SEO Best Practices 2018: 7 Ways to Rank This Year
You and your team have put countless hours into creating the perfect website for your business. Now, all that’s left to do is wait for the traffic to pour in, right?
Well, not quite. You’ll need to be more proactive than that. A well-designed website is a great first step, but it’s only the initial part of a much longer process.
If you really want to generate traffic for your site, you’ll need to focus on search engine optimization, also referred to as SEO. The first result on Google accounts for 33 percent of search traffic, so you’ll need to be ready.
Make sure you’re up to date to take full advantage of all the possible benefits SEO can bring by using this list of the SEO best practices 2018 has to offer.
1. Create an Ideal Customer
Your website could be a great representation of your business, but does it actually do the customer any good?
Make sure that your website and its related content are optimized with the customer in mind.
Of course, being all things to all people is a bit tricky. But you can improve your odds of creating an effective website by coming up with an ideal customer.
This fictional customer should be an amalgamation of your brand’s goals. For instance, the age you’re trying to reach, their income level, where and how they talk.
All of these elements will go into creating a more effective experience for those who visit your site and can improve your keyword research down the line.
If you’re struggling to visualize your customer, you may want to reach out to a service like this company who specializes in pairing businesses with the perfect SEO strategy.
2. Simplify Your URL
As in-depth and complex as it is, your SEO ranking is entirely based on an algorithm created by Google. Initially, it can seem overwhelming. But it primarily parses code for specific keywords and criteria.
Therefore, it’s important that you prioritize readability in your data and metadata, including your URL. The simpler it is for Google’s algorithm to determine keywords and phrases in your URL, the likelier you are to receive a higher ranking.
So when you’re setting your URLs, including your domain and subdomain, remember to keep it short and sweet.
3. Choose a Niche Market
The more generalized your product or service, the harder it’s going to be to draw eyes to your site.
It’s a simple numbers game, really.
If you have 3,000 people offering one service and 1,000 people offering a similar but more niche service, your odds or getting discovered via Google are higher if you’re a niche market.
4. Publish Content Often
The crux of the best SEO practices of 2018 is still content. In order to get the ranking, you’re after, you’ll want to establish a healthy schedule of thoughtful, engaging content.
Yes, aside from serving as a marketer or analyst, you also have to become a content creator. But don’t worry, it’s not as tough as you may think. Here are a few basic rules to help get you started.
Blogs should balance professionalism with an informal, relaxed tone. Think of it like a conversation instead of a monologue.
You’ll also need to make sure that your content is serving your customer base.
Of course, it’s fine to plug your product at the end or talk about services you offer, but your audience is clicking on your content to gain information. Make sure you’re addressing their needs.
The more content your website publishes, the easier it is to establish yourself as an authority in Google’s eyes.
5. Find Great Keywords
Creating thoughtful content is part of the equation, but you’ll need to ensure that your content is chock-full of strong keywords. You can research keywords in-house using a keyword planning tool like the one found in Google’s Adwords software.
Keywords should be relevant to your industry and should be unique to each piece of content. That doesn’t mean you can’t use variations, however.
For example, it’s perfectly legit to write two different articles: One with the keywords ‘SEO best practices 2018’ and the other ‘SEO ranking guidelines 2018’.
You’ll want to scatter your keywords throughout your articles and include them in your intro, a header, and a conclusion. It’s also not a bad idea to research secondary keywords to give yourself an extra edge.
6. Create With Queries in Mind
Remember, everything you do needs to serve the customer. As a result, you’ll want to start phrasing things the way a customer would when searching for something associated with your business.
The more natural your headers, keywords, and phrasing sound, the likelier you are to come up in a customer’s search.
7. Optimize Your Page for Speed
Finally, your site needs to be more than efficient, it needs to be fast if you want to improve your SEO ranking.
You only have a few seconds to grab your audience’s attention, so if your site doesn’t load almost immediately, that potential customer is going to visit the next site on the list.
Thankfully, optimizing for speed doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
You can start by compressing images, which often take longer to load than something like a paragraph of simple text.
While you’re optimizing your images, don’t forget to go through and improve your metadata.
It’s also a good idea to minimize the number of redirects a user may experience. It may seem like those milliseconds don’t matter, but your audience will notice.
Final Thoughts on SEO Best Practices 2018
Let’s summarize what we’ve learned today:
You’ll need to create the ideal customer to maximize your site’s potential. Doing so will help you when coming up with content, keywords, and even phrasing. Speaking of which, make sure you’re posting on a regular basis.
It’s also critical that your website is quick and responsive and that metadata such as URLs and image descriptors are as simplified as possible.
Using these SEO best practices 2018 can take your website from invisible to the front page if you’re using them right. And make sure to check back with Google’s algorithm regularly, as things change often.
Want to see increase your chances of taking the coveted top spot on Google? Then be sure to use our SEO tools and resources to help grow your brand.