In 2018, new challenges and even more interesting projects await you. At the top of the list, your website. As you know, it is not enough to be present on the Web; the challenge is to be visible. And by that, we mean to be better positioned than your competitors on Google.
Being at the forefront of trends is crucial to maintaining a competitive advantage.
Search engines are becoming smarter, Google is improving the relevance of its results and voice searches are growing. With so many changes, some people think that they will have to drastically change their strategy.
No! Unless the robots are rebelling and decide to take control of the planet earth, there is nothing to worry about. Search engines ultimately have only one purpose: to understand the content of web pages to best meet the needs of Internet users. That’s good, you too!
Let’s take a closer look at what 2018 has in store for SEO. Here are 5 trends not to be missed and how to adapt.
HTTPS sites appear on the first page
HTTPS is simply the protocol that ensures your site is viewed from a secure connection. To have this valuable S, you must acquire a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate. It allows your visitors’ data to be encrypted and secure.
Google has been clear on this topic: we do not mess with security. Having a site in HTTPS has a great importance in its appearance on the results pages. In addition to this, the Chrome browser has begun to incorporate warnings for sites that are not in HTTPS. This is very bad for the image and could largely dissuade a visitor from navigating a site. All that to say, 2018 is the year of the HTTPS.
More features for the SERP
The SERP features are all that is on the results page and that goes beyond the SEO title (the first line in blue), the URL (the middle line in green) and the description (the line black).
As a reminder, SERP is the technical name for search engine results pages. The example below is the featured snippet, but there are other types of features to respond directly to user queries: related questions, local pack (with Google map), image results, and more. many other things. In addition, nearly 87% of the SERPs post more details in their results.
These are the rich snippet (literally “rich snippets”). Their quantity has tripled in the last two years. These types of links tend to have more clicks, because of their catchy format. The places on the results pages are therefore more and more expensive and the competition is tough.
Voice searches are growing
What happens when you have an urgent question but there is nobody around? You put it on your phone! That’s how things work in 2018.
Voice searches are gaining ground, thanks to smart phone voice recognition and smart personal assistants. 55% of adolescents and 40% of adults are already using it daily and it is expected that by 2020, half of the research will be done by voice.
For good reason, it’s faster and more convenient to talk on your phone rather than having to type your request in a search bar. Especially when you do several things at the same time, like writing a blog post and looking for open pizzerias near the office for example…
The advice of SEO experts from our natural SEO agency:
You understand why it’s essential to integrate voice search into your SEO strategy. SEO agencies have answer for that. Here is an advice from our SEO and e-commerce development experts. Be interested in long tail keywords, terms and phrases used in everyday language! This will allow you to position the pages of your company’s website more effectively in Google results!
User intent is at the heart of the concerns
People visit Google Sage for all sorts of reasons. They may as well ask “why mosquito bites scratch? That “beautiful evening dresses”.
We must understand their intentions in order to provide a relevant answer. In the example given above, we doubt that the user wants a definition of what an evening dress. He is trying to find out where he can find a beautiful dress. Search engines are smart and know how to adapt. Here the results page will show a selection of online shops. Similarly, if the user types “makeup tutorial”, the first results will be videos and not long descriptive articles.
Many suspect Rank Brain to be involved in the process to provide better results and analyze user behavior more closely.
For example, if more people click on a link, it means that its content is appropriate for this type of search and the result pages will display similar sites. FYI, Rank Brain is not a new villain Marvel, but a component of the Google algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to better understand the intentions of users.
In addition to analyzing behaviors, it detects variations in semantics and makes links between queries and topics. Specifically, this means that Google understands that “evening dress” and “wedding outfit” are similar searches and will display the same type of result. It’s always important to include keywords in your content, but be aware that search engines are becoming smarter and consumer intentions are coming to the fore.
Mobile is always more important
The Mobile First index is the latest project developed by Google to make the web even more accessible to smartphones.
This is a new way to scan websites by first crawling mobile sites and applying this index to the desktop version.
We know that we repeat ourselves but we can never say it enough: we must not neglect the motives. All the statistics say it (and honestly, just look around you on the street to see it), smartphones are no longer just used to check our Instagram account.
We also spend our time doing Google searches. More than 50% of searches are done via mobile and this number continues to grow. So much so that we talk a lot about classifying sites based on their mobile version and not their computer version. Although this change is taking place gradually, consider that your mobile site has a significant impact on your SEO.
In addition to this, Google also rewards AMP pages (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This format, dedicated to blog articles, allows faster loading of pages when clicked from the results. In addition to providing Internet users a better experience, Google improves the SEO of sites that use MPAs. A win-win situation
The advice from our SEO agency to prepare for the Mobile First index:
- Your content must be consistent on both computer and mobile. Indeed, Google will first scan mobile content instead of watching the contents of your computer. For example, if your mobile site has less content than the desktop, Google will consider the mobile version. The rest of your content will not have visibility. So be sure to have the same amount for both your mobile and computer version.
- With the Mobile First index, you must also pay attention to hidden content. For example, in tabs, accordions or expandable areas. They will be considered “normal” content on the same page, even if they are supposed to be hidden from users.
- If you have a mobile version, m.xx.com for example, go to responsive design!
- Add structured microdata. This can help your site be better ranked.
- Improve the loading time of your pages: it is already an important factor for SEO but with the index Mobile First, it is even more! You can test your site with Google PageSpeed Insights. It will give you results to improve the speed of your page.
- Make sure your mobile is optimized for mobile (not just mobile-friendly). A mobile-optimized site resizes according to screens and resolutions.
- Google’s mobile optimization test tool can help you see if your site is optimized for mobile devices.