5 Great SEO Tips for 2018
Search engine optimization remains one of the most effective ways of driving free, targeted traffic to your website. With changing trends in search however, it’s vital that you stay current in your approach to sustained rankings. If that sounds like a lot of work, you’d be right but the rewards can be well worth the effort. Here’s some tips for your SEO marketing heading into 2018 :
Digital Assistants and Voice Search
Voice search technology has revolutionized how communication and processing of information is handled. The rise of digital assistants like Siri, Google and Alexa have changed how search queries are performed and it’s vital that we adapt. It’s time to start paying more attention to those auto-complete suggestions in search results. These suggestions pop up because they’re the most popular matches to what you’re keying in. This is commonly known as predictive search.
With voice search optimization as your focus, it’s best to employ long-tail keywords. Targeting a more natural language will run in tandem with the user’s conversational tone. So rather than target “blue car” as a keyword phrase, a more natural query of “blue cars for sale near me” would be a better option. Think conversation rather than just single term. Of course, not every search is done by voice, so targeting a good mix of both long and short tail keywords are still you’re best bet.
Digital assistants are expected to surpass smart phone devices and thus will present marketers with a host of new opportunities. Optimizing for voice search now should enable you to tap into an already growing market. The popularity of smart home devices like the Amazon echo dot and Google home mini are just the tip of the iceberg to come.
Make your Website superfast
Nobody likes to wait right? Online users are growing increasingly impatient and won’t hesitate to navigate away from a website taking forever to load. Website speed has been at the core of search engine optimization for a while now. And with the boom of mobile device use, AMP pages (accelerated mobile pages) are gaining popularity with many businesses.
As we move into 2018, speed is still going to be key on attaining good rankings. Therefore, treat your website much like your yard in the fall. Clean up any unnecessary information & clutter so that you website visitors can enjoy fast-loading pages. If you’re still running on a starter hosting plan, now would be a great time to upgrade what’s under the hood to more resources and speed.
Ensuring your website is devoid of clutter, easy to navigate and fast loading will serve you well in the upcoming year.
Quality Link Building
Link building isn’t going anywhere in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to focus on high quality, relevant links. Having more links than the next guy does not equal better, never has!
For example: if you teach at a local university, linking your blog with their website makes perfect sense. In the eyes of search, this would be a premium, relevant and high quality link. On the flip side, let’s say a door manufacturer has a bunch of links to sites offering area rugs, coffee machines and karaoke instruction. With absolutely no correlation between the two, search engines say huh? and ranks your website accordingly!
Irrelevant links hurt your websites clout and just adding more of them than your competitor is a big fail. It makes no sense to try and build new links if they are not adding any real, relatable value to your website. That’s not to say that you should only pursue the best links from the most popular sites, but it will be more important to focus on link diversity.
A good SEO marketing strategy for 2018 should focus on creating relationships and helping brands have more powerful contacts through long-term and beneficial link building partnerships.
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An Increase in Visual Search
The internet is becoming more visually focused and it’s imperative that brands embrace the power of visual search. Facebook is a prime example of this by rewarding video content and placing it preferentially above other content in newsfeeds. Of course it doesn’t hurt that it also helps them compete with arch rival youtube for your prized ad spend. There’s always an underlying current ;)
If you still think this is a passing fad, then just look at how companies like Bing, Google and Pinterest are investing in visual search engines. The likes of AI and AR technology will only become more mainstream next year and getting ahead of that curve now is a valid strategy.
As an SEO marketing tip for 2018, visual content should be incorporated to adopt the changing habits of search. Rich visuals are more engaging, easy to consume and will attract more targeted visitors to your website. There is no down side on this.
The overall result will be an improvement in the search performance of the website.
It looks like 2018 will be the year brands finally realize the full potential of making their websites mobile-first and not treating it just as an afterthought. This is especially true if Google follows through on hints and finally deploys its mobile first index in 2018.
But even without Google’s deployment of the index, it’s vital for brands to invest in mobile friendly websites. With more than half of all users accessing the internet via mobile, businesses that have yet to adapt are losing a large chunk of search traffic. And as we all know, less search traffic means less sales.
It’s simply no longer a case of if we should take the plunge into mobile but rather when we’re going to do it. Shifting that mindset into mobile first will be clear winning strategy for 2018 and beyond.
Thanks for reading!
Also published on Medium.