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Thought Leaders Say Why HTTPS and Voice Search Will Rule the Roost in 2018

Digital marketing and stock markets share the same trait: they are constantly changing. What used to be the norm is obsolete only a few months later. The trends marketers need to pay attention to in 2018 are HTTPS and Voice Search.

Thought Leaders Say Why HTTPS and Voice Search Will Rule the Roost in 2018

HTTPS was never in the cards for SEO professionals until Google decided to make it a critical ranking signal. Shortly afterward, WordPress shot HTTPS into instant fame among digital marketers.

The primary reason for using HTTPS is to secure a website. But the reason why digital marketers prefer HTTPS websites is because they do not want to lose out on the SEO advantage.

There is another trend that is making its presence known on the internet: Voice Search. Siri, Cortana, and Alexa are just a few on a long list of voice-based personal assistants that are poised to fundamentally change the way customers find information on the internet. We asked a few experts who are the best in their fields for their takes on these two hot topics:

Topic #1: Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Topic #2: How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Here is what they had to tell us.

Dave Schneider

Dave SchneiderDave Schneider is a Co-Founder at NinjaOutreach, a blogger outreach software. Connect with him on Facebook,  Twitter, and his website.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Definitely. Google will continue to emphasize site security. So long as HTTPS is the current site security standard, I don’t see them not employing it as a stringent requirement any time soon.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

As SEOs know, mobile search users are quickly overtaking the number of desktop search users. With the lack of a physical keyboard, mobile users find it easier to use voice search as opposed to manually typing on a touch keypad, which can be cumbersome.

In order to respond to this need, Google has included voice search optimization in their requirements. So for businesses who want to reach this segment of mobile users, optimizing their brand marketing content for voice search should be their next priority.

Malhar Barai

Malhar BaraiMalhar Barai is Head of Marketing at HiTech Vertical at Tech Mahindra. He previously led digital marketing for Tech Mahindra and has been instrumental in running high impact campaigns.

A techie turned marketer with over 16 years of experience, Malhar has co-founded SEOTalk Twitter Chat and also co-hosts “The F&M Show,” India’s only live talk show on YouTube.

An author, speaker, digital marketing consultant and trainer, Malhar provides consulting to brands and individuals. He helps them to create omni-channel digital strategies by leveraging the power of live streaming, SEO, and various digital platforms. Connect with him on Twitter, Linkedin, and his website.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Let us remember that on Google, the authenticity of content or a brand is paramount, and users would always love to be on sites that have secure communication.

So having a website that is supported by HTTPS helps Google and users to trust the brand, and thus it will continue to be a ranking signal.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Voice and device based search is gaining prominence. With over 20% of searches happening via voice, it is imperative for brands to optimize themselves for voice search. And we now have voice-based devices such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Home coming to India.

So for brands, it is no longer “if you optimize for voice,” but “how soon can I optimize for voice?” Brands have to be where their customers are.

Sam Hurley

Sam HurleySam Hurley is a lateral-thinking, people-focused digital marketer, holding solid experience in both agency and client-side settings. He now runs his own global personal branding and influencer marketing business, OPTIM-EYEZ.

Sam has achieved success for popular, international brands, and Webinale has ranked him as the world’s #1 digital influencer. Onalytica ranked him the #2 most influential digital marketer, and ScribbleLive ranked him as one of the top three content marketing influencers. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

I have no doubt HTTPS sites will see even more benefits throughout 2018 onwards. And they will see benefits not just for SEO but also for a whole host of other considerations.

In 2017, Moz reported 50% of page one search results to be HTTPS, with a predicted upwards trend. However, querying direct ranking signals as a result of going secure shouldn’t be your primary focus.

Think about it: Secure, padlocked pages offer safety and a degree of trust to users. This in turn can lead to more conversions and better user engagement, which also impacts how Google’s RankBrain assesses your site. You guessed it! This aids SEO.

