SEO in 2018: The Definitive Guide

Owing a website is the first step to making your business dreams come true. It would be much more of a help if your website shows up on the first page of the search engine result pages (SERPs). Now the question lies ahead as to how to improve the visibility of your website. The answer lies in how Google ranks the pages and which parameters play a crucial role in ranking. Search engine optimization guide will tell you how to tweak your content and design to get more traffic organically rather than depending on paid ads. Let us look at the SEO guide of 2018 to help your business rank higher.

Keyword optimization

The words which users type in the query box are called keywords and they form the basis for your website to be displayed on the results page. If the keywords match and are more relevant to your content, the chances for your website to appear in the top of the results page are higher. So incorporate valuable keywords often used by the audience in your content to optimize for SEO. Previously the search bots would find pages having lot keywords but now they became smarter and search for the context of the keywords.

Mobile-friendliness and local SEO

With an increase in the Google searches from mobile devices, search engines started giving priority to the mobile-first index feature. Make your websites mobile friendly by designing responsive sites. The content should be consistent across desktops and mobiles and should have faster loading time. Use tools or Google analytics to check if your site is responsive.

Optimize your web content to make the site Local SEO friendly especially if you are a local business. Using phrases like near me and leaving contact information with business timings will help your business to rank on top pages.

RankBrain

This machine language algorithm is used by the Google to rank web pages in search results. It uses some parameters like click-through rate (CTR), dwell time, and bounce rate to determine the page’s worthiness. RankBrain takes into account of the user signals (UX) and medium tail keywords to determine the website’s rank.

Sometimes RankBrain gives higher ranking to the pages than they deserve. If such websites have high CTR, then they are bound to stay on top or else it tweaks its algorithm and sends it lower. It also observes user’s behavior like how long they spend on the page and how fast they bounce off. If dwell time is high and bounce rate is low, the page is bound to get ranked better.

Content and backlinks

Always go for unique and original data as it will help you to gather a lot of backlinks. Bloggers and writers usually love fresh data with good stats and once they find it you are hooked up with a lot of backlinks. You will get lot of traffic for embedding visual content like infographics and videos. Tap into YouTube platform with your videos as it is being used for most of the video searches. Optimize your content for this online video platform as it is too much of a big search engine to be ignored.

Voice search optimization and featured snippets

Encourage your audience to leave comments on your website. Indulge in Q&A session which leaves your website in the top searches when doing voice searches. Voice searches are mostly based on phrases and informal language used by the audience. Q&A is the perfect setup to include those long tail keywords in your content.

Have you seen how one search result comes on top of all the rest? That is called featured snippet. Google brings in one result which has most relevant content, context, and Q&A to the search result as a featured snippet. Optimize your content to get featured in there as it gets a lot of visibility and drives organic traffic.

On-page SEO

Title tags are the most important part of on-page SEO and it is absolutely necessary to incorporate the keyword into the title tag to attract an audience and to reach search bots. Even the URL’s should include a keyword and keep them short. Incorporate modifiers in titles and wrap title in H1 tag while keeping the subheading in H2 tags. It is important that your content should have the keyword in the first paragraph or first 100 words.

If your page contains outbound links, Google can analyze your content much faster as it takes it as a signal to understand your topic context. Also, add internal links whenever possible. Optimize your site speed by compressing images as users tend to leave the pages which load slow. By using LSI keywords in your page, you are making it easy for web crawlers to understand your content better.

Social media integration

If you want more exposure to your website, incorporate social buttons to make your content easy to be shared. This plays a huge role in branding your business and increasing brand awareness. Apart from content, design your website well to give the user a good experience. Integration of social media may not directly boost rank but brands which are popular are automatically more frequented by the users than unknown ones.

Off-page SEO

In Off-page SEO, it is important to analyze the competitor’s content and find which use of keywords is helping to rank higher.  Do podcasts and find appropriate events or business pages to promote your business. Use influencers or bloggers to share your content or to add links to their sites. Make use of the Google analytics to boost site speed and remove duplicate content.

To summarize the strategies in all, take a look.

  1. Use relevant content by using apt keywords and provide useful information about your keywords.
  2. Place your answers on the top line to attract the audience. Check spelling and grammar too.
  3. All the images should be well labeled and of good resolution which can load faster.
  4. Incorporate relevant backlinks and outbound links.
  5. The design of the website should be well structured and complaint with HTML.

Author BIO: I’m currently working as Content Manager with SEO Experts India. I have a great passion for digital marketing and I help small and medium-sized businesses improve their online presence and grow their revenue by formulating effective digital marketing strategies for them. Apart from Digital Marketing, I have a keen interest in Entrepreneurship, Online Reputation Management, Quality Link Building Tech Consultancy, etc.

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