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2018 SEO Trends: 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve

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Now that we are a quarter of the way through 2018, let’s update on the to-do list from last year, recap on the recent changes, and reset on where your team’s focus should be for the rest of the year.

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2018 SEO Trends: 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve

  1. 1. 2018 SEO Trends: 5 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Curve Jim Bader, Sr. Director SEO Vertical Measures
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve bgbgb
  3. 3. What We’ll Cover @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Mobile First Index Site Security - HTTPs Page Load Speed Meta Descriptions ????
  4. 4. @jambad Mobile First Index
  5. 5. Mobile First Index @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve SEOmeter 91 What is it? Google is shifting the focus of crawling and indexing resources from desktop to mobile. Why this score? Google has given website owners several years to prepare. If you haven’t yet, its time. … it’s about to get real.
  6. 6. Mobile First Index @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… May 5, 2015 – Mobile searches exceeded desktop queries April 21, 2015 – Mobile friendly algorithm launches (Mobilegeddon) May 12, 2016 – Ranking signal “boost” for mobile friendly sites Nov 4, 2016 – Announced “mobile-first” indexing is on its way Oct 18, 2017 – Mobile-first indexing has started “for some sites” Feb 27, 2018 – Increase in ranking signal effect “Mobile first index (MFI) is getting ready to expand in the coming weeks” - Gary Illyes, Google (at PubCon)
  7. 7. Mobile First Index @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve If you still have a separate mobile site, you are behind the curve. Go responsive. Use structured data. If you land the featured snippet can mean a jump in traffic. Monitor your analytics and Google Search Console closely. Be smart with your pop ups, and definitely not takeover interstitials. Takeways…
  8. 8. Mobile First Index @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Test your pages to ensure that they continue to perform well for mobile. https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly Takeways… Don’t skimp on content for the mobile version of your site.
  9. 9. Mobile First Index @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve https://www.seocentro.com/tools/seo/mobile-friendly.html Another good tool from SEOcentro.com Takeways…
  10. 10. @jambad Site Security - HTTPs
  11. 11. Site Security - HTTPs @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve SEOmeter 88 What is it? HTTPs provides encryption for the transaction of data between the browser and server. Why this score? Google is committed to making the web secure. If you have been putting this off, its time to take it seriously. For smaller websites, it may not be a huge undertaking. For enterprise level sites, not so much.
  12. 12. Site Security - HTTPs @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… Aug. 6, 2014 – Google blog confirms HTTPs as a new ranking signal Sept. 2, 2016 – Study correlates HTTPs with first page rankings (Backlinko) Nov. 15, 2017 – 82% of visitors would stop using a website if it’s not secure (Hubspot) Oct 17, 2017 – Google emails Search Console users warning about “not secure” Feb 8, 2018 – This summer, all HTTP websites will be marked “not secure” (Google)
  13. 13. Site Security - HTTPs @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve The benefits of migrating to HTTPs: • Increased rankings, as part of Google algorithm • Increased security and privacy • Improved analytics data What we already know… GOT SECURITY? • HTTPs is faster loading (httpvshttps.com)
  14. 14. Site Security - HTTPs @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve This is not as complicated as a typical site migration. Here are the best practices that should be followed to minimize loss of organic traffic: Takeaways… • Update any other URL references • Purchase and install certificate • Crawl the website with Screaming Frog • Change all internal link with http reference • Create a 301 redirect rule • Implement or update canonical tags • Implement or update xml sitemap • Update URL change in Google and Bing • Resubmit to Google in Search Console (SHAMELESS PLUG) Or, just get us to do it!!
  15. 15. @jambad Page Load Speed
  16. 16. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What is it? The amount of time that it takes to load a webpage in a browser impacts performance. Why this score? This goes hand in hand with mobile first index. In July Google is getting ready to really up the ante. SEOmeter 85
  17. 17. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… 2008, slow webpages will decrease conversion rates A one-second delay in page load speed can decrease website conversions by 7% Study by Aberdeen Group
  18. 18. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… April 9, 2010 – Google announces that site speed is an algorithm factor Matt Cutts, Google
