried away with new trends unless you’re 100% sure you’re nailing the basics.

Carry out keyword research before every post using one of the multitudes free tools available, and make sure to use your specific keyword in the title, metadata and the alt text for any images used.  Also sprinkle in some more natural longtail keywords throughout your post.

While Google has not publicly indicated this, some experts are saying outbound links to trusted sites have dropped in significance as a ranking factor.  Still, it’s important to back up your article’s claims with links to relevant sources.

SEO Challenges Pro Tip: Chris Makara from Bulkly reinforced this message, saying: “No matter what anyone says links will still be at the core of a solid SEO strategy. Of course not just links from anyone. But real, related, and legitimate links.”

SEO Challenges – The Hard And Fast

One of the challenges of search engine optimization is that SEO is an ever-evolving field. As the competition becomes more fierce for top spots in Google and other search engines, it’s crucial to monitor changes in how rankings work.

It can be a daunting task to follow Google’s updates on how it ranks websites, measuring and evaluating how pages on your site work. However, by giving effort to following this news and SEO expert advice, you will establish and maintain your place at the top of your niche and be rewarded with significant boosts in organic traffic.


Donna Moores - SEO Challenges guest author at Idea Girl MediaAuthor Bio:

Donna Moores is a savvy content marketer and a Head of Content at HandMadeWritings. She has gained an outstanding marketing experience within the biggest industries and businesses, which she pleasantly shares with the readers. Reach out to Donna on Twitter or LinkedIn.