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 an intricate and well-thought-out strategy. Google’s algorithm continually adjusts to get the most relevant content at the top of the platform.

These are the SEO trends of this 2018 that you should be aware of so that your brand can hook that main batch in Google search results:

Switch to HTTPS websites

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 safest way to transfer data online. Hacking it can be a picnic 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’s search results were using Https and this trend is projected 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 function is basically anything on the SERP that is not a traditional organic result. If you type the name of a celebrity, for example, you will most likely get a Knowledge Panel with basic information such as the personality’s full name, age, and previous jobs, at the top of the search results list. The main objective of SERP functions is to provide users with the most relevant information in the shortest time possible. These kinds of results obviously get more clicks due to the premium real estate and eye-catching looks. If you want to expose yourself in a SERP feature, then you need to secure a place on the first page of the 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 a 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 deduce 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 get your brand to the top of search results. One observation is that voice search requires a completely new keyword research routine. Users using voice search use normal conversational sentences instead of the choppy query jargon used in text search. In this SEO trend, it is all about natural language and the intended meaning behind the question, rather than the query itself. Reconsider your content and make sure you can ride this wave.

Mobile indexing first

Google’s Mobile First Indexing started rolling out in 2018 and we hope it has strengthened the mobile version of its site. With this SEO trend, Google will start to index and rank your site based on how the content looks through the mobile device instead of the desktop version. The change has been triggered by the steady increase in mobile device engagements in recent years. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, you’re practically ignoring more than 55 percent of web users. Make sure to optimize your content for mobile devices and to 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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