SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The world wide web is full of hints and hacks to profit from the latest algorithm change of Google. A lot of these articles promise first ranks on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
However, if businesses do not want to fear negative impacts on each single algorithm update, a pretty elementary advice is the solution: optimize for users, not for search engines.
Googling “ SEO 2018 ”, the top results do have one thing in common: human-centred content! But wait, what does this mean?
4 steps for human centred SEO 2018
The soft-launch of the mobile-first index by Google in December 2017 marked a tipping point for user experience. Since more than 57% (reported by BrightEdge) of people are browsing on mobile devices, it became inevitable to respect this human behavior.
Taking advantage of the mobile traffic means your website should be 100% responsive and provide the same value (e.g. not leaving out important information on mobile) as on desktop.
Check your mobile friendliness by browsing your website on your own phone and your friends’ phones. In addition, you can dig into detail with this tool.
A lot of different information is hidden behind the expression “User Experience” or UX.
Pertinent and attractive content, a short loading time, readability (think mobile again!) and a human-centred site structure to navigate easily.
To experience your content, the content has to load fast – otherwise the user may directly bounce, without even having seen your content.
The content and structure part is in full control of the website owner.
On the other hand, load times are a more complex topic, since non-controllable parts like internet connection, device power and device system play an important role in determining it.
Mastering web performance (load time optimization) is mainly connected to coding and infrastructure adjustments. Check here how much of this work could be done automatically: wao.io/analyzer
Security is a fundamental human need and plays an important role for ranking in the search engine result pages.
To satisfy the need for security, Google downranks pages with unsecure content and even removes malware infected websites from its index.
A solution to secure a website is the use of an SSL certificate and a web application firewall (WAF) – both of which are included in our service.
Non SSL-secured websites trigger a warning when a user opens them in Chrome, which not only affects the trust of users but in the long run also search results.
For European businesses, another highly important point is touched by securing data transfers (e.g. login data, email forms), which become mandatory with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP). This data security agreement will start in May 2018 and requires business owners to secure any personal data that is transferred on a website!
Voice Search / Context
Alexa, Cortana, Siri – yes, voice search is getting mainstream and even growing faster than text search. A more human way of interaction is the result of this rise.
How can you profit from this change? Think more human when you provide content. Answer questions instead of keywords.
The more people get used to voice search, the more their search queries will change. For example, “how can I accelerate my website” instead of “web performance optimization”.
Changing your mind to provide pertinent content with the right conversational touch will be the challenge for 2018.
Websites are for humans! Sustainable search engine optimization has to focus on human behavior.
Let 2018 be the year people will enjoy discovering, reading and sharing your content.