  19. 19. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… 2016 - Slow webpages increase bounce rate Study by Google, Soasta.com (Akamai) 53% of mobile users abandon sites that longer than 3 seconds to load.
  20. 20. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Test your pages to know where you stand Google Page Speed Insights https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ GTmetrix - https://gtmetrix.com Pingdom - http://tools.pingdom.com/ WebPageTest - http://www.webpagetest.org
  21. 21. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Download Lighthouse for Chrome DevTools
  22. 22. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Optimize your images! Use a web friendly file type – jpg, gif Size them to the actual on-page dimensions Use lowest resolution with no loss in quality Observe normal SEO best practices
  23. 23. Page Load Speed @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a fast way of serving content to mobile devices, greatly improving page load speed. www.ampproject.org Benefits: • Loads external resources asynchronously (in the background) • Everything outside of the actual content is loaded last. • AMP cache stores most of content and assets in content delivery network across the globe. Takeaways…
  24. 24. @jambad Meta Descriptions
  25. 25. Meta Descriptions @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve SEOmeter 35 What is it? Meta description has been the snippet of text found in the search results under website link. Why this score? The low score is exactly why I am addressing this topic. Worrying about this could be a distraction, and your team likely has more pressing projects
  26. 26. Meta Descriptions @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… In 2009, Google announced that neither meta description or keywords are used Meta descriptions (or snippets) are still valuable for click through from SERPs Best practice used to be ~160-170 characters in length December 1 2017, Google officially increases length to 320 characters
  27. 27. Meta Descriptions @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… Google may not even use yours
  28. 28. Meta Descriptions @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… Presentation in the search results is very inconsistent
  29. 29. Meta Descriptions @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Review SERPs for your main keywords Takeaways… Check your Search Console data Test before making sitewide changes - Target 225-300 characters - Still use keywords for bolded text - Try using CTA or phone number - Look for pages with low CTR
  30. 30. @jambad Link Development???
  31. 31. Link Development @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve SEOmeter 92 What is it? Getting quality websites to link to your content. They are a vote of authority and improve performance Why this score? The internet was built on – and continues to function on links. They will always be a part of the algorithm in some fashion.
  32. 32. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… April 24 1998, Google was founded, created PageRank Marketers created link farms, directories, reciprocal linking to manipulate the algorithm Nov 4 2005, Series of updates to devalue low quality links Marketers started guest blogging, paid links, broken link building, link bait April 24 2012, Google Penguin happened Oct 18 2011, Google penalized big names: JC Penney, Overstock, BBC, Mozilla Many big advertisers were scared away However…. Link Development
  33. 33. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… Links still work! Link Development
  34. 34. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve What we already know… Google themselves have said so! The three most important ranking factors are: content, links, and RankBrain Andrey Lipattsev Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Link Development
  35. 35. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Keep building them! OutreachResearch Link Development
  36. 36. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Use Disavow in Google Search Console Link Development
  37. 37. @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Takeaways… Links alone can move the needle An online fashion retailer wanted more customers to find them for deals on products from high-end fashion brands. Over the campaign, we placed 25 high quality links to their pages. Results: • 36% increase in organic traffic • Increase in organic share of traffic from 42% to 50% Link Development
  38. 38. @jambad Final Thoughts
  39. 39. Final Thoughts @jambad 2018 SEO Trends – 5 Ways To Stay Ahead of the Curve Mobile experience should be a top priority Take HTTPs should be high on your list Page load speed improvement are important Don’t stress over meta descriptions Keep building quality backlinks
  40. 40. Vertical Measures CEO Arnie Kuenn’s Content Marketing Works book is FREE at Thank You! @ArnieK #DSP15 http://vert.ms/cmworks @jambad

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