SEO Best Practices 2018: Does Your Website Check the Right Boxes?
With the average small business spending $75,000 a year on digital marketing, it’s important to know where you could be cutting corners. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to get people to your site without having to spend any money at all. If you get to know the most important SEO best practices in 2018, you can be sure you’re bringing in lots of high-quality traffic to your site.
Here are the 5 must-follow tips for 2018.
1. Start a Blog
When people search for things online, they’re either looking for a specific product or the answer to a question. You can serve both needs when you keep a regularly updated blog. A blog gives you the opportunity to communicate with your audience in a sincere way that standard ads can’t.
When your blog’s visitors realize that you have valuable information to offer and that you can answer their questions, you’ll build loyalty. When your products and services become the answer to their questions, you’ll begin to see that you’re building customer loyalty. With that customer loyalty, you get the combined reputation of having important information to offer since you’re an expert in your field.
Once you have a blog set up, you can start spreading your posts on all of your social media profiles. You can bring high-quality traffic back to your site from social media, engaging people who are already aware of your business. You’ll end up bringing new people into your sales funnel and helping to remind old customers of what they like about you.
2. Use Local Terms
When you search for “pizza” in a search engine, you’re likely to get a whole bunch of results for pizzerias near you. That’s because search engines have learned that when people want to know about a product, their next question is where they can get it nearby.
Search engines scrape through user data, cookies, and profiles to see where searches are coming from. They then target their responses to the places that come up when you search for pizza from that location.
Use this to your advantage by including lots of information about where you’re located on your blog and your site. Make sure you mention your town, your county, neighborhood, or geographical markers whenever you can. If you’re the best plumber in all of Smith County, make sure you mention Smith County on your site.
You’ll be able to inch ahead of the competition and reassure potential clients that you’re the nearby business that they’re looking for. The strongest foundation for any business is to capture cliente that’s local. Once you’ve built up a dedicated local following, you can expand out across the state, the country, and then worldwide.
3. Links Make a Difference
When you’re putting together your blog posts, you need to have lots of links that back up the information that you have. On top of that, you need those links to be active and reputable. Search engines rank sites for how strong their links are.
You should check through the links on your blog posts and across your site on a regular basis. Sending your clients and readers to a broken link is frustrating and will damage their trust in you. Like an overgrown and untended lawn, broken links will leave the perception that the site or blog you’re running isn’t taken care of in an active way.
When you post links, you need to make sure that you’re going straight for primary sources. If you say that “10% of customers do XYZ”, don’t link to another blog that you got that information from. Go one step further and link to the people who did that research in the first place.
On top of that, your links need to come from sites that have a bigger following than you have. This will lend credence to your links and allow search engines to see that you connect to reputable sources often. The higher the quality of your links, the better you’ll be regarded by search engine algorithms.
4. Take Advantage of Metadata
Your keywords and local SEO terms can be used in more places than just your text and posts. You can add them to thetags in your code and within your image posts. The more often you use this SEO hack, the more you’ll drive home who you are and what you do.
On top of that, all of your image files should be titled in a way that informs search engines of where you are and the products you offer. Instead of leaving your image files with titles like “IMG123.JPG”, change them to “used-mazda-626.JPG” can ensure that people searching for Mazdas find you.
5. Optimize For Mobile
Since mobile browsing traffic has now surpassed desktop browsing definitively, you need to ensure that your site looks great on mobile devices. If you’re in the midst of a redesign of your site, design it to be “mobile first”. Sites can more easily be adapted from mobile to desktop than the other way around.
If your photos are awkwardly stretched or your text runs off the page, you’ll lose your visitors quickly. You’ll get a high bounce rate from people who don’t want to try to deal with your site. You’ll also find that search engines will rate you lower for a poorly organized site.
Knowing the SEO Best Practices in 2018 is Essential
When you get a feel for the SEO best practices of 2018, you can be sure that you’ll be ahead of the competition in a big way. You’ll have laid the groundwork to capture lots of high-quality local traffic and to build a base of customers that will be dedicated for years to come. Constantly add to and update your site and you’ll look fresh in the eyes of search engines.
If you’re still getting your feet wet in the world of SEO, check out our guide to the best SEO tools to use right now.