On the 22nd and 23rd of March 2018, part of Universem’s SEO team was in Paris for the 2018 edition of the SEO Campus. Every year for the past 10 years, the event has reunited SEO professionals around 40 conferences. So what were the highlights of this year’s edition?

Featured Snippets and Voice Search

For a while now, Google has, for certain search queries, been proposing a result positioned above the first and highlighted by means of a frame. This is what we call the position 0 or Featured Snippet. This specific format is displayed when we ask a question. Its appearance and its development reinforce Google’s intention to position itself as an answer engine rather than a search engine.

Some studies announce that by 2020, around 50% of search queries will be vocal. To adapt to these new behaviours, web pages will need to become ‘audible’ by directly responding to questions asked by internet users. Within this context, the answer offered to the user via his/her vocal assistant is in the exclusive form of the Featured Snippet associated with the query. It has therefore become necessary to adjust one’s SEO strategy whilst bearing in mind this parameter, in particular by considering long tail SEO themes.

Find out more on the recent amplification of Voice Search.

Voice Search & Virtual Assistants: where are we now?

Mobile First Indexing and starting-blocks

Its deployment has been underway for several years, but 2018 promises to be a decidedly mobile year. For, indeed, this year Google plans to launch its Mobile-First Index. So what does that mean? In a nutshell, that the search engine places priority on the mobile version of a site over its desktop version.

So, how can we prepare for it?

  • A responsive website: given that over 50% of web searches are made from a mobile, developing a site adapted to suit all browsing devices has become essential. Optimising one single site for all devices is also more economical than proposing different versions and working separately on their web indexing.

  • Optimisation of load speed: a page’s load time influences its indexing on SERPs. Indeed, if its contents are too slow to display, the internet user tends to leave the page quicker. A high bounce rate negatively affects positioning in search results. Note that load speed must be optimised independently for desktop and mobile versions, even if the site is responsive.

  • Mobile ergonomics and user experience: Today, SEO and user experience are intimately linked. Beyond SERP positioning and technical aspects, it is essential to facilitate access to contents and their readability: browsing on a mobile is a fundamentally different operation from browsing on a desktop computer. This is why optimising the experience of the specific users of this medium is necessary.

Reinforcing your netlinking strategy to increase exposure

Whereas the site’s contents and various technical features are of course essential for quality web indexing, there is a third and highly important aspect to ensure its exposure: popularity. Hence, the more links a page receives from external domains, the more weight it will have for Google. This work requires the implementation of a genuine netlinking strategy, in order to create quality backlinks, capable of reinforcing the site’s relevance and its renown.

Would you like to learn more about SEO techniques? Find out how to improve your natural indexing.

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