2018 is here and there have been so many changes to Google’s search algorithms that it could be overwhelming to keep up with. But don’t fret, Newfound Marketing has the solution. In this article, we focus on the top 5 trends you need to know to improve your SEO for 2018.
1. The Importance of Click-Through Rate
If you want to dominate SEO for 2018 you must learn the importance of Click Through Rate (CTR). Google’s machine learning system, RankBrain is responsible for sorting Google results based on the most relevant content for a designated search. Therefore, one of RankBrain’s largest factors when ranking is CTR. When a lot of people are clicking through to a page in search results, RankBrain will take notice, and if the content is strong, meaning that you are able to keep people engaged with your page then RankBrain will begin to rank your page better.
But how do you obtain a higher CTR? Well, you have to begin by writing a compelling title tag and meta description that not only describes what the article is about but the benefits of the article as well. But this could be challenging for some businesses, maybe you don’t know how to write a compelling text or you just do not know what to write to make people click-through.
Here are some tips on how you can write a compelling Title Tag and Meta Description:
Look For AdWords text ads using the AdWords Ad Preview tool:
Think about it, people are literally paying to have those ads at the top of the results in Google. Therefore, they are looking for the best combination of words and phrases to encourage a click-through from searches for a specific keyword. Make sure to include similar words and phrases from AdWords ads into your title and meta-description to further boost your clicks.
Use Action Words in Your Tags
Action words are words that people will use to attract clicks to further boost your overall CTR. In our society today, people are impatient. They want results instantly to provide them with the answers they need to move on with their day.
Try using some of these words in Your Tags:
- Right Now
2. Time on Page is Key: Create Amazing Content
Content is one of the main forces behind ranking high in search engines. When writing your content one of your main focus areas should be, “how do I keep people reading?” Keep in mind that Google wants to show the best possible content now in its high ranking search positions. So how can you write good content?
Here are a couple hints that will help improve your SEO for 2018:
You should be publishing content to your site that is at least 2,000 words
.Now I know this sounds like a lot but for you to rank well in Google you have to think about all of the sub-categories that could be related to your article and include them.
For example, if someone gets in a car accident and does not know what to do, they do not want to read an article that just explains why you should call the police. People are going to want an article that describes why you should call the police, why you should get the name, phone number, and insurance company, and policy number from the person who is involved in the accident because that thoroughly describes a process of what to do and how to do it.
Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords in Your Content.
LSI keywords are almost like “boom” words or phrases that relate to specific topic. When used, Google recognizes these words and will believe that your article describes the content really well.
If you are not sure which keywords to use, try using the LSI Graph. For example, check out the example I used below for: “what to do when you are in a car accident”
As you can see the word “checklist” is a very strong LSI keyword when people are looking for what to do when they get in a car accident. Therefore, adding these particular keywords to your content will inform Google that this content is relevant to what a searcher could be looking for.
Another strong practice is using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find specific related keywords to the ones that you would like to rank for.
Embedded Videos For Your Audience.
Let’s admit it, if you had to choose between a video that gives you an answer and a blog post that describes the answer, you would choose the video all day!
But that’s okay because it only further provides strong content for you to add to your page. If you can add a video segment that describes the answers to your article, be sure to add it to your page. Not only will this increase the time on page (which Google also REALLY likes) but it will also provide a strong experience for your audience as you are providing them will relevant content in a potentially more appealing manner than just plain text.
3. Mobile is King
Mobile is becoming more and more prominent in Google rankings. With so many people on the go, no one has time to wait to find answers. They need them almost instantaneously, so what do they turn to? Their mobile device.
Your website NEEDS to be optimized for mobile to improve your SEO for 2018. It’s no longer an option to have an “okay” site on a mobile device. Your site needs to be as good or better on a cell phone than it is on a desktop computer. Why is this? Well, for starters, if your site takes a long time to load I can guarantee you that people are going to bounce from your site and find another site to find answers. This tells Google that your website is not providing a strong experience for searchers and in return, Google will rank you lower. The same goes for optimizing the actual content on your page. If a user has to almost always resize the content they are trying to read, Google will recognize this and rank your site as a poor experience.
So the question is, how do you know if your site is mobile-friendly or not? Well, there are a couple of tools you could use but the Google Mobile Friendly Test Tool usually does the job.
4. Voice Search
Don’t look now, but voice search is coming, and it’s coming fast! With tools like Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and more, people now have the ability to ask their tools to find the answers that they need instead of searching on a mobile device or desktop computer.
According to Sheldon Payne’s article, voice searches are mostly used by people in the age range of 18-49, mostly asking questions to their mobile devices. These searchers are then provided with answers that usually rank number one or hold a featured snippet in Google results.
Here are a couple ways that can make your content eligible to show in a Voice Search:
Your content must be on the first page and ideally in the top 3 positions.
If your content is not on the first page, you can kiss that dream of being heard in voice search goodbye. You need to make sure that your content is high ranking in Google search results to even have a chance.
A Featured Snippet is Key
A featured snippet is a key piece of text usually taken from a top-performing article that provides the best answer to a question commonly asked in Google. Therefore, to actually obtain a featured snippet, you not only need to have fantastic content, but you also need a question and an answer in your article that shows the question is answered with the correct or best possible answer. Here’s an example of a featured snippet.
5. Link Building
Last but not least, obtaining high-quality links from other websites is crucial to further improve your organic rankings in Google and improve your SEO for 2018. When you obtain a link from other sites that redirect to your page, it tells Google that this content is very strong and is providing the right answers to the right people.
This is potentially one of the toughest areas of improving your ranking in organic search results. The problem most people have is: “Where do I go to look for related content that my content could benefit?”
One tool that dropped a couple months back is the SEM RUSH Link Building Tool. It provides users with an opportunity to add specific keywords that they would like to rank for and then gives you high-quality related content that could make for a potential back-link for your site.
SEO For 2018: Conclusion
All in all, 2018 will be an exciting time for all SEO professionals. These main features should serve as a staple for you to further improve your organic rankings in Google and help you further understand what Google will be looking for in websites in 2018 and how you can improve to dominate the search rankings for this year!
Need help with your SEO for 2018? Be sure to contact us and let us know how we can help.