Search engines undergo so many updates that it can be quite challenging to keep up. Search Engine Optimization is like a game with an ever-changing set of rules and winning demands an intricate, well thought out strategy. The Google Algorithm is continuously being fine-tuned to get the most relevant content on top of the deck.
Here are the SEO trends this 2018 that you need to watch out for so that your brand can snag that prime lot on Google’s search results:
Websites Changing to HTTPS
Http (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) is the method by which data is moved around the Web. It is fast, it’s reliable and it has been around since the dawn of the world wide web. However, it is probably not the most secure way of transferring data online. Hacking into it can be a picnic and that is not something that you want if you are handling sensitive personal information from your users. Https (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the answer to this data protection issue. If your site has switched to Https, it is ensured that your site’s visitor data are encrypted and secured. More and more websites are changing course and Google is picking it up. Get this: In June of 2017, 55% of sites on page one of Google search results were using Https and this trend is projected to continue this 2018. Simply put, Https is the future.
Google Showing More SERP Features
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page and a SERP feature is basically anything on the SERP that is not a traditional organic result. If you type in a celebrity’s name for example, then you’ll most likely get a Knowledge Panel featuring some basic information like the personality’s full name, age, and previous works, above the list of search results. The primary goal of SERP features is to give users the most relevant information in the shortest time possible. These types of results obviously acquire more clicks because of the prime real estate and eye-catching look. If you want exposure on a SERP feature then one, you have to secure a spot on the first page of the results because Google curates the Featured Snippets from websites on the leaderboard. And second, you need to have content that effectively and precisely targets your client’s question. So if you used to think that Featured Snippets are nothing more than a fad or a novelty, I hope we got you convinced that they really do offer a significant organic opportunity for your brand.
Growing Popularity of Voice Search
With the rising popularity of Siri, Alexa and Cortana, we can easily deduce that there really is a demand for virtual personal assistants. More and more people are using these AIs to set their alarms, to plan their day, and to answer their questions about anything under the sun. The increased adoption of this technology is something you can make the most of to bring your brand to the top of the search results. One observation is that Voice search requires a whole new keyword research routine. Users who use voice search use normal, conversational sentences instead of the choppy query lingo used in text search. In this SEO trend, it is all about natural language and the intended meaning behind the question, rather than the query itself. Rethink your content and make sure you can ride this wave.
Mobile First Indexing
Google’s Mobile First Indexing has started rolling out this 2018 and we hope you have reinforced your site’s mobile version. With this SEO trend, Google will begin to index and rank your site based on how the content is viewed through mobile rather than the desktop version. The shift has been brought about by the steady increase of engagements from mobile devices in recent years. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you are practically ignoring over 55 percent of web users. Make sure you are optimizing your content for mobile and using a responsive design for your site that works for different devices. Multifunctionality and accessibility are the best ways to stay competitive.