The SEO strategy to be adopted in 2018 will have to integrate all the major changes made by the giant Google! Every year SEO experts give their predictions for what will be the next big thing to come or roll out in SEO.
Yet in reality, no one really knows what it will be. So in this SEO strategy guide for your Google SEO, I'm going to focus on what's working now so you can get ready to tame Google this year.
In this article you will learn:
- What is an SEO Strategy or SEO Strategy?
- Why a strong SEO strategy is always important for your business.
- 15 strategic SEO points that will work well in 2018.
Discover also: the new trends in natural referencing in 2018
What is an SEO Strategy or SEO Strategy?
An SEO or SEO strategy, is a roadmap regarding search engine optimization activities that can be mapped into definitive steps. This is a long-term, but effective action plan for generating pre-qualified traffic to websites, improving visitor conversion rates, and increasing website rankings and revenues. .
Why a solid SEO strategy should be at the heart of your online business?
You have to know that natural referencing is not an exact science, if it were, then we would all do it. Knowing how to rank high in search engine results, especially Google, is a well-kept secret. That said, there are some SEO strategies that when used consistently, greatly increase the likelihood of getting higher positions.
These SEO strategies are learned through the trial and error tactics that SEO experts use and these are the methods that pay off – but there is always a caveat, the more you try to beat the system, the more search engines adapt their algorithms to combat these tactics.
In this post no less than 15 strategic SEO points among the most effective on 2018 will be discussed. You can use them now to prepare your SEO strategy for this year. These are based on the team's own experience, as well as the latest research from SEO experts.
The ideal is to have a minimum of knowledge on the fundamentals of SEO to establish its SEO strategy as optimized as possible.
1. Optimize your SEO strategy with Google's mobile-first index
The optimization of its mobile-friendly website has been important for years in the SEO strategy, and since Mobilegeddon in 2015. Since 2016, mobile has taken precedence over the desktop, mobile and tablet representing 60 % of all web browsing.
Then in November 2016, Google announced the launch of mobile indexing first. What this means is that previously Google has browsed the desktop version of a website, using this as the primary search engine index.
However with this update, Google has now started using the mobile version of a site as the primary index. In other words, Google will consider the mobile version of your site as the "real" version, even if someone does a search from a desktop.
It will be essential for any website owner to optimize quickly for a better customer experience. That is to say, it is at least responsive design, but especially that its pages are loaded quickly to allow users to have a smooth navigation and therefore quick access to information.
2. Speed up the loading of your website
For years Google has been focusing on the speed of loading websites. With the introduction of the first mobile index, the speed of the site will be greater than ever. As said before, it will be important to work this point to not suffer a loss of positions on Google.
For websites developed under the CMS WordPress, it is recommended to set its theme on the authorized displays or not some features in mobile version. Note that the Google AMP protocol will not be considered by Google for indexing but rather the original mobile version of the site.
It is widely recommended to make its content "mobile friendly" as of now for an effective SEO strategy. To test it you can use this online tool developed by Google: Mobile friendly by Google
Google has once again emphasized this importance for websites, especially for those who have e-commerce websites. Those who load in 5 seconds or less, received 2 times more revenue than their competitors. The same research revealed that 53% of mobile site visits have been dropped if page loading takes more than 3 seconds.
Use Google's PageSpeed Insights to see the page speed of your website on your mobile and desktop.
3. Pay attention to the signals of the user experience
Google announced that RankBrain was their third most important ranking factor. RankBrain is a machine learning system that helps Google sort search engine result pages (SERPs).
RankBrain focuses on two factors:
- How long does someone spend on a page (known as Dwell Time)
- The percentage of people who click on a result (Click Through Rate or CTR)
Waiting time is important because if a visitor clicks on a search result in position # 4 but stays on the page for several minutes, Google realizes that it's very relevant. If a visitor clicks on result # 1 but leaves the page in seconds, Google will start this result from position # 1. Google has always focused on relevance, and if visitors do not stay long enough on the web pages, Google considers them irrelevant.
If the pages have a higher than average CTR, RankBrain uses this as a sign that the page should receive a permanent ranking boost. This is not surprising. After all, if nobody clicks on the search results, why would Google keep it on the front page?
Similarly, if a search result is clicked frequently, why would Google keep it buried at the bottom of the page? It is therefore essential to consider RankBRain within its SEO strategy.
4. Optimize your content for featured snippets
Featured snippets or rich responses now account for over 20% of search queries. If you want your content to appear for common industry-related questions, it's critical that you intentionally optimize it for those queries.
Google is now crowding out organic search results with these answer boxes, ads, carousels, "People as Ask" sections and more. The organic SEO results are down 37% in the CTR according to Wordstream.
