a picture of the top seo trends in 2018

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or online asset. In theory, improving online visibility should increase visitors and potential customers to a website. In turn, increasing revenue for the company. There's a large variety of tactics used in this process including on-site and off-site methods depending on your desired end result. While SEO is constantly changing, the value of the service increases as more people transition into a digital life. In fact, of all traffic channels, organic search from Google continues to be the highest converting source making it critical to the success of any business. Introducing the 10 SEO Trends in 2018 infographic.

Top 10 Search Engine Optimization

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While these 10 trends are in no particular order, it's important to note that some factors due carry a higher weight than others in the Google algorithms. At Oregon Web Solutions, our job is to constantly study and test to figure out what works and what doesn't. From our research in 2018 the #1 ranking factor is engagement on your website. This means real people visiting and interacting with your website is the #1 thing you can do to improve your overall rankings. This should include a combination or referral sources including direct URL type-ins, high-quality referral traffic, Google search, and social media referral traffic. The key is to receive a good balance of the four different traffic sources above. Keeping in mind that a local business or company should work to strike a balance between all 10 SEO trends. The 10 trends for 2018 are social media strategy, long-form content, video SEO, image SEO, featured snippets, voice search to access content, mobile SEO, Secure Site SSL upgrades, understanding searcher intent, and website speed. Taking a balanced approach to implementing these items on your site will improve your companies online visibility today and into the future. If you have any questions about the Top 10 SEO Trends please leave a comment below.

Social Media Marketing Trends
Social Media Marketing Trends

Social Media Marketing Trends 2018

Social media platforms are changing every day, which means that Social Media Marketing is changing too. You may or may not be aware, for example, that Facebook recently added a “Stories” option, which is similar to the feature previously offered by Instagram (among others). Social media and advertising and marketing trends are changing rapidly, too.

Here are five of the biggest Social Media Marketing trends you should watch for in 2017 & going into 2018 (as well as a few tips on how to personalize them for your business, website, band, or whatever you're trying to promote).

1. Moving Away from Twitter

In recent years, Twitter has been in a slow decline. Many analysts have even predicted a slow demise for the one-time social media giant. While Twitter will likely survive, it's pretty unlikely that you're going to find any positive references to Twitter if you search the web for Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

What happened? Twitter was originally built on real-time, quick-to-read updates. Unfortunately, Twitter's original appeal isn't as exciting anymore now that users crave longer, more in-depth posts and content. In addition to controversies regarding censorship and security, Twitter clearly needs to overhaul their game plan if they want to remain viable in the years to come.

2. New Approaches to Creating Inspirational, Emotional Content

There's a reason Facebook adopted “reactions” to replace simple “likes” (you can even react to comments now); allowing users to react let's them share their specific feelings about a post or a piece of content, and not just the fact that they noticed it.

What does this mean for your business's Social Media Marketing? Well, one of the biggest recent Social Media Marketing Trends is a shift toward more emotionally engaging content. Increasingly, marketers need to be sharing not just a message, but a story. Something inspirational, something adorable, maybe even just something that's downright funny. Why is this so important? Well, content that provokes strong emotions increases content's “spreadability”, and consequently improves your brand awareness as well.

3. Oh, Snap!

What a difference a few years can make. The one-time scrappy upstart Snapchat has gone from a relatively-popular platform to a position where they now stand a chance at becoming more relevant than Twitter. What's behind the spark in popularity? Their adaptability, for one.

Recently Snapchat completely changed their format and even their name–they're now known simply as: Snap. What are their goals for the future? Focusing on what they do best: in-the-moment and live content, including the introduction of vertical videos.

Snap is reportedly also working on some exciting product development, including glasses that will allow Snap's users to share high-resolution visual information in real-time. Naturally, these changes and new opportunities have marketing professionals champing at the bit. Their new style promises to be one of the most-watched this year in Social Media Marketing.

