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Let’s talk about doing SEO for your website in 2018.
In the digital age, the landscape of marketing changes rapidly. What today is a new, small tech improvement, can be a groundbreaking innovation generating millions tomorrow.
One thing, however, seems to stand on an unshakeable pedestal – the Internet. Well, Google to be specific. Companies take a lot of effort to ensure their website is in the top of SERPs – it is not a particularly easy job though!
Understanding SEO in 2018 means understanding the existing mechanics as well as embracing the newly emergent trends.
In this article, I will describe several areas that will define or redefine the SEO world in 2018!
Everyone has a smartphone nowadays. Between 2013 and 2014 the number of mobile users surpassed the desktop users. That’s not surprising at all! Smartphones are convenient, multi-functional and usually more affordable than a PC.
According to Stone Temple, mobile search constituted 55.79% of all searches in 2017. That leaves desktop searches with a share of less than 45%.
What does it mean for SEO for your website in 2018?
It’s simple – get a good mobile website!
An optimized mobile website is really easy to navigate on a relatively small mobile device screen. The boxes and text are appropriately huge and convenient to read and click.
On the contrary, let’s talk about the functionality of a website optimized for desktop use, but accessed via a smartphone. Well, to be fair, there’s not much to talk about – it’s a nightmare!
Tiny letters and microscopic boxes are one thing. The need to zoom in and scroll across the page to read any content is another. Not having a website optimized for mobile devices is a shot in the leg. It drastically diminishes your user experience (keep in mind that it’s a crucial part of SEO!). But most importantly – puts you in a very bad light as an out-of-date business that can’t follow one of the most important trends not only in SEO, but in online marketing in general!
If you have the means to do so, you might consider building an app. It’s a great extension of your website and can serve a particular purpose, like price comparisons or an ecommerce platform.
This is actually one of the things you need to pay a particular attention to if you want to have a great SEO for your website in 2018.
Remember Siri? The iPhone voice-activated assistant could become a much more common thing. Amazon have already released their own personal assistant device called Alexa in 2014. Google has Google Assistant. And there are many apps available to download.
According to comscore, by 2020, 50% of all searches will be done by voice. Voice recognition market is currently on the rise – by 2019 it will be worth $610 million. It’s a relatively new technology – 60% of its users have started last year.
How can you prepare for an increasing share of voice search in total searches?
It’s simple – keyword research!
Keyword research is an SEO staple, necessary for ensuring effective targeting and better ranking for your content pages. Yet, with the rise of voice search, you might need to start researching differently. After all, when we speak, we tend to form full sentences instead of putting a couple of keywords together, like we do on Google.
Think of keywords as whole phrases or questions, not as single words. If you’re a shoe repairer, think of the ways people might ask Google to search for such a service.
If you’re unsure how to do it, Rank Tracker is a great tool for helping you with determining the keyphrases for voice search.
People don’t have time nowadays. Or, at least they don’t enjoy waiting. We live in an “instant gratification” world and everything needs to be readily available and easily accessible.
That’s why you need to make sure that your website’s loading times are as low as possible! There’s a lot at stake here. If there’s a “five-second rule” with food, then there’s a “three-second rule” with websites. That’s right – if your website takes more than three seconds to load, there is a huge chance that the person viewing it will quit it with frustration.
When potential customers visit your website, it takes them three to five seconds to decide whether they want to do business with you. If they spend most of this time waiting for a page to load, then you most likely lost a customer.
It’s true that a responsive website is mostly improving your user experience. It’s, however, worth noting that Google takes it into account when ranking websites. To be fair, it’s one of the crucial indicators for them! Take some extra time to make the experience of visiting your website a great one – Google will surely reward that!
I already talked about the importance of having a responsive website to the user experience. But it’s a broader topic than just the loading times.
A great website is an optimized website. Make sure all your visual content like photos, infographics, etc. has reduced sizes (check out optimzilla)! In this way, they will take shorter to load. On-page SEO also includes things like picking fitting h1 and h2 headers, adding metatags and adding relevant inbound and outbound links. All these really improve the experience of viewing your content pages making it easier for visitors to categorize your content and navigate your website.
