Enough of talking about SEO – how about we start actually doing some of it? These search engine optimization techniques will get your SEO fired up.
Do You Know About SEO?
If you are reading this article and completely unaware of SEO, you must have spent the last 15 or so years in isolation. In this case, please refer to my previous article entitled “First things to do after spending 15 years in isolation” “What Is SEO and How It Works: In a Nutshell”.
There is a good chance, however, that you ARE aware of SEO and know that it can make all the difference for your website.
You might also know that SEO largely depends on what Google considers “good” at any given moment and that these rules and regulations tend to change once in a while. What may have worked for you in 2017, might not work in the upcoming year of 2018.
However, there are certain techniques that would work in most cases simply because they address the basic, common problems of websites. Applying those techniques to your website will result in a traffic boost – if not immediate, then, at least, gradual.
Top 17 Search Engine Optimization Techniques for 2018
“Why not 18 techniques if the upcoming year is 2018? Should have added one more item on the list!” you might righteously wonder. Well, high-brow articles on the Internet say that odd numbers are more attractive and account for more clicks on the title.
Besides, I didn’t want to add something just for the sake of it so there you go – 17 SEO techniques that are guaranteed to fire up your SEO and boost your website traffic in 2017.
1. Run an SEO Audit of Your Website
This is what a wise website owner should do first, really. No matter how good you think you are at SEO, just pay the damn money to a professional SEO consultant or agency so that they could run you a thorough SEO audit.
Even if you are not planning on using their services in the future, this will give you plenty of ideas and insights + help you figure out what the major problems that need to be dealt with are.
2. Improve User Engagement to Improve Rankings
If you can get your visitors to open more pages (bounce rate and page views), stay on them longer (time spent on site), and interact with your content, then you ought to expect a compliment from Google in the form of a higher ranking.
If all these metrics grow, it is a signal for Google that your website must be worth it, which is a reason to rank it higher next time.
3. Make Your Existing Pages Longer
For whatever reason, Google’s search and ranking algorithm thinks that having little content on your website page is bad for user experience. Apparently, clicking on a link to read some 15-word piece of text is not worth the hassle.
Anyway, who are we to disagree? Most SEO experts would agree that the optimal size of text on your page is between 1,200 and 2,000 words if we are talking about a blog.
4. Update and Republish Your Old Content
This is a logical continuation of the previous tip. If there is some old but gold content on your website, you can just go ahead and spice it up a little bit without altering the page structure much.
Add more content if needed, update the obsolete data, replace the ugly, low-resolution images with new, shiny ones.
5. Focus on YouTube SEO
YouTube is huge these days, haven’t you noticed? It’s officially the second most visited website on the Internet (behind Google) and given that both are the same thing essentially, videos from YouTube often pop up in search results.
For every video that you make for your website, be sure that you provide accurate, SEO-friendly descriptions along with proper keywords and catchy thumbnails.
6. Get Your Meta Tag Ideas from AdWords Ads
If you ever get stuck coming up with ideas for your website pages meta tags, copy your the tag text in question to the clipboard and past it into Google search.
Try paying attention to the sponsored results that you will get because their phrasing and copy has been changed and improved quite a lot of times, which means that what you will see is the best-working title. Why not borrow it?
7. Improve Site Speed
Google HATES slow-loading websites. If you do not want to sink lower in search ranking, do everything you can to increase your site load speed.
Common ways to do that include:
- getting rid of any irrelevant content you come across
- optimizing images size
- optimizing the server setting or even switching to a faster hosting provider
8. Focus on Topics Instead of Keywords
Google is getting smarter from day to day, and in 2018 it would most likely switch from keyword-based search to phrase-based search because phrases give us much more information about the user intentions.
You should re-research your keywords and rewrite a part of the content on your website in order to match the ongoing trend. That includes blog articles as well.
9. Build Backlinks
The idea of building backlinks for your website to get a better ranking is not dead yet. On the contrary, Google still treats the number of incoming links as an important ranking factor.
Encouraging people and other websites link to you is definitely a way to go. When doing so, focus on the quality of such links rather than their number.
10. Include a Site Map Page
Haven’t you done this already? It is one of the top priority SEO things you absolutely do since the Google spiders won’t index pages that can’t be crawled.
It will help these spiders index all the important pages on your website plus understand your website hierarchy.
11. Reporting and Analytics
Getting yourself a Google analytics account and spending at least half an hour a day there is a good habit. Analytics provide you with a wealth of information and extremely helpful insights.
Besides Google analytics, there are other services you might want to check out:
12. Technical Optimization
Based on the result of your SEO audit, you might want to tweak some things in your website code.
Dead links, broken links, pages size, load speed, hosting, semantic markups, 404 errors, http to https – anything that’s not right, should be fixed. None of these things by itself will make for a huge improvement but when fixed all together, they could work out really well.
13. Local SEO and Listings
14. Maintain Mobile-Friendliness at All Times
Not having a mobile-friendly is not even an option. What I mean is keeping an eye on it and making adjustments and improvements as you go.
New devices are being released, new technology is being introduced – you want to make sure your website supports and features them all in full.
15. Guest Posting
Yep. Writing for somebody else’s website can drive traffic to your own one. From Google’s standpoint, it is a good signal when people are being organically directed to an external source.
16. Optimize Your Keywords to Make Use of Voice Search
This is related to the ongoing trend of using key phrases instead of keywords. More and more people are utilizing voice search, especially on their smartphones because it is easier than regular typing and keeps your hands free.
When doing a voice search, people will most likely use the whole search phrases instead of a few keywords to avoid the risk of being misunderstood.
17. Don’t Forget About Bing and Yahoo
Google accounts for more than 80% of searches but Bing and Yahoo can also bring you customers. Make sure you maintain your SEO activity on these search engines as well.
Thanks for making it to the end of today’s “Top 17 Search Engine Optimization Techniques That Will Work in 2018” article! I hope you enjoyed it and learned something that you could put to practice on your own website.
If you want more good stuff from my blog, you ought to check these posts first: