How To Boost Your Website SEO In 2018
The year 2017 has been, without a doubt, an exciting year for search engine optimization. Alas, all good things come to an end and now it’s high time we moved onto newer pastures. Each year brings its own set of challenges, and to no great surprise, the year 2018 is already showing a lot of promise due to Google’s ever-changing search algorithm. Its sophistication has reached new levels indeed, and in this fashion, our SEO efforts have to evolve to match it.
There was already a lot of speculation on the latest SEO trends for 2018, and which will grow in popularity the most. Mind you though, we’re not interested in palm reading here, but rather discussing some very concrete strategies that have been proven and tested countless times so far, backed up by the latest research and statistics in the field. Therefore, here are but a few that have been extremely successful, as of late, that are still on the rise.
Continue Writing ‘great content’
How many times have you heard someone say on the internet, write ‘great content’? But what does ‘great content’ even mean? Surely there’s more to it than that? Likewise, many fail to provide any solid answers to this question and only add to the confusion more. For this reason, we’re going to shed some light on the matter and discover the actual meaning of this phrase.
First of all, the phrase itself changes in meaning every time Google updates its search algorithm. What was true for quality content before isn’t any more, or at least not to that extent. In the past, keywords were the latest hit, but now with Google having a legit ‘brain’ of its own, it goes beyond all that.
No, seriously, Google now actually has a thing called RankBrain and it’s an artificial intelligence used to interpret data and learn straight from it. As a result, longer, more comprehensive texts are going to grab Google’s attention these days. Content that has anything between 1,000 and 2,000 words is going to rank much higher now. Of course, the usual standards of quality apply, Google still hates duplicated and repetitive content more than anything.
Moreover, you should write texts that have a more educational approach, with the latest statistics and data to back it up. The more useful your content is for other people, the more backlinks your content is going to get; not to mention all the potential social media shares as well.
Undoubtedly, this will provide a significant boost to your overall SEO rankings. Though, at the end of the day, content itself means nothing if it isn’t organized properly. Divide a wall of text into proper headings and subheadings so that people can scan through your content more easily and find their points of interest.
This is because the average attention span has dropped to an all-time low these days and getting a thousand clicks to your site won’t amount to much if the visitors don’t dwell there for more than a few measly seconds (but more on that later).
If you’ve ever been outside, chances are you know just how popular mobile phones have become. In fact, they have been the go to devices for searching for things online since 2016, when they reached a staggering 60% of all searches.
Seeing how smartphones, and mobile phones in general have become so widespread, it’s only logical to assume that investing in mobile optimization is a smart thing to do nowadays. Rightfully so, as a lot of these mobile visitors convert into customers, especially with all the latest mobile payment apps running around. But how exactly does this affect SEO?
Well, starting in 2018, Google is going to prioritize mobile-first indexing for websites. This means websites now require a more responsive design for mobile phones to get the best SEO rankings. Moreover, when it comes to phones, speed is everything. Websites not optimized for mobile are sluggish and often crash. Accelerated mobile pages are of immense help here, considering just how impatient your average phone user can be. This is why, if you haven’t done it already, adequate mobile optimization should be your first priority in 2018.
Next, apart from creating mobile-friendly websites and user experiences, voice searching is also on the rise. Probably not as important as mobile search, but still essential. Snippets are usually the thing being read the most by mobile voice searches, which is why your content must rank in the top five for it to feature there.
By having a question, for example in the form of a heading or subheadings, and an answer in your content increases the likelihood of it being read quite significantly. Furthermore, the degree of user intent marked in the question itself also plays a pivotal role, so bear that in mind.
In 2018, no matter where you are in the world, Los Angeles, New York, London, or Hong Kong, technology has certainly taken its roots. Constant advents in the sphere of tech force us to adapt and optimize our lives like never before. The same can be said for SEO, where constant tech tweaks are a necessity to get things done optimally.
For example, there’s a general need for speed when it comes to website performance, as the faster it is the better it’ll rank in SERPs. Much like a traffic jam in Hong Kong slows people down on their way to work, which in turn frustrates them greatly, so does an un-optimized website annoy its users. Seasoned SEO Experts in Los Angeles and Hong Kong SEO experts know the ins and outs of the trade so well that they are able to avoid these SEO ‘traffic jams’ on a daily basis, and they have technology to thank for that.
Furthermore, apart from speed, you want to optimize your site’s security by switching to HTTPS. This way your users won’t be scared off by security alerts for landing on a HTTP optimized website.
Lastly, you want to fix any broken backlinks or remove low-quality ones which may harm your site’s authority, as despite what some may think, backlinks are still viable in 2018, especially so for small businesses.
UI Design And Visual Content
Website design has changed dramatically over the years. Ten years ago, websites were cluttered with small pictures, tiny navigation bars, as well as text, and loads of info in all the wrong places. Today, such a website would decrease your user dwell time to zero. How so? Well, the websites of today have a more minimalistic approach.
They offer a much neater user experience, usually with a large photo in the center of the screen accompanied by a large font and a clear navigation bar on top. Now, this trend is important if you wish to rank higher in SERP as Google does not only ranks pages for their view count, but also the average dwell times of their users.
For instance, if a site that was ranked as number one had loads of visitors but failed to amuse them like a site that ranked as fifth, with an average dwell time of around three minutes (which is the norm for popular sites), Google will punish the former and reward the latter. So, in order to reduce this bounce rate and rank higher, sites must offer more than just mere written content.
This is where visual content comes into play, as recent research shows that as much as 80% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog. This is supported by the fact that YouTube has become the second most used platform to date. Hence, creating video content for YouTube especially is the way to go in 2018.
As a proof of this, certain topic titles are returning video content as the first results for such queries. In addition, the sheer practicality of infographics and the extreme popularity of Instagram just go to show that visual content is here to stay.
Finally, guest blogging is still a legit way of increasing your SERP rank in 2018, which can be done in two ways. The first being when you get someone else to post on your blog, hopefully someone high-profile and popular.
Yet, people generally still shy away from the idea of someone else writing on their blog, as it were a bad thing. Frankly, we now know that this is not the case, so there’s no reason guest blogging shouldn’t be used and even encouraged.
The second way you utilize guest blogging is when you write on someone else’s site, preferably with high popularity and authority. Simply provide a backlink and enjoy that sweet traffic and watch your SEO rank increase. However, be warned, as with backlinks in general, Google recognizes non-organic links; the same goes for paid comments and so on.
This means you want to establish better connections and promote a friendlier environment online in the form of a community to get more out of those organic goodies, such as comments for one. Podcasts are also an excellent idea as they’re a great mix of audio-visual content, and sort of an upgrade to standard guest blogging.
To sum up, the year 2018 focuses quite heavily on technology, more so than ever before, to optimize websites for search engines. Those that don’t evolve and utilize mobile optimization, video content and other tech options in their strategies will be left trailing behind like the year 2017.
My name is Alex Williams. I am a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog