Wednesday, 28 February 2018

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Top SEO Trends 2018

7 SEO Trends 2018

Search Engines getting smarter, Google answering more queries directly on results’ pages and the increase of voice-activated search, some are worried their optimization strategy may need to change drastically. Search engines like Google and Bing are learning to understand content better and are aiming to satisfy users’ needs as best as they can.

More websites on page 1 of Google are HTTPS

HTTPS is simply the protocol that ensures your website is being viewed over a safe connection. To be able to add an S to an HTTP web address, one needs to acquire a so-called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This will make it possible for a site’s visitor data to be encrypted and secured. Google has made it clear that having HTTPS is a pretty big deal, and the search engine results page (SERP) shows it too. Back in June of this year, 55% of sites on page one of Google were secure, according to Moz. It’s predicted that by the end of the year, this number will increase to around 66%. On top of this, the Chrome browser has started implementing warnings on sites that are not HTTPS. This can affect a user’s experience negatively, and dissuade them from browsing your site or purchasing your services.

More SERP features are being displayed

A SERP feature is basically anything on a results page that includes more than the usual SEO title (top blue line), URL (middle green line) and description (black text underneath). Reminder: SERP is the geeky way of saying search engine results page. There are many more types of features that are used to answer queries directly: related questions, local pack (a Google map on the SERP), image results to name a few. The amount of rich snippets has tripled in the last two years, and already 87% of SERPs have some kind of rich answer displayed. These types of results tend to get more clicks than regular organic results, because of the prime real estate and eye-catching format.

More people are using voice search

What happens when you’ve got a burning question but no one’s around? Just ask your phone, all the cool kids are doing it! Seriously. Voice activated search is increasing rapidly thanks to voice recognition software used in mobile devices and home speakers. Already 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search on a daily basis, plus it’s predicted that by 2020 half of searches will be voice activated. The rising popularity of this trend is inevitable.The mear fact that you no longer need to type a query in a search box to get answers makes voice search fast and convenient for busy bees.

Link building

Link building is not expected to disappear in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to create a strategy that seeks out quality links. There’s no need to aim for new links if they don’t add value and help you build an authority in your target niche. This doesn’t always mean that the best backlinks come from the most popular sites, but it’s still crucial to seek coverage from sites that are relevant to your industry. Referral traffic can still contribute to your site’s organic search rankings, while it is also useful to start thinking of link building as a long-term process. A challenge for 2018 will be dealing with guest blogs and how to involve them as an integral part of a link building strategy without hurting a brand’s reputation. 

User experience 

A good user experience increases the chances of people engaging with the pages that they visit. User experience for SEO will become even more important in 2018. Google has made it clear that the focus is on the user and this should make more sites deliver a smooth UX for their visitors. The first step is to monitor a site’s speed, its readability and its navigation structure to examine how these can be improved through the right changes. A closer look at your visitors’ browsing habits can offer helpful insights.

If you have a local business, you’ll want to focus some effort on improving your local SEO to be able to be featured in the so called local pack. The rise of featured snippets, PPC, voice search and local SEO can often yield better results than an organic ranking. That’s why it’s useful to keep up with the latest trends and discover how your brand can maintain a successful SEO strategy for the year ahead by blending established and growing trends.


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