SEO constantly undergoes change and to stay ahead of competitors, you need to make use of the latest practices. Here is what you should do in 2018.
In today’s rapidly changing digital world, it’s imperative to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and changes in the SEO world. What may have provided you with first-page search results just a couple of years ago may now be obsolete. This year hasn’t been without its fair share of changes to SEO methods and techniques. If you want to give your website an SEO boost and improve your Google rankings, here are some SEO best practices of 2018 to focus on to get to the top spot.
7 SEO Best Practices of 2018
#1: Have Engaging Content
Google uses a system known as RankBrain to sort through the search results. This system measures how internet users interact with particular search results and rates them accordingly. This rating is calculated by taking two things into account:
- the amount of time a person spends on your web page and,
- the percentage of people that visit your website
If a person visits your website and spends a considerable amount of time on it, then it is clear they like your content. If enough people do this, RankBrain will give you a higher rating.
There is also a definite relationship between the ranking of a website and the bounce rate of that page – the higher the bounce rate, the lower the ranking. The sites with strong engagement are pushed up in search engine result pages (SERPs). So, what methods can you use to improve your site’s engagement?
- Formatting: Proper formatting will improve your page’s readability and will increase your engagement rate. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs to facilitate the reader. Most people don’t read on the internet; they scan. Use bullets and sub-headings so that the reader can find out what your page is about with just one look.
- Bucket Brigade: A bucket brigade is a common copywriting technique that helps to hold the reader’s interest in your page. Basically, this technique breaks down the idea into several sentences, uses trigger words or phrases, and ends with a colon.
- Imagery: Use high-quality, professional images to further increase engagement as pictures show an idea in a much better way. Just make sure you size and compress your images for your website to keep your site speed healthy and make sure each is named correctly and has alt text.
#2: Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
The changing trends show an increase in the number of people who use their mobile phones for internet searches. Another one of the SEO best practices in 2018 is to avoid being overlooked by Google by making your website mobile-friendly. You can do so by:
- Reduce the size of your imagery so it can load faster
- Make sure your site is designed to be responsive to mobile
- Create a fast site to help those with the slower internet connections
#3: Make Compelling Meta Descriptions And Title Tags
Write creative meta descriptions and title tags while keeping a focus on your keywords. You should keep your audience in mind while researching and selecting the keywords you choose to use. Make sure your meta descriptions are relevant and are worded carefully to entice the users to click on your content.
#4: Focus On YouTube Videos
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine. The latest survey shows that people spend 60% more time on YouTube when compared to last year. This trend indicates that, in the coming years, people will search for videos on YouTube, and skip Google altogether. That’s why it’s important to focus on creating and optimizing content specifically for YouTube, another SEO best practice of 2018. Doing so will result in twice the traffic on your website with the same content. You can make your YouTube SEO-friendly by following these directions:
- Choose a compelling title of at least five words and include a broad target keyword in the title to help your ranking in SERPs as well as get more views on YouTube
- Make longer videos as they tend to fare better in YouTube search
As trends show people want to see more videos, you can embed video content into blog posts to increase the amount of time people spend on your website and give a serious boost to dwell time.
#5: Improve Your Website Speed
Google uses site speed as a ranking tool. According to a survey, if a website fails to load in 3 seconds, there’s a good chance web users will abandon it. You should not only increase the speed of your site to better your rankings but also to increase the number of conversions. For example, another survey showed that 79% of online shoppers do not return to a site to shop again if they have trouble with its performance.
#6: Focus On Relevant Content
To better optimize your content for SEO, it’s important to understand what your audience expects and what they’re looking for. Just creating keyword-focused content will not secure first-page results on Google. You’ll need relevant content to increase the ranking of your website. For this purpose, you must find out the location, age, and likes of your target audience so that you can create a better SEO. Divide your content into themes as it is very reader-friendly. Do not ignore the keywords as they are also important.
#7: Build Trust Through Content
It’s crucial the content on your website is correct and trustworthy. It’s the key to making your audience trust you and buy what you’re selling. Your content should be less about self-promotion and more about information that can prove helpful for the user.
Practicing Your Gained SEO Knowledge
Again, SEO techniques will continue to evolve and change. What works today may not work tomorrow. But it’s imperative to use the knowledge you’ve gained to update your website and SEO strategy for optimal results. Take some time this week to review your content and determine if you can make it better. Does it solve a problem for your customer? Is it valuable? Try enhancing a page, using On-Page SEO practices, and updating the content. Track your efforts over the next month and see what happens. Did you see an improvement?
Let us know what changes you made to your SEO in 2018 and if they worked. We’d love to hear from you.