You can do this in many ways for your SEO strategy, including explicitly asking the question in your content, providing a direct answer, even including the question in at least one of your headers. Another tip is to provide lists of questions and answers to satisfy the "People as ask" sections of SERPS.
5. Voice SEO: Optimize content for voice search
You could argue that voice search is only in its infancy, but when you think about it, we still use voice search in two ways: search for apps and information inside our smartphones and search for information on the Internet.
An axis to consider now in its SEO strategy in 2018 to prepare for a growth of voice requests.
If you take into account the sections "People ask" and Google Answer Boxes, then the voice search will only gain importance. Since 2008, voice searches on Google have multiplied by 35, including 20% on mobile.
Knowing this, SEO experts are starting to optimize their content for voice SEO – making sure the content is included in a featured snippet. (see point 4).
In your SEO strategy, consider voice SEO as an axis that requires you to work and optimize your content based on voice search. Never forget that a spoken request is never the same as a written request. Writing on Google, we go to the basics in a few words and via a voice assistant, we usually ask a complete question.
That does not mean that any content has to report a title asking a question because Google is smart enough to understand and analyze content. This means that you have to answer as if the question were asked. Your content should therefore be relevant and focused on questioning.
6. Focus on the content and the current, in-depth and written context.
Previously, search engines analyzed pages to see how often a specific keyword would be used and if this was added in certain tags and images – known as technical, or SEO on-site. For example, your page will be searched to determine if your keyword appeared in:
- Meta description
- ALT image / ALT text
- Tags H1 / H2
It's still important, but search engine robots are getting smarter. Not only do they measure the content of your web page, but also the context. This means that to avoid showing superficial content to web visitors, search engines now check to see if the content of the page has deep knowledge of the topic in question.
According to Backlinko's Brian Dean, to write complete and in-depth content, it should have at least 2000 words and be inserted with latent semantic indexing keywords (LSI, also known as secondary keywords).
LSI keywords are words and phrases that are strongly associated with the subject of your page. When crawlers do their scan, they consider the page as very current if it covers the title of the content well.
Finally, Brian found that even pages that comprehensively covered a particular topic surpassed the shorter content that was highly optimized for a certain keyword – even when the full page did not use that particular keyword at all.
7. Optimize your URL structure
Using descriptive and relevant keyword URLs has been an effective SEO strategy for years. However, some research suggests that using shorter URLs may actually lead to higher rankings. We should analyze here your different URLs and make a personal statement.
Although there is no word count that you should include, Google has indicated in the past that everything following the first five words will not have as much credit. This is not really surprising, because when a search query is presented to the search engines, they browse the words at the beginning of the URL to check the relevance to the search term.
In addition, you should remove stop words like "a", "of", "the" – the search engine algorithms do not read them and they waste valuable URL space that could be scanned for a key word.
So, when it's possible, use your primary keywords in the first words of your URL where possible – making sure it makes sense for a search term, and try to keep your entire URL up to a total of about five words.
8. Structured data and Schema.org
Search engines, to read websites, must be able to read them easily. Google is good enough to analyze the context of the content of a website. When it comes to reading a page, usually the most valuable information for a researcher, search engine robots need help.
Structured data is the data that you add to your website to make it easier for search engines to understand.
Structured data is a general term that refers to any organized data that conforms to a certain format, it's not just for SEO. When search engines read your website, they want to know if a piece of content is relevant – it can be a job ad, a blog post, or a product offering.
If you want rich snippets, rich mobile maps, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs), or a list in the Google Knowledge Graph, you'll need to tag your pages with Schema.org. Unless SEOs are experts in coding, then this can be intimidating, but in the Google Search Console, they have a data highlighter that allows site owners to click and drag structured data, but only if the websites that have a few things to mark, like products and blog posts.
Correct implementation of structured data may not give you better rankings, but indirectly, your site will be a better search result – and increasing the wait time and telling Google that your web pages are relevant.
9. Add video to your SEO strategy
Internet browsers show no reduction in their insatiable demand for video content. The rise of platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Facebook videos are pushing video content into their news feeds. Not to mention YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world.
YouTube is getting faster, people are taking to the video platform not only for entertainment, but for "how to make videos" for a range of topics ranging from how to plug out jacks to tutorials for users of software. 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing a video.
YouTube is therefore a search engine too big to ignore as part of your SEO strategy. In fact, you've probably noticed that YouTube videos appear in your search results – and these will surely increase in the future.
The key to remember here is to embed videos in your content and increase your wait time (see step 3) so that visitors stay longer on your website, which increases your ranking.
