Are you ready for SEO in 2018? Getting more traffic to your blog means focusing on the key strategies to increase your visibility in search engines.
SEO has changed a lot over the years and 2018 is no different. We are seeing significant changes that have been evolving over time.
If you have not paid attention to search engine optimization before, it’s never too late to start. You are writing blog posts anyway, why not put a little extra effort in and get BIG results?
Today I have practical SEO tips that you put into practice starting now.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is a process that you follow on your website to gain more visibility in search engines like Google. Search engines help people can then find your content when it is a good match for their search query.
According to Google:
I love Google’s explanation! It makes sense.
5 Ridiculously Simple Ways to Improve Your SEO in 2018
Search Engine Optimization is a must to help search engines understand your content and then display it to users when it’s a good match for a search query.
The good news?
You can take action on a few SEO best practices to help your site get noticed in 2018 and beyond.
1 – Write Comprehensive Content
Google wants to see in-depth content that answers a person’s question. All too often, blogger write whatever they feel like writing.
That is NOT a good SEO plan at all.
First and foremost, you need to know exactly what your audience wants to read. It’s not a guessing game.
You can do keyword research to discover that information.
As I’ve always said, if you want people to be interested in what you write, then write stuff that interests them.
It’s really that simple and the first step in optimizing your blog content.
Once you understand what your target audience is interested in reading, you can start narrowing down content topics.
There are various ways to write content. For example, if your user intent target is someone who is new to a topic, the keywords you use and focus your content on will use one set of keywords.
The focus on your content would be different than someone who has a more specific search query on the same topic.
There are a number of keyword research tools you can use with user intent in mind:
Make write in-depth, comprehensive blog posts part of your 2018 content plan. The old days of 300 to 500 word blog posts are not a trend for SEO in 2018.
In many studies, long-form blog posts outrank shorter blog posts in Google. Aim for about 2,000 words.
Organize and optimize your blog content. It’s very simple to do but yet many don’t bother. That is a HUGE mistake.
Here is checklist for every blog post you write:
- Write easy to read text.
- Keep paragraphs short.
- Use heading tags to help user navigate your content.
- Keep the hierarchy order of heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
- Optimize your images (use my no-cost Image Optimization course – 9 minutes)
Are you already using these techniques? If not, put them into action!
2 – The Need for Fast Site Speed in 2018
The Google recommended loading time for you site is under 3 seconds.
In today’s busy world, most people won’t be waiting for your blog page to load if it’s taking way to long – like 5 to 10 seconds.
Your site speed contributes to SEO in an indirect way.
If a user finds your site in Google search results and your site is slow, that user will likely leave before your page loads.
This gives Google a a signal that your site is not a good match since the user left so quickly. Over time, Google will down-rank your site’s search position.
If your blog speed is really slow, Google may even limit the number of pages it indexes from your site. Then you won’t have to worry about SEO because your blog won’t be indexed!
That would be terrible.
Head over to ThinkwithGoogle and test your Mobile Site speed now to make sure your site is loading in a reasonable amount of time.
Why test your mobile site? Google is moving to a mobile-first index in 2018. This means that indexing of your site will be done for mobile search first. Since the lowest common denominator for mobile speed is 3G, then your site needs to be fast to load fast on mobile devices.
If your mobile site is too slow, it will likely be down-ranked in Google’s search index.
My sites were extremely slow and it hurt my results in regular search. I installed plugins and did everything possible.
The problem was that my webhost was terrible and extremely slow. The only solution was to switch webhosts. I did change to SiteGround webhosting. They moved some of my sites for me and saved me the headache of doing it myself.
I highly recommend you check out SiteGround, they have super-fast servers that use the best technology.
3 – Google Mobile-first Indexing in 2018
Little by little, mobile devices are dominating in the online world. With that in mind, Google is shifting to mobile-first indexing.
As of this writing, over half of searches are done with mobile device and many of those use voice search.
According to the SEJ Annual Report about 60 percent of traffic is coming from mobile devices
Mobile SEO is here to stay so get with the program if you want to get found in search results in 2018.
Your first step is to make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Google has a simple test you can use for free.
Video: Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool – Check Your Site
Head over the Google mobile friendly test tool. Enter your URL and click Run Test.
The results will show you what you need to improve on your mobile website. That’s it.
Simple to do.
4 – Create More YouTube Content
As the world’s second largest search engine, more and more people are watching YouTube video online from their mobile phones.
And … Google owns YouTube.
YouTube has grown exponentially in the last couple of years. You can expect more of that growth in 2018. It’s time you created your own YouTube channel and videos.
Many of the same SEO best practices apply: you still have to do keyword research, create great content and such.
And of course, you’ll want to optimize your video for YouTube search and organize your channel with sections.
That’s not all!
It’s so much easier to rank YouTube videos than it is to rank blog posts.
If you think it’s hard to create video content, think again.
You already create blog content, right?
Just take that content and repurpose it into a video. Then embed that video into your blog post.
Easy to do, easy not to do.
5 – Make Your Site More Clickable
One of the most important goals for your 2018 SEO is to your site more clickable. The competition is fierce my friend.
Everyone is not only competing for those first positions in Google, but once you have it, you are competing for clicks.
This means that your title and meta descriptions need to be interesting and compelling enough for a person to click YOURS instead of a competitor.
Many people don’t pay attention to this so you’ll be way ahead if you do.
Here are some tips on how to make your site more clickable in search:
- Write great blog headlines and descriptions. The meta description is not a Google ranking factor. However it can affect whether people click your link or not. The meta description is what appears in search results. Although Google may show a different snippet from your content if it’s a better match for a user query. Blog headlines can bring you traffic or not. Read more about how to write headlines that get results.
- Optimize your blog URLs. If you write a blog title in WordPress, the automatic URL will be that same exact title with dashes inbetween the words. You can change the URL to use fewer words with dashes, that include your keywords. That helps make it more enticing to users who see that URL in search results.
As SEO evolves through the years, we have to modify techniques to get found in search results. Today I showed you 5 things you can do now to have more success with SEO in 2018. While it’s not an exhaustive list, these are the items that are simple to focus on and implement.
Which of these 2018 SEO tips will you put into action right away?
Great tips! My SEO is a mess and I’ve been looking into ways to fix it. YouTube is something I want to try for 2018 too. And I’m still using Blogger – do you think that’s a mistake?
Lisa Jahred says
Thanks Michelle! Why do you feel your SEO is a mess? Definitely get going with YouTube, it can really boost your online presence. Using Blogger is not a mistake. However, if you feel like you would want to move to WordPress in the future, I would do it sooner than later so you have less content to transfer.
If you want to chat further, reach out via my contact page.