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Top SEO Trends In 2018

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Online presence is an integral component to any businesses strategy, however the digital landscape is in a continuous state of change so it’s mandatory to stay up to date with these changes to ensure your online exposure is optimised. Google releases between 500 and 600 updates annually, with many of them merely fine-tuning their secretive search ranking algorithm. With Google being such a tremendous force in today’s online world, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become increasingly important for businesses to enhance their website traffic, customer engagement, and essentially their earnings.

User behaviour is evolving rapidly with new technology, so Google must track these changes and update their search algorithm respectively to ensure the user experience is as smooth as possible. If a website is going to succeed online, they too must remain on top of the changing trends in SEO. In truth, using outdated SEO strategies can trigger penalties that decrease a website’s search engine results page (SERP) listings, so here we’ll explore the top SEO trends to consider for your website in 2018.

Voice Search

A large number of users are now wishing to use voice searches as opposed to customary keyboard searches, so this will organically be a top SEO trend in 2018. Voice searches are much faster and more convenient, which is why it isn’t surprising that 1 in 5 online searches stem from voice queries. If the current increase in voice searches continues at the same rate, nearly half of all online searches will be conducted via speech by the year 2020!

What this implies for websites is that they should begin including more long-tailed keywords into their SEO strategy, particularly those with a natural conversational tone. For example, if a website has a keyword phrase such as “best Sydney restaurants”, it could also be associated with a phrase such as “Where are the best Sydney restaurants near me?”

Link Building

Link building has always been an invaluable tool for SEO, and this will continue to be a pivotal element in calculating SERP listings in 2018. Generating valuable links to credible websites is still the most convenient way for Google to determine if a website is trusted, so adding value through quality links that helps you build an authority in your target niche is a reliable strategy.

Having said that, the trend towards link building is now more long-term, so having links from sites related to your industry and referral traffic will be very valued in the future.

Mobile Optimisation

Since 2015, online searches via mobile devices has surpassed that from desktop computers, so Google has made it clear that websites that are optimised for mobile devices will be ranked higher in SERP listings.

The reason that mobile optimisation is a top SEO trend for 2018 is because Google has publicised that they are experimenting with mobile-first indexing, which clearly signifies that mobile optimisation will be prioritised in the upcoming year. If your website hasn’t already been optimised for mobile devices, now is certainly the time to start!

Accelerated Mobile Pages

Website loading speeds play a key role in SERP listings, and Google’s search results algorithm will clearly favour those with quicker speeds. In reality, Google has developed an open source project that helps websites to load pages faster on mobile devices. The project named ‘Accelerated Mobile Pages’ (AMP) enables individual web pages to load 4 times faster than regular pages, and uses only 10% of the data in doing so!

While AMP is not directly influencing SERP listings yet, it will influence other areas closely related to Google’s search results algorithm, such as bounce rate and session duration of users. AMP can be simply installed into HTML or JavaScript code, though plugins will be required for content management systems like Drupal and WordPress.

How To Work On SEO For Your Website in 2018

Even though customary SEO techniques such as link building will still be effective in 2018, there are other manifesting trends that Google is prioritising in the future which may extensively transform the practice of SEO. It’s clear that SEO is already adapting to stay up to date with changes in user behaviour and to maximise the overall user experience. By understanding the latest SEO trends and implementing strategies now, your website will be optimised and ready to obtain targeted clients from higher SERP listings.

If you have any queries or concerns about how you can optimise your website to adapt to the latest SEO trends, talk with Internet Marketing Experts Ballarat on 1300 595 013, or visit their website for additional information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsballarat.com.au

 

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Social Media Marketing – Say More On Twitter

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The moment has finally come where Twitter users can share their irritation with the 140 character limit in more detail, now that Twitter has officially confirmed that they have lengthened the character limit to 280 per Tweet!

The social networking platform, which was launched in 2006, grew swiftly to become one of the most prominent social media sites across the world, however recent slumps in growth induced the social media giant to make some modifications. Twitter distinguishes itself from other social media networks with its ‘microblogging’ feature, which is significantly different to equivalent social media platforms like Facebook and Google Plus. Twitter has just over 330 million users that send approximately 6,000 Tweets per second.

Despite the 140 character limit that strongly defined the social networking service, Twitter published on November 7 that they want every person all over the world to ‘easily’ express themselves on Twitter. After carrying out a series of tests over the past couple of months, Twitter determined that they wanted to widen the character limit, but only where required. Countries like China, South Korea, and Japan will remain at the 140 character limit, purely because there’s no need for an increase, as sending messages in these languages can be represented in a short amount of characters. Languages like English meanwhile, encounter crammed Tweets with 9% of English Tweets hitting the preceding 140 character limit.

So, why the change?

After conducting a number of tests to certain users, Twitter acquired valuable results and conceived the 240 character limit would be favourable for most users. Considering that 9% of English users were hitting the 140 character limit, many would need to spend time cropping their Tweets to make sure they didn’t have to send several messages. Furthermore, users would now have the ability to conveniently fit their opinions into a single Tweet, so they could say what was on their mind and send them quicker than before.

The question is, what effect will this have for online marketers and SEO professionals? Here are a few alterations that they can expect to see.