10. A good SEO strategy goes through Linkbuilding
Links have been one of the most important ranking engines for years. Google has confirmed it.
They are one of the top three ranking factors (with content and RankBrain). In the past, it was easy to get links by buying them at "link farms" that would add your website domain to their websites. Google quickly seized this practice and blacklisted it. (Again, do not try to cheat the system.)
Genuine back linking then is very powerful to increase the strength of the domain. Higher ranking domains linking to websites act as a "vote of confidence" – passing on what Moz calls "link juice" and thus increasing the strength of the domain of this website (if the link is dofollow). A higher domain strength increases the strength of the URL – and this helps in SERPS when search queries are made.
The same goes for the reverse, if you have lower ranking domains or weak trust domains linked to a website, it will hurt your rankings. Pornography websites are an example of areas of low trust.
If your content is not relevant or competitive, even adding high-level domain links will not help your rankings, so leave poor content alone. If your content is pushed down the rungs of Google's Page 1, then getting high quality backlinks on this page could push it up the rankings.
11. Local SEO is a must in its SEO strategy
Given the shift to a mobile mind first, it is not surprising that many experts are putting more and more emphasis on local search nowadays. If a website has a local presence, such as restaurants, then appearing in local mobile searches is a must.
More and more customer searches are turning to mobile to find local businesses, products and information, so it's imperative to find local keywords. Any company wishing to be promoted and / or receiving the public should integrate local SEO into its SEO strategy.
Google's Top 3 at the top of searches displays the top 3 results based on the localized search term. The move to the top 3 was to better meet mobile browsing and include maps and reviews of local businesses.
These companies outside the top local SEO 3 have seen a 40% drop in CTR. Adding keywords of critical importance, including the location and contact information of your website is vital to appear in these search results if local websites should stay at the top of the page
12. The intention of the user is king
You've probably heard that "content is king" through the SEO strategy like the content one – but in fact, the user's intent is king. As the corresponding relationship between keywords and rankings decreases, the optimization of intent is even more crucial.
A strong SEO strategy means focusing not only on specific keywords and writing content that is entertaining, engaging and valuable, but also on the motivation behind those words and content.
- What do people really look for when they use these search queries?
- When they click on a search result, will they get the information they wanted?
- Will they be able to easily navigate the website to find other information?
- Is it easy for them to perform an action?
- Whether it's buying a product, signing up for a mailing list, or even sharing content?
Think about the keywords that drive the conversions and not just the traffic. Search engines want to show the relevance of visitors to a specific search request – if the visitor performs more actions on a website, this increases the ranking of sites.
13. Work on the lexical field of your keywords
Working only on its generic keywords has never been enough to position itself on Google. It was true many years ago but today Google's algorithms are becoming artificially more and more intelligent.
In order for Google to correctly interpret content, the lexical field of the main keyword must be worked within your content. Google must be given maximum guidance so that it understands that you are dealing with a particular topic, segmenting it, and without straying from the central subject.
Example : If I deal with the following subject: "training community manager" then I should speak about learners, students, courses, training module, learning, passing on knowledge etc … in terms of training. Then for the community manager, I will raise topics like social networks, social media, e-reputation, eve, digital marketing etc …
Google needs to correctly interpret content to position it and that's not by repeating your generic keyword 20 times that it will work for your SEO strategy. To better understand the phenomenon, it is a question of looking at the definition of a word where the goal is to make it understood with synonyms and terms aiming at best translating what one wishes to explain.
14. Monitor and analyze with the right SEO tools
All SEO experts, agencies and conscientious people in the development of their SEO strategy, will use measurement and analysis tools to monitor their positions on Google and any problem that may occur on a website.
Beyond the tools also allow to control all of your backlinks and the positioning of your competitors. The features of these tools are very numerous and offer a true range of possibilities in terms of SEO.
For this we recommend tools such as SEMRush and Majectic.
15. Shares on social networks
In terms of SEO and positioning to win on search engines, it is essential to think of social networks. The shares of your content on social networks are thus to be included in your SEO strategy because they allow to increase your clickthrough rates and thus your traffic.
In addition you can control from your Google Analytics sources that bring you more traffic. The main social networks on which to share your content are Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin according to their nature.
You can also develop a parallel digital strategy for your website and define the most relevant digital channels.
You now have all the elements you need to develop your SEO strategy in the most efficient way possible.
Be aware, however, that none of the tactics and tips mentioned above are new or even surprising. They are the result of SEO strategies that experts have implemented to boost rankings, in response to the rapidly changing nature of SEO.
Image credit in the spotlight : DepositPhotos
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