Search Engine Optimization Best Practices in 2018

No matter what product or service you produce, somebody, somewhere, is searching for it. And for your business site to rank high in those search results, you need quality search engine optimization.

That’s why ambitious companies that want to grow often turn to a search engine optimization company. Or, they choose a digital marketing agency that includes SEO as part of its services.

Why companies avoid SEO

There are a few reasons that some companies might avoid focusing on SEO:

  • It takes time and resources to plan and execute
  • Hiring writers, editors and “SEO experts” costs money
  • The results aren’t immediate. SEO is a long-term strategy

Any quality search engine optimization company will be upfront about these issues and they shouldn’t keep you from investing in SEO. For example, money spent creating content and optimizing pages for SEO can be a fraction of what it costs to do paid advertising.

SEO Takes Time

This often proves to be the hardest part for many businesses. By its very nature, SEO takes time to provide a return on investment. Paid advertising, say through pay-per-click, can bring in immediate results. SEO can also generate results, but it requires an investment in time and know-how.

The more quality content the better - and it’s always quality over quantity. Any good search engine optimization company will tell you that, at the very least, steady posting of quality content that is relevant to your visitors will eventually help you begin outranking your competition.

Best Practices for SEO in 2018

To help you on the road to success in SEO, what are some of the best practices to follow in 2018 and beyond? They include the following.

On-page optimization. Use headers to break up longer content pieces. Include internal links to other pages on your site where it makes sense and keep them spread out. Make sure the anchor text for links includes keywords, as long as it flows naturally with the text. Optimize content URL links to include keywords and exclude unnecessary words like “and,” “the,” “in,” etc. Ensure the content is relevant to your readers and provides value to them. Always write for the reader, not the search engine. None of these points are necessarily new, but it’s good to start with the basics regardless of what year it is.

Make your website mobile-ready. If your website is not mobile-responsive in 2018, you need to make it a priority. Google already has announced a policy of ranking mobile-friendly sites higher than those that are not. That was 2015. Now, a plan is underway to rank your mobile page higher than the desktop version. Why? Because almost 80% of all web traffic now is mobile.

Moving your website to HTTPS. Another item that is a must. A URL containing HTTPS means it has a SSL certificate, which means there is encryption between the user and the site. Essentially, it means the site is secure and protects sensitive data. Google Chrome now marks non-HTTPS sites as “Not secure” and Google itself will favor sites that are on HTTPS when ranking search results.

Analyze SEO data. Pull reports on the keywords that are driving the most organic clicks and impressions to your website. Focus on the keywords that are driving the most impressions but not many clicks. As long as they relate to your product or service, these are the keywords you want to rank higher for so you can increase the click-through rate to your website.

Amplify your distribution. This means getting your content out there beyond your website. Send it out to your database as part of your emails campaigns. Include it in your monthly email newsletters. Place it on your social media platforms and tag a few companies or people you feel would benefit from the it.  Have as many of your employees share it to their social networks, creating a butterfly effect.  If your content is good and you place it in enough places, it increases the chances of folks picking it up, linking back to it and helping increase your organic rankings.

SEO can prove a complex business. A good tactic for SEO is to hire a quality search engine optimization company that will do all the above for you and beyond.  Whichever way you choose, SEO offers rich rewards for those who play it smart and stick with it.

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