In addition, the web is constantly moving towards a more secure environment, with browsers also marking sites as not secure. Today, HTTPS is simply a no-brainer.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Twenty percent of mobile searches on Google are made via voice, which means over 60 million people (in the U.S. alone!) use digital assistants. By 2020, there will be 200 billion voice search queries per month.

These are stats not to be ignored —that’s a huge audience to tap into for greater brand recognition!

To accommodate this development, be sure to add Schema markup (JSON-LD) so Google truly understands your content. Provide answers within your material that are concise enough for a voice search answer.

Win big by answering small, and dig deep into the long-tail keywords your target audience is using. You can try a combo of Google Search Console and a tool such as Long Tail Pro for this research.

Marcus Miller

Marcus MillerMarcus Miller is an SEO and PPC Consultant, founder of Bowler Hat agency, and a columnist for Search Engine Land. Connect with him on Twitter and his  website.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Yes. Absolutely. Google cares about its users. And sites without HTTPS that have contact forms don’t care about their users. With the tightening of data security laws across the world and GDPR (general data protection regulation) in the UK, HTTPS will continue to be an important quality signal.

It’s not a huge factor. HTTPS will not jump you from the fifth page to the first page, but it is a foundational factor that all businesses should get dialled in on.

Stats from Mozilla show that over half of Mozilla’s traffic is now encrypted, so this is very much a case of get on board or be left behind. At my SEO agency, Bowler Hat, we focus on helping small businesses, and this is one of the SEO tips we always recommend!

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Voice search is super interesting. And it is yet another opportunity to get your brand in front of a prospective customer. It is also an area where many businesses are just not yet that clued in, so there is a first mover advantage.

As an example, we have an article on our site that provides a range of SEO tips for beginners: https://www.bowlerhat.co.uk/seo-tips-beginners.

This same article has a featured snippet for terms such as “beginners SEO tips” (as shown in the image below), as well as a standard organic listing in #2.

beginners SEO tips

We also get exposure for this snippet through voice search queries via Google Home or Google Search. Ask a question such as “what are some beginners SEO tips,” and our snippet is read out along with our brand name. If you are on a phone or computer, then there is also a link to the page.

Voice search is all about more exposure. You can target it in exactly the same way you target featured snippets (which I talked about in a recent Search Engine Land column).

Joe Williams

Joe WilliamsJoe Williams is Founder of Zen Optimise, now rebranded as Learn SEO Fast. He is a sharer of SEO, and he also does content marketing and social media. Connect with him on Twitter.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

I believe HTTPS will continue as a ranking factor. Most web hosts are now on HTTP/2 . You can check your website here. HTTP/2 makes HTTPS requests quicker than regular HTTP does.

Our website uses the free Let’s Encrypt HTTPS certificate, so HTTPS is becoming accessible to the masses. There is a chance Google will turn up the ranking needle on HTTPS, but I suspect it will continue as a slight ranking factor in 2018.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

With people using mobile devices more regularly than laptops and desktops, voice search has been on the rise for the last few years and will continue this way.

Businesses need to adapt their keyword strategies to include more long-tail keywords, which are often longer and less concise phrases.

Adapting in this way might require more development of content. It’s still too early to say how voice search on devices such as Alexa will impact SEO as we know it. I think voice search will play an important role, but not in 2018.

Ashok Sharma

Ashok SharmaAshok Sharma is a writer, blogger, digital marketer, and social media enthusiast. He currently holds the position of Digital Marketing Manager a GrayCell Technologies. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) provides a secure connection to users on web pages, and I personally believe that HTTPS is not the only important aspect of a web page.

There should be great visuals, a good UI (user interface), and a fast load time. Google cares for HTTPS now, and HTTPS will certainly continue to be a focus in 2018.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Voice search is the next big thing in 2018, and the top reason people use voice search is its convenience. It is fast, and no one likes to type long keyword phrases on their phones.

Now, as marketers, we have to prepare for voice search and optimize site content for voice search in the following ways:

Focus on mobile: Users generally perform their voice searches on mobile devices, so mobile optimization is important.

But while optimizing for mobile, you need to work on the responsiveness of your website and improve page load speeds. Remove intrusive interstitials, and abandon drop-down navigation menus in order to improve the mobile user experience.

Target long-tail keywords or natural language queries: Voice search queries are more likely to be longer than their text counterparts. Find relevant long-tail keywords, and target long-tail keywords or natural language queries in site content.

Target featured snippets: Featured snippets are also called “position zero.” To target featured snippets, you need to focus on deep questions with in-depth answers in your content, add relevant schemas, etc.

Once your site is populated for featured snippets, you will experience a huge boost in your brand recognition and authority.

Chris Weaver

Chris WeaverChris Weaver is a Director of Strategy at MWI. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Yes. It will. Considering the media and continual stories on the hacking of major sites and institutions, online security is still a major focus for Google. Google will continue to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.

The latest numbers I could find (going back to Oct 2017) show that the Chrome page loads just below 80% for encrypted. That is a fantastic number, but Windows, Linux and Android are closer to 50%.

Once the other platforms get closer to Chrome’s level (probably 75%), I think Google will readjust this as a ranking metric. I envision a different security ranking signal, however, versus completely removing it.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

You will be hearing a lot about voice search in the next two years. Since it is still in its infancy in regards to optimization, this year will be the year of testing and figuring it out. Right now, the majority of voice search is information-based and is not as key to brand recognition.

As transactional searches continue to grow in voice search, businesses will need to get ahead of the game. At this point, we are consulting with our clients to treat voice search as we treat local search.

We update as many signals as we can based on location signals, user reviews, and sentiment analysis.

Pawan Deshpande

Pawan DeshpandePawan Deshpande is CEO of Curata. Connect with him on Twitter.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Yes, but it will not be as big of a differentiator when the majority of the sites transition to HTTPS. HTTPS will have a much bigger impact on the browsing experience on sites as browsers implement more blatant warnings for HTTP only sites.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

I’m not sure.

Sean Si

Sean SiSean Si is a CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker, Qeryz, Sigil, and Workplays. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Google is currently encouraging websites to convert to HTTPS because not doing so will cause search rankings to drop. We have converted the websites that we handle to HTTPS in order to have secure sites and to ensure that we do not get penalized by Google.

With this in mind, HTTPS will still remain an important ranking signal this 2018. As bigger industries and various websites convert to HTTPS, it is best to follow the trend.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Voice search has made up a good percentage of total searches over the last few years, and we just might see that percentage increase further in the next five years or so. With voice becoming more convenient than traditional typed searches, businesses should use this benefit to their advantage.

Voice search can help to personalize searches more because AI and chatbots can respond to inquiries better as you keep searching.

Having your brand mentioned in search terms would mean chatbots giving the users instant access to your website and your services. Having your website optimized for voice search is a project that you should prioritize.

Christoph Trappe

Christoph TrappeChristoph Trappe is a Top 25 content marketer, public relations leader, and keynote speaker. He is also an author, trainer, and storyteller. Connect with him on Twitter and his website.

Will HTTPS continue to help as a Google ranking signal in 2018?

Of course. I have used HTTPS for a while on sites, but I can’t tell if it’s a major factor in getting more organic traffic.

How will voice search help businesses get people to recognize their brands?

Regarding voice search: as long as you write in an informational, educational and conversational manner, people should still find your content, even when they search with their voices.

HTTPS and Voice Search Are Essential

This is what the visionaries have to say about two topics that no digital marketer can afford to neglect. Every single opinion listed above indicates the growing need for businesses and marketers to consider HTTPS and voice search as critical SEO factors.

So what do you think about the future of HTTPS and voice search?

The post Thought Leaders Say Why HTTPS and Voice Search Will Rule the Roost in 2018 appeared first on GrowMap.



This post first appeared on Growmap - Map Your Path To Grow Your Business, please read the originial post: here

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