Every seasoned professional in the search engine optimization industry knows that SEO keeps changing. The fundamentals remain the same, but the details change and the details matter a lot. If you have been wondering about new techniques you need to learn to optimize your website better for search engines in 2018, here are a few tips to help you with ranking your sites this year.
Focus on Content
Marketers have been shouting from the rooftops about the importance of content when it comes to search engine optimization. It’s true that the algorithms used by search engines in the past were not that smart to figure out the difference between quality content and garbage put together hastily but the algorithms in use today are brilliant. Today, Google can understand the difference between high-quality content and low-quality content without relying too much on outside signals.
Many research studies published online also confirmed that long-form content that is designed to answer the original query of the user, as well as any additional queries they might have, is likely to rank higher on the search engine result pages. If a page covers a topic in-depth, it is expected to rank higher as compared to a page that includes it only on the surface.
More often than not, many people confuse quality content with content that is above a certain number of words. This is due to the reason that when you write long content, you automatically tend to cover almost everything about the topic. However, it does not mean that you can publish a 2000 word article about a subject without providing any useful information and expect it to rank. The length is necessary but only when it includes in-depth information about a particular issue.
You also need to be smart about creating content as your content should also contain LSI keywords. Several online tools can help you discover LSI keywords related to a particular keyword or phrase. So, make use of these tools and try to incorporate as many LSI keywords as possible into your content.
Mobile First Approach
Google has now confirmed that it is going to switch over to a mobile index. In simple terms, the mobile version of your site will be considered the real version of your website even when someone uses a desktop to search. This is due to the reason that more than 60% of searches on Google are made from a mobile device, and this number is only going to go up in the future with the massive increase in smartphone users all over the world. So, it’s vital that your website is mobile friendly. To find a company that will take your site from not mobile friendly to being mobile friendly, give SEO in Portland a call.
Being mobile friendly is much more than responsive design. You also need to make sure that mobile users have a fantastic user experience while browsing your website on their devices.
Voice search optimization is also a part of mobile first SEO strategy. Increasingly, people are using Google Assistant to search online which means the search phrases used by users are typically in the form of questions. In other words, search is moving away from keywords and phrases. Therefore, you need to be prepared for voice search taking over keyword and phrase search, over the coming years. The best way to be ready is to figure out the questions a user might ask and include that question along with an answer in your website to rank on the first page of search results for that particular query.
It’s true that Google has become extremely good at judging content quality based on context, but links from other domains still play a huge role in determining rankings through the value of links has changed over the years. Earlier, links from any domain used to work for achieving high rankings, but these days, niche relevance has become much more critical.
One of the ways to get quality backlinks is to research your competitors through various online tools and to try and get similar links as your competitors. Content marketing is another way to get high-quality links from authority websites. Hiring a quality SEO is another good start. You can always look into one of the best Portland SEO Experts Online.
Google has been making noises about SSL for many years, and now, it has declared that Chrome will mark any website not using SSL as potentially not safe. Other browsers are also likely to take the same approach. So, if you haven’t installed SSL on your website, do it now and make your site future-proof.
You should install SSL even if you do not capture any sensitive data on your website. Keep in mind that if there is an embedded element on your site from a domain that does not use SSL, it will be marked as unsafe. So, think carefully before you embed content from third-party websites.
Google has said that website speed is an essential ranking factor. Google also provides a tool for you to check website speed. So make use of the device and try to make your website as fast as possible. It is also recommended to use a Content Delivery Network to deliver web content to users. A CDN will only help you save on bandwidth but also speeds up your website.
Videos and Visual Content
Rank Brain is a machine learning tool or artificial intelligence tool used by Google to determine rankings. This tool is still learning, but Google has said that a substantial part of the results are served by this tool, and in the future, all the queries might be answered by this tool. So, you need to be prepared for Rank Brain, and one of the most important parameters used by this tool is the time spent on your website.
In other words, bounce rate has become much more important than you think. One of the ways to reduce bounce rate is to invest in high-quality video and visual content. If you do not like to be in the front of the camera, use animated videos. Visual content refers to attractive presentations, infographics and high-quality images among other things. Add a lot of visual content to your website to make it easy for users to find the information they need, and this will reduce the bounce rate and give you a boost in rankings.
Overall, SEO has become a lot more complicated over the past few years thanks to the introduction of various new algorithms by Google. However, these new algorithms have also made it easy for webmasters who believe in producing high-quality content for their users to rank high in the search engine result pages without worrying too much about other signals. So, pay attention to the tips mentioned above and optimize your way to high rankings this year.