Publishing great content is also a part of on-page SEO. Let’s imagine you have a company that produces fishing supplies. You publish blog articles on issues that are relevant to your customer base – “The best wellies for fishing at a lake” or “Top fishing rods of 2017”, but also problem-solving posts like “How to set a bait for pickerel”. Now, if an aspiring fisherman wants to find out how to get started, they will most likely type fishing-related phrases in Google. This is when your website will pop up in their SERP! By publishing great content, you establish a line of communication with potential customers. That way, it’s much easier to turn them into actual customers!
What do you think makes a website great? One can judge how good a website is by simply taking a five-second glance.
Make sure the colours are not overpowering. There’s a reason why most social media channels are blue and white – these colours are neutral. If your background is bright red or toxic green, it will only make your visitors distracted. Same goes for some weird pattern that you may want to set in the back of your pages. If it diverts the attention from the content, then you’re doing something wrong!
The structure of your website
Is your website easy to navigate? Distributing all the key boxes like “About us”, “Contact”, etc. in a way that they are easy to find and click is essential to the overall user experience on your website. No one is going to spend their time looking for a certain section on your page – they will simply exit. Another thing is letting your content breathe. Overcrowding your pages and using small fonts will make your articles hard to read and your whole website more confusing.
Fill out the sections of your website properly
Make sure that your “Contact” section actually provides such information as your address, email, telephone number and social media links. Too often I stumble upon a website that has nothing more than a contact form. That’s really not enough! Your “About” section is important as well. So many businesses settle for listing their achievements and awards or stating how revolutionary and innovatory they are. They are, however, omitting the answer to the most important questions: “what do you do” and “how can you improve my life as a customer”.
There are a few things that video content cannot improve! It’s a current marketing buzzword and is most likely to shape the way businesses are going to do marketing, not only in 2018, but in years to come.
So, what’s the importance of video when it comes to doing SEO for your website in 2018?
According to Brightcove, a well-planned and executed video content strategy will allow for a 157% increase in organic traffic from the SERPs. What is more, according to Mistmedia, Landing Pages with a video have a 53% more chance to appear on the first SERP.
When it comes to on-page SEO, video fulfills several crucial roles.
It conveys the message in a better way than text – 95% of people can retain it after watching a video and only 10% when reading text. Additionally, people tend to spend 88% more time on a website with an embedded video than on one without.
I covered the on-page SEO – now it’s time to talk about off-page SEO. That’s right – the SERPs!
Gone are the days with simple blue Google links with descriptions arranged in order. Nowadays, each SERP position can contain a lot of additional elements. An airlines company could have a flight search tool attached to the link. An accommodation booking business could suggest their top hotels in a given locations. Google may suggest you top stories on a certain issue you are searching. It’s a relatively new field when it comes to Google and we can expect a lot more interactive content to be added gradually.
What does it mean for the SEO for your website in 2018?
Up until now, the first position in the SERPs was something to fight for. It was the ultimate reward for all your hard SEO work and the essential mark of your business’s importance. However, now, a business that can engage the Google users in the best way will win the SEO game. But remember – we are still talking about the top SERP results! You should still put emphasis on getting to the first page of search results – but the SERP panels can give you the advantage of an increased organic traffic even if you don’t occupy the top spot!
In 2018, business will be about creating meaningful relationships even more than ever!
Link building is one of the strategies that promote inter-business relationships and partnerships.
What does it look like in practice? Every time somebody links to your content piece on their website, you got yourself a link built! Similarly, if you link to other articles, you build links to a different business. Getting yourself some guest blog gigs is also a great way to build links and relationships.
Link building can vastly increase the amount of organic traffic you’re getting. If a website run by a seasoned professional in the field links back to your article, it sends the message that your content is trustworthy and good.
How can you encourage link building? Well, to be fair publishing great, valuable and relevant content is the only way! Good content will always find its way.
2018 will be an interesting year for SEO. It’s going to be the time when old trends will still be strong, but the new, emerging practices will start getting stronger.
Responsive website, user experience, mobile version and link building are still relevant will remain strong tactics for SEO for your website in 2018.
However, it’s important to look at the newly emergent trends that will define SEO in years to come. Voice search, SERP panels and video content are the fresh additions to the SEO world and are going to redefine the way we search and the way businesses engage their customers.
Most of all, however, the SEO in 2018 will pay the most attention to improving the user experience. This is the aspect of SEO that all of the trends listed in this article are more or less connected to. Business is about creating relationships, and ensuring a great experience for your customers should define the SEO for your website in 2018!