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SEO Trends 2018 – Ranking Factors to Watch Out For

Brad D

Search engine optimization has been a steady factor in how many visitors a website gets each month and of course, most businesses want their pages to show up at the top of the results each time someone enters a search in Google.

With all the changes Google is making to account for the number of mobile users making up the majority of website traffic, you need to keep up with the trends to ensure your website is not taking a hit.

Here are a few SEO Trends 2018 that you should consider to keep your website on top of it’s game.

1.     Speed

Since so many website visitors are using mobile devices, Google search now prefers pages that load under three seconds. Mobile devices have made us impatient and when relying on cell phone service to connect to the internet, page speed is the major ranking signal in Google’s ranking algorithm. User experience can now have a huge impact on your rankings.

To check the speed of your content, you can just visit Google’s PageSpeed Insights, enter your URL, and click “Analyze”. Not only does it tell you your website’s page speed on both Desktop and Mobile, it also provides you with details on fixes that need to be improved.

If you find that your website is loading below Google standards, making small improvements can have dramatic results in your Google rankings.

2.     Content Relevance

As much as your content is relevant and excellent to you, it might not be as relevant for the keywords Google chooses to rank your page for. Google uses latent semantic indexing to categorize content after assessing billions of pages. This basically means that Google is not always looking for exact search phrases in your content anymore.

Google creates an optimized list of websites that have relevant content according to the terms of Google. When users search a specific phrase, Google now creates a list of relevant related terms their algorithm deems valuable to the users’ search query.

When writing your content, try searching the topic of your article, product, or service into Google and examine the top 10 results to see which related keyword phrases are included (and bolded) in the top results. Use these as a way to tailor your content for the new latent semantic indexing algorithm to improve your rankings.

3.     Voice Search

Google’s ranking algorithms are evolving with the use and recognition of technologies such as Siri and Alexa. The digital growth has utilized the option of voice searching and made it easier for the user. To keep your page in the rankings, it is better to start working on conversational speech recognition, longer phrases, and naturally spoken words. To make sure that your page pops up in the results, you need to build an SEO strategy that works with how people naturally speak.

Try to think of the ways your target audience will be searching for your content naturally. If a potential customer is using voice commands to search for your product or service, think of the ways they will be speaking when searching and adjust your content accordingly.

4.     Visuals

Pinterest, Bing and even Google have introduced a large variety of visual searches and are aligning their options accordingly. It is observed to be the next big thing in search engine optimization, which means that words will no longer need to be optimized but rather customized visuals, will dominate the online world of marketing.

Be sure that your images are optimized with image-alt tags related to the relevant target keywords in your content.

5.     Year of Quality

Quantity has its appeal, but quality almost always takes the cake. The high use of keywords that took over the internet in 2016-2017 will shift to a much natural and organic flow of content. Based on the enhancement of voice search, quality will be regarded more rather than a flow of irrelevant words and phrases that compel the user to shift to another window with compact and concise valuable information.

Use these ranking factors to help optimize your website to stay relevant with the coming changes in 2018.

If you want a more thorough evaluation of your website, feel free to get your free SEO audit using the quick form below.


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