What are the main SEO trends in 2018? Has SEO 2018 any crucial differences to your previous experience in website promotion? Will Google launch any new algorithms this year? How can one avoid Google penalties? Does HTTPS impact your ranking?
First of all, there’s no reason to worry. There will not be only Panda, or Hummingbird or the last known algorithm Maccabees. New algorithms are coming. Google works on changes and tends to hunt down not only excessive ads but also content farms and fake guest posts, affiliate networks, backlink selling, black hat SEO and more. That’s the way it goes and will always go. Google has proclaimed their aim to make the web safe and they do that. With AI, search engines get more and more sophisticated and are learning to find out any kind of cheating ever more quickly. That makes you work harder on the quality of your content, make it more in-depth, and use new features to boost your ranking.
Content is and will be king, while link building and keywords are getting less important. Your content and your texts should be unique and useful to your visitors. Make your own surveys, and be an expert on the subject you are writing on. That is what grows your dwell time (the time that a visitor spends on your page). It’s a crucial thing for Google RankBrain. It’s also important for link building because other sites and journalists will repost your articles or quote your texts. That’s how you get necessary backlinks. However, don’t be too daft about it – you also will be confronted with site owners who just steal your texts without giving you any backlinks. So, you’ll have to protect your authorship. The best way to do it is by linking your site to your Google+ account.
To make your content more attractive to your visitors, visualize your content. Use built-in pictures and videos. Answer readers` questions beforehand. Mind you – don’t use copyrighted images. Try to make something on your own. Give them searchable and readable filenames (e.g. “queenelizabethbirthday.jpg”, not “qlb_2018.jpg”), and use ALTs and TITLEs for your images. That’s how search engines will find them and give you more organic traffic.
Why are SSLs so important?
Google wants to make web surfing safe and secure for all users. That is why it ranks a website with HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure) higher than a similar one with HTTP. SSL-certificate encrypts vulnerable user data between the server and the user and makes impossible its further usage by any other third parties. That is crucial for e-commerce – it helps to build trust with your customers.
Furthermore, Google Chrome will mark sites without SSL with an exclamation point in a red triangle for being dangerous. That sign, or rather that stigma, will surely not add points to your trust-building campaign.
There is also good news for site owners: now you can get your SSL-certificates for free. There are hosting companies who give that option to their clients as a bonus, and there is also the Let’s Encrypt thing. Now it’s up to you.
How can long-tail keywords help you to get to the top in SERP?
Well, the market landscape is getting more and more competitive. Admit it – you won’t get to the TOP SERP with the most popular keywords for search. However, you can find your own niche with long-tail keywords, because that’s how real people search for things they need. They don’t search for “car”, they search for “red tesla roadster new model” (and mind you, if you put it as “hot red tesla roadster new model”, you’ll have to deal with “Hot Wheels” toys, not with the real Tesla site). So try it. Just try to think like your readers.
How can you prepare your site for voice search?
Recent researches show that almost 40% of adults perform at least one voice search a day. In total, voice-searches tend to be 20% of all the performed searches on Google. It isn’t crucial for now, but you have to prepare for it. Thus, you’ll have to mind your snippets and include a question and answer to your content. Like “Does HTTPS impact your ranking?” The answer is “It does impact your ranking now. And here what you can do to improve it…”
Is your site mobile-friendly? Does it show every detail clearly? Well, that’s essential for Google in 2018. There are more and more people reaching out for things they need through their mobile phones. That’s reality. They don’t go to their computer to search for “pizza service online”, they just type it on their phone.
You don’t need to get a separate mobile app these days. Just check if your site shows correctly on mobile. For this Google gives you all the opportunities with tools to check responsiveness.