Check out the most important factors in SEO in the year 2018!
If you work with Digital Marketing you are probably already worried about what will be the most important SEO factors for next year!
After all, everyone wants to achieve good search engine rankings, especially Google.
What stirs the emotions of SEO professionals most is the constant updates from Google.
Do you already know what to expect from the algorithm in 2018? How will these changes affect your site? What factors will weigh more for ranking?
That’s why today I will bring my predictions and key focuses to the year 2018.
And stronger and more important than any trend is understanding how Google thinks ! This is what will help you gain rankings today, now, and still identify the biggest trends for years to come:
Understanding how Google works
I am not talking here about how the search engine works, but about Google’s intention with each update made to the algorithm.
One day I was asked in a Webinar that I made if I feared Google updates and the unpredictability of the algorithm.
My answer: no!
That’s because when we understand how Google works, updates will not have a big impact on your SEO strategy.
The truth is that all changes made by Google are focused on one purpose: improving the user experience!
Why do mobile friendly sites rank better? Because most users today access the internet via smartphones .
Why does page load time affect rankings so much? Because people want the answers ASAP!
Why are there featured snippets ? For the user to receive the answer as soon as possible. Often it does not want to go deeper, but just a brief definition.
Anyway, there are hundreds of ranking factors, and the importance of each is always varying. I could spend all day punctuating every single factor of Google and showing how each of them is focused on a user benefit .
Therefore, the most important thing is for you to understand trends in user behavior. What do you expect when you do a Google search? How have you perceived the behavior of people on the internet?
It is these behaviors that will determine the main trends of 2018.
Now let’s take a closer look at these key factors:
Quality Content: What’s This For Google
Talking about quality content is a trend is raining in the wet.
Content quality is the top ranking factor – alongside backlinks – but that’s not new for at least 3 years.
The bottom line is understanding what factors will show Google whether or not your content is of quality!
Some of them are already well known, but others are still little explored. Let’s understand each of the quality signals Google takes into account when ranking content.
Why are backlinks still the main factor year after year? It’s simple. Because links work as a reference.
If someone links to your site, they think your content is good.
And the more links from relevant sites you get, the better Google will interpret what your content is.
After all, when you’re going to hire someone, buy a gift for your girlfriend, or choose a restaurant to go to, you always ask for referrals from people you know and trust, don’t you?
That is, even the number of backlinks is focused on the user experience!
What do you think when you hear the term “unique content”?
When we use this expression we are not just talking about content that is not equal to others and that is not duplicated. We are not talking about saying the same things, but in different words.
When we think of unique content, we think of its value !
Content that offers something to the reader that he will not find anywhere else.
And how to make unique content?
Optimize accessibility and design
Get people to access your posts and think “wow! I’ve seen content on this topic, but never presented that way. ”
Offer something unique and out of the ordinary. Everything that can optimize the reader experience and make it easier to browse and consume your content.
Information that will not be found anywhere else
Writing a post on any topic is easy. It is difficult to present information that your reader will not find anywhere else.
You need to offer value with different content and make your reader say, “Wow, I never read anything about it on any other site.”
This kind of information shows Google that you deserve to reach higher places.
However, it will depend on your ability to do research, learn, test and translate this into information relevant to your audience.
Semantic Field (LSI)
The way Google interprets content is increasingly evolved. The semantic field is one of the main ways the searcher interprets the quality of a content.
This started with Hummingbird, a major Google algorithm update. Today, the searcher’s artificial intelligence is increasingly trying to achieve perfection in identifying a proper semantics for the user .
Here’s this example that I constantly use here on the blog:
Of course the right content will rank better. That’s because, although the left-wing content talks about digital marketing, it doesn’t mention basic terms that Google expects someone to use to explain the term.
It’s impossible to explain what digital marketing is without talking about SEO .
Therefore the semantic field is fundamental to the success and quality of a content.
Time On Page
The time a user spends on your page is also a sign of the quality of your content.
The more time you spend reading content, the more likely you are enjoying what you have seen and it is answering your question.
To increase the length of stay on your site and on your page do:
- a good and convincing introduction;
- intertitles presenting reader benefit;
- use connecting phrases that bind the reader in their reading;
- Do a great job of internal linking.
You can better understand these steps here !
Alone, the team on page can be a misleading metric. After all, I can stay on a site a long time because I can’t find what I was looking for.
Other metrics will help Google better understand content quality, such as:
Bounce rate is another important sign for Google to interpret content quality.
Bounce Rate shows the percentage of people who leave your site without any interaction.
The metric for Google can be a little bit different, being Bounce when the person returns to the search engine page to click on other responses. This is the worst signal your content can receive.
After all, this shows Google that your content didn’t lead to the answer the user was looking for.
So make great content and do a good job of CTA and internal linking, increasing your user’s session and creating interactions between them and their content.
Achievement of the search objective
This is one of Google’s top ranking factors today, and it shows the searcher whether or not their content is worthy of the top of the Google Result Pages (SERPs).
Behind every Google search is a problem. The best content is the one that solves Persona’s problem quickly and efficiently.
This requires meeting two main needs:
- What drives a user to search?
- What makes some users dissatisfied?
Achieving a deep understanding of this may be the missing step to the top of the SERP.
Read more about this ranking factor in our full post on achieving the search goal .
SERP features vs CTR
To be successful with SEO in 2018, you need to urgently improve the CTR of your content.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every day Google makes new features available within SERPs. And that has greatly reduced the volume of organic clicks.
See for example the number for the search “digital marketing”:
Note that within the results page, according to Moz’s Keyword Explorer , only 58% of clicks go to organic results.
But wait, where is the other 42%?
Ads, carousel, related searches, knowledge graphs, etc. There are lots and lots of options other than organic search.
If you search Google for “Batman” you will see an even more feature SERP and an organic CTR of just 41%.
So to ensure good traffic to your pages by 2018, you’ll need to have good CTR on your pages.
Investing in optimizations to get more clicks will become more important than ever. Click through rate has always been a ranking factor and with these new SERPs it’s time for you to beat your competition.
Invest in Good Titles : Use Search Console to identify the searches that drive your page the most, and create a title based on that ( see this Hack in more detail here ).
Create Irresistible Meta Descriptions : The usefulness of meta descriptions is just that, increasing the CTR of their contents. So enjoy this space and show users why your post is worth it!
Explore Rich Snippets : Create Snippets that can highlight your result on SERPs. In 2018, you know how to explore your Snippets well can be a huge differential! Learn how to make the best Rich Snippets in this post !
Search by voice
Rising in Brazil and already quite common abroad, voice searches will be increasingly natural.
And what does this imply in SEO? Wouldn’t the logic be the same?
First, keep investing in Featured Snippets, after all, when you do a voice search, you get a voice result!
The seeker will read the answer he would present as Featured Snippet. This is how Google Home and mobile searches work.
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