Charles Buxton said that in life, as in chess, forethought wins. Those who think ahead are the ones who’ll be prepared to deal with or handle whatever comes their way. If you have any online business, then it’s safe to assume that traffic is very important to you. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is vital if your business is to survive and thrive online. Most businesses have realized this for a while now and have implemented measures to ensure that they are not left behind.

Be that as it may, 2018 is almost here, and things online change almost on a daily basis. What is trending today is likely to be history tomorrow. So what does this mean for SEO and business? What should be expected from SEO in the coming year, and how is it likely to affect businesses? Let’s think ahead.

Strategy

Forgive me for mentioning something related to chess again, but chess is the ideal strategic game and SEO is only effective when a good strategy is in place. You have to be vigilant and diligent. You have to be clever and even sneaky. You have to not only anticipate what will happen next but also how you’re going to respond. You have to know your industry, and what tools are at your disposal for manipulation to enable you to win and attain your goals. Just like in chess, you have to be a couple of steps ahead for you to win. This is all based on strategy, and the ones with the best strategy are the ones who come out victorious.

Anyone who’s well informed about what’s happening with SEO is aware that Google’s RankBrain is a major factor in coming up with an SEO strategy today, and especially in 2018. RankBrain is Google’s machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) that ranks Google’s search results according to user behavior. Introduced in late 2015, RankBrain has been monitored by every SEO specialist because understanding how it functions is fundamental to SEO. In 2018, it’s going to be even more significant because RankBrain keeps getting smarter with each year as it learns more about how users interact with websites.

A good strategy will enable you to stay ahead of your competitors. The blind thing about SEO is that you have competitors you don’t even know exist. Unlike the physical business where you know your competitor is in the next building or street, on the internet, you have international competitors. It’s hard to determine who you’re competing against, and their capabilities. The only thing you have at your disposal is your knowledge about SEO, and the strategy you’re going to implement. The more informed you are, the more loopholes your strategy is likely to eliminate, and the higher your chances of success. Think ahead, and you increase your odds of outranking both your visible and invisible competitors.

Flexibility

According to Parxavenue’s SEO Professionals, rich media is the future enriching websites. One of the most valuable qualities of SEO is its flexibility. SEO works with almost every major internet technology; you can use social media to drive traffic to your website, and with a good relationship with other website and blog owners, you can utilize backlinks to drive more traffic to your website or blog.

The latest research on the behavior and preferences of internet citizens shows that they are leaning toward content provided in video than in any other format. From this, you can forecast that in 2018 and onwards, video is likely to be the main format most internet citizens will be consuming their data. Therefore, websites that’ll incorporate more video contents are likely to receive more traffic compared to those that don’t.

Ultimately, Google has already declared that very soon, its search results will target mobile devices first. The reason behind this declaration is that Google has determined that most searches in the recent years and days were done on mobile devices. Most people own some form of mobile computer or internet capable phones, and they use these devices often to connect to the internet than they do with desktop computers or alternative immobile internet capable devices. In 2018, we are likely to see SEO specialists insisting on websites that are made for mobile devices first, but with the necessary accommodations for desktop devices.

You can see how flexible SEO is, and should be. This flexibility is part of the major reasons why it’s so effective.

Trends

Another major significance of SEO is the ability to track your progress and see your general performance. This is a very big advantage to businesses. SMART goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. SEO enables businesses to set these kinds of goals.

Using a tool like Google Analytics, you can monitor the behavior of visitors to your site or blog. You can see which browser most of them use to access your site. You can see which keywords they like to use and make the necessary changes to your website to improve your search rankings. You can check the location most of your visitors access your site from, as well as the time most of them access the site. You can also determine how much time they spend on your site. This is a powerful feature of SEO that enables you to monitor the trends of your intended audience and determine the best methods for providing a better user experience and improving your ranking on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). And there are other tools that enable you to do other things to enhance and implement your SEO strategy.

Credibility

When you search for something in a search engine, you normally click the first few results on the first results page. You rarely ever go to the next results page. In fact, there are people who don’t even know that there are other result pages, and if what they are looking for is not in the first result page, they’ll search for something else and rinse and repeat. The thinking behind this behavior is credibility. Most people believe the results on the first results page are the credible ones, and often, they are. Therefore, if your site shows up among the results on the first results page in a search engine, its likely to be considered credible and worthy of a look. And if the content is indeed quality as anticipated, your site may be bookmarked, recommended to other parties, and frequented.

ROI

Most enterprises opt for SEO because when it’s done right, its Return on Investment is amazing. First of all, SEO is significantly affordable. The amount of money an enterprise can make from an effective SEO strategy cannot be compared to the amount of money spent. This is because enterprises can make up to a million times more than what they spent. Furthermore, compared to the traditional advertising and marketing strategies, SEO is way more effective because of its flexibility, and the various platforms available to facilitate it. Finally, the most wonderful thing about the amazing ROI of SEO is that with time, little to no work will be needed to make it work. As long as the strategy in place is solid, automation kicks in and you’ll make money even when you’re sleeping – literally.

SEO is vital for any online business, and its value will probably keep increasing with each coming year. Internet technologies are not mature yet, and that’s why the value of SEO will keep increasing. The more new technologies are introduced, the more people will take advantage of them to increase the awareness of their online presence, and the higher the value of SEO will rise.

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