SEO (search engine optimization) is a set of tools that helps a company’s website rank higher on search engines. Companies that have an online presence must have an SEO strategy and adapt to new SEO trends. Most of the traffic that comes to your site results from search listings for particular keywords. Being the first link listed for a particular search term is potentially worth millions.
Search engines are constantly changing the parameters for what makes a link appear at the top of the search page, so companies must react accordingly. Here’s a list of the biggest SEO trends for 2018.
- Content is Still King
Search engines like to give people what they want. If they believe that your website best answers the question asked by the searcher, then your search will be at the top of the list. The best way to make sure that you are the first site listed is to provide quality content.
The algorithms in place scan web pages to make sure that the content included is relevant to the keywords. Search engines are able to process tons of data, such as whether the people searching for a particular keyword stayed on your site or went to look elsewhere. You can cheat the initial search results with the clever use of keywords, but your ranking will be lowered if people don’t stay on your site. The only way to keep them reading is to make sure that your content is unique and comprehensive.
- Secure Links (SSL)
SSL certificates on websites allow the visitors to be certain of the website’s authenticity. Over the past year, scammers have taken a liking to creating fake websites called phishing sites that have addresses that look almost identical to the real ones. If an unsuspecting victim lands on a phishing site through a third-party link and signs in, the operator of the fake site is able to store the victim’s login info. SSL certificates on Chrome allow users to be certain that the link is trustworthy. Getting an SSL certificate only costs about $40 a year, and Google lists sites with these certificates highly because they help keep their users safe.
- Loading Speed
Nobody likes to wait for pages to load. Google has been resisting the urge to make loading speed a ranking factor when listing websites; however, they recently announced that it now matters. This means that companies must improve their site load times for both desktop and mobile users.
- Voice Search
Voice search is quick and convenient. Google estimates that 1 in 5 searches now comes through voice commands, which is not surprising when you consider how popular digital assistants such as Alexa and Siri have become.
Some work still needs to be done on analyzing natural language and long-tail keywords, but as the accuracy improves, so too will the number of users who make voice searches using mobile phones. This is an emerging market, so it’s a great time to be proactive and make the most of this SEO trend.
- User Experience
User experience (UX) first made itself relevant in 2016 and has been increasing in importance ever since. Google prides itself on providing the best user experience possible; therefore, any links that it lists high on its search pages must deliver a UX that is on par.
Google’s machine learning algorithms use a number of criteria to assess how user friendly a website is. One of the first things that it looks for is whether users engage with the sites that they visit. If users engage more, then it means that they found what they were looking for, so Google will raise that website’s ranking in relation to that particular keyword. If users spend less than 30 seconds on the linked website, then Google will lower that website’s search ranking.
- Social Media Influence
Google likes to give people content that they want, and they are using social media to figure out what that content is. Links that are shared numerous times on social media and that have a high number of retweets, likes, and comments are clearly what people want, so search engines will make them easier to find. That’s why it’s important to make sure your social media and SEO are working together for great results.
Don’t know where to start in your response to these latest SEO trends? LightHouse Graphics specializes in several areas of online presence, including website design, social media marketing, and content creation…just to name a few. If your business needs assistance in any of these areas, contact us. We’d love to work with you.