SEO changes constantly and year in, year out we see what once worked stops working. Future proofing your strategy is important.
We asked a number of in the know marketers and SEOs with real sites of their own what they think is and will work now and in the future. Here are their thoughts:
1) Paid Adverts
“Advertise your Assets” suggests James Neal, Director of The Quad Group.
As we all know SEO doesn’t start to create traffic overnight – Google is a big and also a slow beast. Advertising your assets, whether via PPC or Facebook adverts can not only get the traffic in when you’re awaiting your pages to rank, but it can also help you gain valuable links and referral traffic, which are a means to an end.
2) Be an Internet Company, not a Website
“Optimize Your Company Around the Internet” suggests Peter Daisyme on Entrepreneur.
You already know that your website is the central point of your SEO campaign. However, this isn’t the only place your business should be listed if you want to maximize your exposure and traffic. Business directories and social media platforms are other excellent places to list your business details. Search engines like Google utilize this information to help build trust and get a grasp of what your business is all about.
That being said, you’ll want to optimize your business around the web by updating all possible business listings that are relevant to your company with your right address and a summary of what you offer. You’ll want to include the essential keywords in these listings with a mention of any important business locations.
You can ideally take the same approach for social media profiles. While you may not be able to add a full address in some platforms or a full description, you can still mention the essentials of what your company has to offer.
You may also like: SEO Tips for Bloggers: 6 Changes to Drive Traffic More.
Jake Braun, the CIO of ChopperExchange suggests you “improve your Navigation”.
Worried that your website is not getting as much traffic as you expected? It could be for various reasons. Often one of the major factors that impact upon the effectiveness of your website is its navigation menu, according to SEO savvy Jake Braun the CIO of ChopperExchange.
A website navigation menu guides users through the site, so they can easily jump to the pages they want. Besides, a properly structured site menu will allow search engine crawlers to not only discover your site’s content but also prioritize it.
Optimizing your site navigation menu will go a long way improving user experience, increase conversions, leads and search rankings.
4) Secure Links
“HTTPS is going to be a game changer this year” according to Search Engine Land.
A few years ago, the search engine Google announced that secured website certificates of SSL would have a substantial impact on the ranking of sites. If you have browsed enough, you have certainly noticed that browsers like Chrome flag websites that do not start with HTTPS are possibly unsafe. Getting a secure link for your website is probably the easiest tweak to boost your ranking on the search engines this year.
5) Voice Search
Jeannie Hill of Hill Web Creations LLC recommends to “focus on Voice Search”.
Did you know that 20% of all Google mobile searches are made through voice? In the U.S alone, that’s more than 60 million searches. It is estimated that there will be approximately 200 million voice searches every month by 2020.
Therefore, to accommodate this increasing number of individuals using digital assistants, be sure to include JSON-LD (Schema markup) so that Google can understand your content. Also, make sure your material has concise answers to voice search queries. Some website owners and bloggers are already winning big by answering very small; they’re digging dip into the long tail keywords their audiences are using. Consider using Google Search Console and such a tool as Long Tail Pro to do some research.
Recommended for you: SEO Tips: Keys to Ranking for Voice Search in 2018.
6) Optimize the Images
“Images matter” suggests Jason DeMers of Forbes.
When it comes to search engine optimization, people often overlook image optimization. Sadly, this is still the case in 2018, while it is clear that most users are drawn to visual content more than written content.
It may sound intimidating at first, but it is not a hard thing to implement. All you have to do is modify the names of your images and ALT tag. That’s all!
It is safe to assume that you already know how to change the file name of an image. As for ALT tagging, it depends on the platform you are utilizing for your website. In WordPress, for instance, you can change the ‘alternative text’ attribute in the image details and this is easily accessible from the post editor or for your media library.
7) Be Strategic
Dr. Marc Montgomery of Montgomery Dental Care recommends you’re “more strategic; less tactical”.
Dr. Marc Montgomery, says that he sees significantly more tweaks to AI, existing models as well as products. Over the past few years, people have been moving away from tactics, and according to Dr. Montgomery, “this is going to continue being a reality as Search Engine Optimizations begin focusing more on strategic campaigns.”
Therefore, “making your site stand out in some more buzzy way as well as improving brand mindshare and exposure is going to assist Google’s improving comprehension,” he asserts.
8) Think Aesthetics
“Aesthetics are Important” according to COO of Optimally Organic Dana VanDe Car.
Dana VanDe Car, a search marketing expert, and COO of Optimally Organic advises that creating the right and unique product descriptions can help improve the ranking of your products. The SEO expert also notes that having products reviews will not only increase traffic but help to create your products’ legitimacy as well. You need to be creative enough to make your keywords useful; not just cramming them for your various product pages.
9) Content is King
David Sessford of Ready Steady Sell believes “content is still king”.
In 2018, one of the big SEO trends is creating in-depth, practical, and helpful content. Every successful SEO campaign largely depends on creating helpful content that adequately addresses your readers’ needs. This is what Google will place more focus on this year.
Take me, for instance, while I don’t always focus too much on SEO details, I still have greater search traffic each month because I often emphasize on creating problem-solving content that readers want such as this blogging-tips-themed piece. So if you want to improve your SEO this year, you’d better start creating resource-style meaty content (about 1000-2000 words or longer).
10) Keep Up to Date
“Remember that techniques change”, mentions Matt Behnke of Orthotic Shop.
Often, in the SEO space, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Every business needs to try various optimization strategies to determine one that works out best. Most SEO techniques have been shown to work and deliver good results for most firms. However, creating in-depth, problem-solving content is going to continue being the most prominent technique this year. It is an excellent way to expand a site’s organic SERPs particularly if the site is ranking well already. This is largely because updating information and adding more quality content will help the site more relevant.
Youtube videos are also dominating the market these days and are highly likely to gain even more traction. Therefore, optimizing your Youtube videos is another great way to gain traffic from the video publishing platform and Google. You can start by making your video descriptions and titles SEO friendly, that shouldn’t be difficult right?
All of the above should help you improve your SEO and make significant gains in the SERPs.