4. Increased Choosiness from Businesses

Although new platforms show up seemingly every day, most of them don't succeed on a global level. As more marketers realize this, expect to see a trend towards greater choosiness when it comes to social media platforms.

For many businesses, it's redundant and even wasteful to market on more than one platform. Consequently, many are predicting that in years to come, business should focus all of their online marketing efforts only on the platforms that have a proven success rate.

5. More Experience-Based Marketing

There's an increasing demand for social media to be more immersive, providing a sort of vicarious experience for users. In the simplest terms, it's no longer enough for you to post about an event–you need to take users into the experience by live-posting, or even by using a 360-degree video. We predict that this will be one of the most noticeable shifts when it comes to Social Media Marketing Trends 2017.

How Will You Make These Trends Your Own?

Now that you're aware of some of the Social Media Marketing Trends 2018, the question remains: how can you take advantage of these trends to tell your brand's story? Here are a few tips.

What's your brands “story”? Are you socially engaged? Are you outdoorsy? Let your customers know what you're about!

Do you have events that you can live-post?

Which social media platform has had the highest marketing success rate for your business?

We wish you the best of luck creating your own Social Media Marketing Trends!

If you need help with any of your social media, you can contact us here, or call us at (503) 563-3028 to find out how we can help you grow.

Instagram Stories Vs Snapchat
Instagram Stories Vs Snapchat

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat for Business?

Instagram just launched a new platform very similar to Snapchat called Instagram Stories. Like Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows you to post short videos and photos to your Instagram followers that will self delete in 24 hours. The format is almost identical to Snapchat but with less filter options. For business owners, this new feature breaths new life into your Instagram account by allowing you connect with your followers in a more casual format than posting to your profile. In this video I discuss the pros and cons of the two platforms.

From our testing we have noticed our Instagram Stories posts are being viewed by 10% of our followers, which is a much better conversion rate than Facebook.  Another great feature is it keeps business owners from having to build up yet another social media account by combining Snapchat features onto Instagram.

How to Use Instagram Stories for Business

Research had suggested that over the last few years the amount of Instagram posts had dropped by almost 50%.  The reason was that your Instagram profile is usually your best content, and many users were afraid to post unless they had a really good photo or video.  Instagram stories gives business owners to share behind the scenes and low-quality content to their followers that otherwise would be unseen.  Now, your Instagram profile can be reserved for your best images and videos, while staying connected with your followers daily through Instagram Stories.  Many have criticized Instagram for copying Snapchat, and I agree that's what has happened here, but nevertheless this is a great tool for business owners.  Snapchat developed the best system for capturing quick and spontaneous content and Instagram capitalized on it.  For example, if you own a restaurant you could post short videos of your kitchen, bar, or dining room throughout the day giving your followers a behind the scenes perspective.  Video production companies can use Instagram Stories to showcase behind the scenes of their video shoots and adventures.  Small business owners can stay connected with customers by revealing hot discounts and specials on Instagram Stories and nowhere else.  This tactic would help you build a larger Instagram following and increase brand loyalty at the same time.  The possibilities for business owners is endless and it's up to you to decide the best approach for your niche and company.

New Instagram Features and View Count

Another great feature is the ability to see how many people have viewed your story.  Plus, Instagram now gives you the ability to see who has viewed your story.  One interesting thing we found was that the people who viewed our story were not the same people who like our photos.  Data suggests a large amount of people scroll through photos and videos on Instagram but don't actually engage with the post.  Unlike the Instagram feed where you can like or comment on photos, Instagram Stories can only be viewed.  The user does have the option to send you a private message, but nobody else viewing your feed would see the comment.

Instagram Stories vs Snapchat for Business Marketing

Recent data has suggested that Snapchat is the fastest growing social media platform in the world.  Unfortunately for business owners, Snapchat makes it hard to grow your following and connect with customers.  I believe this new Instagram update will bring a lot of people back to the platform who had become discouraged.  For me personally, I'm done with Snapchat for business and will be focusing the bulk of my social media efforts on the new stories feature.