Increased engagement

Since Twitter widened the character limit, users have experienced a higher level of responses which resulted in more followers. Visibly, this has been a step in the right direction, as there has been a reported higher satisfaction rate from content producers coupled with more Likes, Retweets, and Mentions.

Improved user experience for followers.

The widened character limit means that users will have reduced threads of conversations, given that they can fit more material into a single message. Users with long threads of conversations noted that it can sometimes be difficult to follow and respond to. Furthermore, brands are loving the longer Tweets as it allows them to fit more intricate information into a single Tweet which generates higher engagement rates.

Increases customer communication

With the surge of enterprises using social media as a channel to resolve customer service issues, customers can now convey a problem in more detail on Twitter which is worthwhile for both the customer and the business, as communication is considerably improved. Previously, many users would have chosen other social media sites like Facebook to report customer service issues simply because the character limit was too restricting.

More Creativity

Longer Tweets means that firms can enhance the creativity of their communication with their target market through storytelling, Q&A’s, and more engaging Twitter Chats. Companies would normally have to use other social media platforms if they planned to get creative, however brands can now successfully use longer text to their advantage by interacting with their audience on a more personal level.

While some users have claimed that the increase in character limit by Twitter makes them more comparable to other social media platforms, the clear majority of users seem to be very happy with their latest update. Nothing is permanent in social media, as making changes to stay on top of changing user behaviour is crucial for survival. For the time being though, both users and marketing specialists appear to have emerged the winner!

If you need any suggestions about how your firm can leverage the increased character limit to your advantage on Twitter, simply get in touch with Internet Marketing Experts Ballarat by calling 1300 595 013, or alternatively visit their website for further information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsballarat.com.au

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A Guide To SSL Changes – What It Means For Your Website

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In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s critical that companies keep up to date with Google’s best practices to make sure they remain competitive in their respective online markets. With Google being the most dynamic and influential company on the internet, it’s imperative for them to keep abreast of all the threats and opportunities that the internet generates. Accordingly, Google releases a multitude of updates every year: new features, bug fixes, and the majority associated with the very secretive Google search ranking algorithm.

What is necessary though, is that all online suppliers that use Google-related services (pretty much every online enterprise), understand pressing changes that may affect their SEO, performance, and ultimately their bottom-line. The internet is in a continual state of change, so online firms need to be flexible and conform with new Google updates as soon as possible to make sure that they aren’t adversely impacted by these new releases.

The most prevalent Google update that has recently affected online companies relates to Google Chrome v62, which was released in October this year. The Google Chrome web browser is used by roughly 50% of all online users, so it’s extremely important that online providers implement the relevant changes as quickly as possible if they aspire to reduce any adverse repercussions.

What has changed in Google Chrome v62?

In the Google Chrome v62 update, Google has reformed the way in which it marks non-secured (HTTP) pages. If a non-secured (HTTP) page saves security passwords and bank card information (which is stored in a plain text file), they are susceptible to phishing sites that can potentially steal this information from clients that wrongly believe they are supplying their personal information to an honest company. The Google Chrome browser will start marking any text input field and web address bar as ‘NOT SECURE’ for HTTP pages.

This change will visibly have a bearing on millions of websites all over the world. Prior to the change, many non-secured websites weren’t impaired by phishing attacks simply because they didn’t have a public-facing member login, and chose PayPal or other offsite payment processors to accept online payments. Now, however, all websites will need to start securing their web pages due to the fact that users will become worried of succumbing to harmful attacks if they input their personal information into fields marked boldly as ‘NOT SECURE’.

How to make web pages secure?

For online providers that want to secure their formerly non-secured (HTTP) web pages, they must encrypt the information being distributed between their consumers and their web server by integrating an SSL certificate. Google are distinctly pushing for a more secure internet than ever before, and they’ve opted for SSL encryption as a vehicle to do this. For website owners who wish to enable HTTPS on their web servers, here is an informative guide: https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/security/encrypt-in-transit/enable-https?hl=en. The following link is an additional guide on how to avoid the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning in Google Chrome which is aimed at web developers: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2016/10/avoid-not-secure-warn.

What this means for online businesses?

The recent Google update indicates that HTTPS and SSL encryption will become the norm across all web pages on the net. One way or another, each online business will need to secure their web pages using SSL encryption whether they like it or not, or users will simply choose a competitor that does.

What this also signifies is that not all websites using SSL encryption should be trusted, and there will be a significant increase in phishing sites using HTTPS also. Phishing sites can simply use fraudulent SSL certificates to bypass the ‘NOT SECURE’ warning by Google Chrome and make their websites appear authentic. This will make the distinction between phishing sites and real websites more difficult than ever. Online enterprises that use an Extended Validation Certificate (EV SSL) will be the most trusted websites on the internet considering that it will be exceedingly difficult for phishing sites to emulate the authenticity that EV SSL provides.

Making all websites employ SSL certificates to demonstrate their authenticity will only increase the amount of phishing sites that do the same. At the end of the day, however, SSL encryption will inevitably become compulsory, so if you need any support in securing your website with SSL encryption, get in contact with the digital specialists at Internet Marketing Experts Ballarat by calling 1300 595 013, or visit their website for further information: http://www.internetmarketingexpertsballarat.com.au