Search engines undergo so many updates that it can be quite difficult to keep up. Search Engine Optimization is like a game with an ever-changing set of rules, and winning requires a complex and well-thought-out strategy. Google’s algorithm continually adjusts to get the most relevant content to the top of the platform.

Here are the 2018 SEO trends to watch out for in order for your brand to get that top batch in Google search results:

Websites that switch to HTTPS

Http (or Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the method by which data moves across the Web. It’s fast, reliable, and has been around since the dawn of the world wide web. However, it is probably not the most secure way to transfer data online. Hacking it can be a piece of cake and that is not something you want if you are handling sensitive personal information of your users. Https (or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the answer to this data protection problem. If your site has switched to Https, your site visitor data is guaranteed to be encrypted and protected. More and more websites are changing course and Google is picking it up. Get this: In June 2017, 55% of sites on page one of Google search results were using Https, and this trend is set to continue into 2018. Simply put, Https is the future.

Google shows more SERP features

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page and a SERP feature is basically anything in the SERP that isn’t a traditional organic result. If you type in the name of a celebrity, for example, you’ll most likely get a knowledge panel with basic information like the personality’s full name, age, and previous jobs, above the list of search results. The main goal of SERP features is to provide users with the most relevant information in the shortest possible time. These types of results obviously acquire more clicks due to the main real estate property and the flashy look. If you want exposure in a SERP feature, you need to secure a spot on the first page of results because Google selects the featured snippets of websites in the leaderboard. And second, you need to have content that effectively and accurately addresses your customer’s question. So if you used to think that featured snippets are nothing more than a fad or novelty, I hope we’ve convinced you that they really do offer a significant organic opportunity for your brand.

Growing popularity of voice search

With the growing popularity of Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, we can easily see that there really is a demand for virtual personal assistants. More and more people are using these AIs to set their alarms, plan their day, and answer their questions about anything under the sun. The increased adoption of this technology is something you can take full advantage of to push your brand to the top of search results. One observation is that voice search requires a whole new keyword research routine. Users using voice search use normal, conversational sentences instead of the broken query jargon used in text search. In this SEO trend, it’s all about the natural language and intended meaning behind the question, rather than the query itself. Reconsider your content and make sure you can ride this wave.

First mobile indexing

Google’s Mobile First Indexing began rolling out in 2018, and we hope you’ve beefed up the mobile version of your site. With this SEO trend, Google will start to index and rank your site based on how the content looks through mobile devices instead of the desktop version. The change has been produced by the constant increase in interactions from mobile devices in recent years. If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you’re pretty much ignoring more than 55 percent of web users. Be sure to optimize your content for mobile devices and use a responsive design for your site that works for different devices. Multifunctionality and accessibility are the best ways to stay competitive.

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