With the ever-increasing competition online, quality Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has never been more important than it is now. Without good SEO your potential target market will have difficulty finding you and will often find your competitors.
SEO is a dynamic discipline and while many of the main principles remain the same, a number of them change, sometimes dramatically. These changes cannot only reduce the effectiveness of old SEO techniques but in some instances actually penalize your ranking.
Here are 5 of the main SEO strategies to focus on in 2018:
On-page SEO is as critical as ever and cannot be neglected. It forms the foundation of your SEO strategy. If poorly executed, other efforts will be far less effective. There are a number of elements to on-page SEO.
These are actions taken by the developer and structure the architecture of the site or page in such a way that it is search engine friendly. Some of the important aspects are:
- Page titles
- Meta titles and meta descriptions
- Meta tags Content tags (H1, H2, etc)
- Image tags and image optimization
- URL structure
- Schema markup
Content and keywords
The old cliché that content is king is more relevant now than ever. There is a vast amount of poor content on the net and only well written, engaging and informative content will be effective. Careful keyword selection and correct keyword use are also essential. Remember not to overuse keywords as that strategy can actually hurt your SEO.
Carefully used and relevant internal links will improve your SEO and give views exposure to more areas of your website. Yoast Premium offers a great Internal Link system that is very useful.
External links to high authority quality pages will also improve your SEO and give your side additional credibility.
Other on-page SEO practices that are important are responsiveness or mobile friendly design, page loading speeds, good use of images, multimedia and video and a great design and user experience.
Guest Posts to industry relevant sites
Guest posting is still an extremely powerful SEO tool and it has a number of other benefits. The key, once again, is quality. You want to guest post quality relevant blogs to high authority sites that are relevant to your business or industry.
Identify relevant sites and do a bit of research to determine if they have the right credentials, authority and traffic. You then need to get a feel for the type of content they use and pitch your post to them.
Obviously, your post will contain a link back to your site and improve your ranking on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You need to do them regularly but go for quality over quantity. It can be a bit time-consuming at first but it is an effective means of boosting your ranking.
The other benefit of guest posting is that it will position you and your company as an authority on the topic you post about.
Blog commenting is a fast and effective way to boost your SEO. It also has the same effect as above where you can position yourself as an expert in your field. Your comments might even spark a conversation which will give you even more mileage.
Your comments need to add value to the conversation and present a fresh perspective or an aspect not covered in the blog post. Once again, the quality and relevance of the blog is critical.
This is another technique that many people now ignore but it still has a lot of SEO value. Like most things in the SEO landscape, one has to be more selective and only post to quality relevant directories. In the past, people would post to multiple directories irrespective of the quality and this will no longer work.
Local directories are particularly useful for SEO purposes. Simply put, if a browser uses a popular directory and they see your competitor and not your business, you are going to lose out. Do some research to uncover the quality relevant directories that people are using and make sure your information is there and accurate.
Link building is still the single most important strategy for SEO but it has become increasingly more difficult. In the past, one could get away with multiple links and achieve good results fairly quickly. Today, one has to be a lot more selective.
Links need to be placed in quality, relevant and high authority sites. Again, quality is more important than quantity. The content itself also need to be of a high standard otherwise the link will not do much for your SEO.
A fast an effective way to get a number of good backlinks regularly is link roundups. Link roundups are achieved through occasional summaries or weekly roundups of content on a particular subject or industry. If you can find quality roundups that are relevant, most will need good content so it is a great opportunity. Both parties will benefit from the relationship. If your content is good they will accept it regularly. Often the blog, and therefore the link, will be shared and posted to other sites as well as social media platforms. This will give you even greater exposure and improve your SEO.
Final thoughts about keeping SEO Simple
SEO will continue to change and evolve as search engines strive to create a great user experience. It is important to be aware of the changes and adapt accordingly. Many older techniques are still very effective but have to be executed in a different manner. Stay on top of developments in order to have success with your SEO efforts.
About the Author
Sally Kirchell works as an independent writer in addition to managing day digital marketing for Blue Horizon Prints, an online Wall Art retailer based in the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Try visiting Sally’s gallery to view her stunning wall art collection.