Search Engine Optimisation changes all the time, certainly weekly if not daily and Google are in control. I am always raving on about the importance of optimisation and how some of the old tricks are no longer valid.

Whilst some of the 2016 and 2017 trends are still valid see 10 SEO Tips for Small BusinessI want to highlight a few areas which are very important for 2018.

Security Linked Rankings

Called the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) the padlock, you have always been told not to use a shopping website if it doesn’t have an padlock and to always check the padlock is showing when doing online banking. In January 2017Google changed to ranked website higher if they have an SSL, see my previous blog (Google’s Security update affecting websites without SSL).  With the introduction of GDPR in the EU this is even more important especially if you are collecting data. Speak to your website host about getting a padlock on your website. If you’re not sure if you’re go one, copy and paste your URL if it says https:// you have an SSL if it says http:// you do not.

Video

Nothing new here and YouTube continues to own Video marketing, but Google is YouTube so it’s importance continues. Making sure you are embedding your YouTube videos into your website is important plus the length of your video is vital, keeping the user watching and interested. All too often people’s attention spans are poor and the lack of engagement reflects in your SEO rankings.

Site Speed

This has always been important for your users, it’s so frustrating when a website doesn’t load, especially when you know your internet connection is stable. You can check your site speed within Google Analytics if you suspect it’s your website and not your internet connection take a look within Behaviours > Site Speed. Report any problem to your website host, but bare in mind 9/10 it’s down to the size of your images and not the server so you may find yourself having to compress your images.

Long Form Content

Long-form content is content with more than 2,000 words, basically a good length blog post. If you are good with words and love the idea of sitting and composing, you’re in luck.A study from serpIQ found that the average length of every top 10 result on Google was more than 2,000 words. That means that when you search for a keyword, you’re more than likely going to get results featuring long-form content. The reason for this is that Google is looking for unique content that informs readers. Short-form is great for grabbing attention, but it often leaves readers with only a surface-level understanding. If you want to rank high on keywords, long-form content will increase your chances,

Voice Search

Voice is search is no longer a fad, with the popularity of Alexa and Google home it is becoming the norm. Providing your text is well written and spell checked you should have no problem with voice search right? Well yes to a point but this links to site speed these devices need to read the text within your website quickly. It also needs the answers to the question it’s looking for to be concise and clear. This goes against Long form content! So what’s the answer, there isn’t one. We need to continue to watch Voice Search and it’s effect on SEO as it becomes more integrated into our searching habits.