The internet is ever evolving, with different trends popping up each day. In order to remain relevant, website owners need to be on top of their game, especially when it comes to SEO.
Following trends can help you in many ways. For example, you will stand out amongst the competition, attract new business with your optimised presence, position your business as a brand that flows with the times, attract new customers while retaining previous ones, as well as improve leads generation and sales.
It is dangerous for businesses to ignore the changes in digital trends; any that fail to adapt will likely suffer commercially. So, as we move forward into the second quarter of 2018, it’s important that you take note of the current trends in designing an SEO friendly website.
Firstly, what is an SEO friendly website?
At the launch of Umbrellar’s Azure stack, the company’s IT head, Brendan Wilde defined an SEO friendly website as one that is easy to navigate, simple to use and designed in such a way that it appeals to both human users and search engines. “You may be wondering if a good looking website is not enough for your business. The truth is that a website is not much use until it can be found by online users. It takes a combination of factors for a website to be easily located online”, he was quoted as saying. He furthermore explained that design structure plays a huge role in website visibility.
Here are some important factors you need to consider for SEO friendly websites in 2018.
Optimise for Voice Search
As we move further into the year, more and more people consume online content via their mobile phones. While this in itself is not news, website owners need to recognise that the modern day internet user is always on the move. This means it might be difficult to carry out the traditional text-based search that we’re used to. Imagine a scenario where you’re driving to a meeting attempting to type on your mobile phone’s handset to retrieve the desired online information. Not only is this extremely dangerous (and in some countries, illegal), it can be highly inconveniencing.
This is what Voice Search is going to solve. Already, a huge number of searches carried out online everyday are Voice Search related. This means that for your website to show up in search results for Voice Search search, you’ll need to make it optimised for such a facility. To achieve this, ensure your content makes use of keywords that focus on the natural way of speaking, target long tail keywords and pay attention to user intent. If your plan is to rank well for SERPs this year, then you should not discount Voice Search in your design strategy.
Make use of chatbots
One of the most important trends to take advantage of in 2018 is the growth of chatbots as a means of communicating with visitors on your website. Even though this is not a new trend, it is rapidly gaining acceptance as a way to provide immediate assistance to website users.
For those who may not know, a chatbot is a computer program that works with artificial intelligence to message website visitors in real time. Today’s chatbots can perform a wide variety of functions, including facilitating customer service, locating products, processing payment information and even making reasonable suggestions that could help close a sale. You’ve probably come across a few of them on certain websites recently. Once you land on a page, they will subsequently pop up, asking if you need any assistance.
One report predicts that this new trend of using artificial intelligence to meet customers’ expectations will completely revolutionise the online market industry by 2020. For website owners and content marketers, this means building a platform that utilises AI and chatbots to achieve the desired marketing solutions.
Lean towards more negative space
Optimising for the most desirable mobile experience has been one of the most important SEO and web design trends in recent years. This will continue to influence website layout and design styles in 2018. When it comes to designing websites that will load quickly on mobile devices, one critical element to pay attention to is the use of negative space. Website designers now realise that when it comes to designing for SEO, less is more. For example, a website optimised for SEO should contain only the essential elements needed to function. That is, no flashy design, no heavy media content and no elements that are not focused on optimum user experience.
This is where negative or white space comes in. White space creates an agreeable balance between the content and elements of your website. This way, your website is focusing more on conversion and eliminating distractions. This design style also makes it easy for users to view content on their mobile devices, without losing the essence of the message you’re trying to convey.
Focus on providing mobile experience
In the past few years, one popular trend has focused on providing a mobile friendly experience to website visitors. A recent study discovered that roughly 57% of all search traffic came from smartphones and mobile devices. With more than half of internet traffic being mobile related, it therefore follows that the relationship between mobile optimised websites and SEO will continue. For this to happen, web design should be focused on speed, ease of navigation, readability and responsive design. One easy way to meet these criteria is to make use of Google’s AMP. Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages provides websites a smoother and more engaging mobile experience. Alternatively, website designers can plan for mobile users during the design stage, or install a mobile responsive theme if the website is built using WordPress.
In 2018, Infographics are a vital tool that should not be missing from your SEO design strategy. Research shows that people can follow instructions more effectively if they contain text and image illustrations. This is what Infographics can do for web content, as it is a great tool for breaking down information (that’s hard to understand) into small snippets that are easier to comprehend. Not only does this system appeal to users, but search engines also love Infographics, as it makes your message clearer for visitors, which improves user experience. Ensure that your Infographic file is saved under a name that search engines can understand and interpret. For example, if your Infographic file is concerned with SEO friendly website design, rather than simply calling it infographic.png, you could name it seo_friendly_website_design.png.
It’s no secret that the only way to rank high in search engine results is to ensure your website meets the demands of your visitors. The above techniques will help you create a design that not only appeals to human visitors, but search engines as well.