Your Guide to Understanding SEO Pro 2018

March 29, 2018 at 2:19 PM

DaltonPlan® Business Information Newsletter

Setting the Benchmark for Business Performance ● Issue 127 - 2018

Deano’s Comment

SEO Pro 2018: Your Guide to Starting the Year with Flair

I read a good article recently sent to me by FreeParking, a site where my clients can register their Domain name and build a website, about how you can implement up-to-date and practical SEO strategies. I’ve tried to summarised it for you, it’s a bit longer than I would like, but the information is sooo good that this is the best that I could do, sorry!

It’s a good way to update your knowledge about how Google currently treats Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and apply this to your own website.

Google has advanced their Algorithms and methods a lot recently. Now, rather than measuring just the keywords in your content, Google focuses more on whether those key words are part of genuinely helpful and interesting content.

Market research conducted recently, by MarketMuse, on how Google deals with your website content found some interesting results.

In-depth Data Ranks Better

The aim for Google is to provide users with the most relevant and useful information. They found that in-depth data ranks better. The idea is that by providing in-depth content, the searcher will find all that they need conveniently in one place. The more in-depth your content is, the more useful it will be, and the higher it will rank. 

Word Count

A good starting point is word count. If you aim for at least 2,000 words you will be more likely to cover the things a searcher wants to know. MarketMuse also studied how long content ranks against short, and found that longer content ranks higher. 

LSI Keywords are a Valuable Addition

LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing) are basically keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. A good idea before you even start to write your content is to put in some LSI keywords to give it a higher chance of being spotted and ranked by Google’s search Algorithms. These are phrases and words which associate strongly with the subject you’re writing about.

Thankfully, finding LSI keywords to add to your content is easier than you might think.

Here is a helpful tool you can use called LSI Graph. Simply key in the topic or word you are targeting, and you will be shown a list of possible LSI keywords to use. 

You can also search on Google to look up your topic and see what others have been searching by most frequently in relation to your topic. Scroll down to the ‘Searches related to…’ and also the ‘People also ask..’ section.

Optimising for RankBrain and Dwell-Time

With Google constantly re-writing and updating the algorithm they use, RankBrain is set to become significantly more prominent this year.

So, if you type ‘How to make Kombucha’ into the search bar, and you are looking down the page of results and the third option has a video, and you choose to open that one, then RankBrain takes note of that and will boost that third option a bit more for the next person who searches for Kombucha.

However, it also records how long a user spends on the page, known as “dwell-time”. So if you click the third option and start watching, but it’s not very good so you quickly go back to the search results and click the number one result, that decision will impact on how much boost is given (or not) to that option. The pages that have high dwell times do in fact tend to rank best.

Here are a few dwell-time examples and how they may be interpreted:

  • 2 second dwell time: I didn’t find what I wanted/expected on your site. So, I quickly went back to the SERP to find something better.
  • 2 minute dwell time: I found your content pretty useful and stuck around a couple of minutes to read it.
  • 15 minute dwell time: I found your content super-useful and was heavily-invested in what you had to say.

Become Click-Through-Rate (CTR) Savvy

CTR is crucially important if you are working to boost your page rankings this year. This is largely due to how RankBrain works as mentioned previously. But also due to the following factors – Paid Ads Displayed First – Answer Boxes – Carousel.

Videos Work

If you are not already making them semi regularly, you will miss out on a large chunk of viewers and potential customers.

By the year 2021, 80% of all online traffic will be videos. Data shows that more and more users skip Google search altogether and simply go straight to YouTube to find what they’re looking for. For an example, search Coke vs Pepsi.

Add Videos to your Blogs. You need to become more skilled at using YouTube videos to boost SEO rankings, it is simply too big an opportunity to ignore anymore.

Mobile First is Coming Soon

The mobile first index has not yet gone live, however, it is expected to in 2018, any time now. Businesses should take the time to understand and prepare for the inevitable.

1 - Create/Change your Content to be Consistent Across All Devices

2 - Ensure Your Mobile Site is Top Notch

3 - Shift to Responsive

Keep Links and Content at the Forefront

Google has said it many times before and the fact stands, content and links are the key to SEO and climbing the search results to reach the top. After 1 million search results were analysed, it was clear to see that the amount of sites that link back to any given page, directly impacts on ranking, this is the biggest factor to focus on if you want to see results in the rankings. Keep in mind going forward into 2018 that content and links are, and will be, the steady, strong rock on which to build for SEO. 

What About Voice Search?

The largest portion of voice searches are questions. How do I…? Where is the closest…? Who was the main actress in…? etc. Where possible, and relevant, try to include questions and answers in your content, as that is what Google’s voice search algorithm is looking for.

Extra Tricks to Top the Search Results in 2018

Unique is the New Black

Having new information is like gold, statistics, studies, surveys etc that anyone from bloggers to news agencies can use and re-share will get you lots of links. Data that can be cited by others is valuable and will give you significant back links which in turn boosts your ranking in Google search.

Let it Show

As with videos, visual content is on the rise and very popular right now. Considering sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat which are really taking off, visual content is predicted to rise this year.

Embedded images can be equally as effective as smart looking infographics. Wherever you can add in an embedded image it’s worth doing, as they will link back to your site.

Try Podcasting

Podcasts are steadily becoming more and more popular and often show up in blogs and other sites nowadays. Even the Catholic Pope puts out regular podcasts for his followers. They are a simple, quick way to gain a good backlink.

67 million US citizens currently play one or more podcasts each month. Which has risen by 14% compared on the previous year. There will be more listeners and people searching for podcasts in 2018, jump on board.

Comments for the Win

Having comments on your blogs does help your search rankings. Have a read of ‘Why Blog Comments are Great for Google, SEO and Users’. In 2017 Google specified that it is better to have comments within your site for Google to analyse as engagement signals, than for comments to be on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

What this means for marketing professionals is that Google is looking at the community within your website. They want to see interactions, and Comment Sections are an easy yet effective way to achieve that.

For a the full article on this subject click HERE.

If you have any questions after reading this information, go to Contact Us on our website and type in your request.

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