As search engine algorithms evolve and become more sophisticated, so must the practices that help search engines create results rankings.
Modern search engine algorithms are significantly more adept at actually evaluating the quality of content a website is offering, which means that businesses and web designers need to be even more diligent about actually creating great content.
This is excellent news for businesses and companies that have offered great content all along because now they are being rewarded for it.
ON the other hand, it means that firms and companies that have relied on cheap “tricks” in the past to gain rankings are going to have to step up their game.
Here are five changes in the SEO game in 2018 – what is out and what is in.
1. LSI Keywords
Keywords are just as vital as they ever were because they are the beacons that allow search engine algorithms to align your content with users looking for that same content.
At one point in time, this was best accomplished by liberally lacing your content again and again with the same words.
The idea is that the more time those words were used, the more likely a search engine was to offer your content first to whoever was searching by that keyword.
Now, however, algorithms will drop you even lower for “stuffing” your content with keywords. LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords can be thought of as synonyms for your keywords.
With millions and millions of articles and billions of videos on the internet, LSI keywords help algorithms get your particular content onto the results page of users who are explicitly looking for it.
2. 10X More Content
Content is no less king in the world of SEO, but great content is no longer enough.
With algorithms that no longer reward ham-fisted tactics like keyword stuffing and backlinks, all businesses are looking to produce better and better content.
That means your content can’t just be great. It has to be t10x times better than the competition’s content.
Today’s content needs to be carefully crafted and honed to precision.
It needs to meet the particular needs, and demands of a very carefully curated target audience to keep them glued to your page and bounce rates low.
3. Mobile First Indexing
With the advent of mobile devices, users finally could access websites on the go. In the early days, however, users could only access full desktop sites.
These were far too large to view on most mobile device screens and contained far too much content, which created glacial download speeds.
Soon, web designers began “optimizing for mobile” by paring down content to only the basics. While this made mobile websites easier to use and navigate, it also made them content poor.
Which also did not matter much since websites accessed by mobile browsers did not figure into analytics anyway.
Until now. In late 2016, Google rolled out its plan for mobile first indexing.
With more than 50% of mobile users poised to be mobile-only users by 2021, it’s no longer enough to design a desktop site and pare it down for mobile use.
Now, you must start with the mobile experience and scale it up for desktop users.
4. Reputation & Trust
With the advent of fake news and possible scandals involving foreign involvement in elections, the public trust may potentially be at an all-time low.
While the need for establishing brand trust with your clients and consumers is nothing new, it may be more challenging than ever.
With hacking and data leaks on the rise in all sectors, it is no longer enough just to provide content that educates, informs or sells.
10x content is no longer an endgame in and of itself. 10x content needs to be used to establish yourself as a trusted industry leader, one that is hopefully above reproach.
5. HTTPS & HTTP2
With everything connected to everything these days, it’s not enough to use standard web security even when all you offer is a loyalty card.
Security is the name of the game these days, and HTTPS sites offer SSL or Secure Socket Layer encryption.
This means any data your clients, consumers or customers entrust you with is encrypted before it ever leaves their computer. SSL encryption creates a secure “tunnel” through which data transfers from their hands to yours.
In fact, Google Chrome is now warning users when they are using a website that doesn’t have an up-to-date SSL certificate.
In this day and age, it’s no longer just credit card information or social security numbers that represent sensitive data.
Addresses, cell phone numbers, and even email addresses can all bring in a tidy profit.
Being a trusted brand isn’t just about creating a great product or offering excellent customer service, its also about being responsible for the consumer data that is being entrusted to you as well.
As search engine providers step up their game to help users connect with exactly the content they are searching for, businesses have to similarly step up their game if they want to be the place search engines send users to.
While some fairly simple tricks and gimmicks may have paid off hugely in the past when it came to SEO, those days are mostly long gone.
If you’re a business owner, it is hard to stay up to date and adapt to all the latest SEO trend, but don’t worry our SEO services make sure you always stay ahead of your competitors!