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The State Of SEO In 2018: What You Need to Know For a Better SEO Experience

state of seo

SEO is a tricky thing! I agree with that, but not if you understand the current state of seo this year.

Why so?
Well, let me justify myself. If you talk about SEO it’s not your standard procedure of content creation, you need to use different strategies for different sites. You would be relating to me if you are marketer yourself.

Let’s see an example-

While creating an authority sites , you really need to focus on content vs a micro niche site, where all you need to do is create a bunch of page and do link-building.

In this article I will be sharing what actually would be state of SEO in 2018.

What is SEO?

For all the people who are just starting out, SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation) is the art of ranking websites on Search Engines (specifically Google, as its the largest among all).

There are two parts to SEO-

1. OnPage SEO - Where you optimize the content internally for search engines.
2. OffPage SEO - Where you create mostly links to rank your site. In simpler terms, anything apart from OnPage SEO. This is the most difficult part to SEO.

People are still figuring out strategies to rank their websites on Google due to the regular algorithm changes in Google ranking system.

For instance, Google recently increased their content meta description limit from the usual 155 to 300 words. According to MOZ, In November 30, 2017-

After testing longer search snippets for over two years, Google increased them across a large number of results. This led us to adopt a new Meta Description limit -- up to 300 characters from the previous 155 (almost doubling). Google confirmed an update to how snippets are handled, but didn't provide details.

The State of SEO in 2018

Below are the various things you need to absolutely pay attention to as far as SEO in concerned in 2018. They'll help to put you in the right direction so you'll remain on the race.

1. Backlinking Won’t Lose Its Value

Backlinking is still the No. 1 ranking factor, of course the quality of links matter. Early in 2018 we saw Google penalizing Scholarship Links. Many sites including the popular 10Beasts.com lost its rankings (it recovered in 2-3 days, after disavowing the links).

Links would be more important than ever but the quality will matter.

What’s should be focused on -

  • People still use PBNs, but only if you have keep it properly, you are better off using it.
  • Focus on quality contextual links
  • Use strategies like Guestographics , Skyscraper Technique, Link Roundups or Broken Link Building.
  • plus
    Don’t use Fiverr Links. If it was possible to rank a website in 5$ then everybody would have been millionares 😛 

2. More In-Depth Content, the Better

You must have heard -

“Content is the king”

The value of the content in your blog matters a lot. You can no longer publish mediocre content and expect the search engines to notice it. 

Try to curate the content which is better than the competition. Rather than writing small articles, write one article around that topic and make it the best. Trust me , your ranking will be better even without making a lot of links.

Sometimes these types of content get links naturally. Google wants to show best to its users, so even if you don’t write content yourself, make sure to find the best. Invest on content so you would have to invest less in building links.

Few things to focus-

  • Make the content appealing by adding lot of images and videos.
  • Create your own images. Sometimes these images get’s you links as well.
  • Use Infographic wherever applicable
  • plus
    Optimize the content for Knowledge Graph

3. RankBrain - The Future is here

Source-Backlinko?

What’s RankBrain?

RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google uses to sort the search results. It also helps Google process and understand search queries.

So its fully automated. So even if your content has lot of links, but the content is average, you will see a ranking drop.
RankBrain performs 10% better than Google engineers.

So how’s Rankbrain different. It actually tries to understand the meaning of the keyword rather than blatantly searching the Title and the content.
So if I search “The capital of India”. It understands that you meant “New Delhi”. So even if you typed “The capital of India” you have actually typed “New Delhi”. Hope it’s clear now.

In a recent blog post by Google, they talked about a technology called “Word2vec” that turns keywords into concepts.

For example, Google says that this technology “understands that Paris and France are related the same way Berlin and Germany are (capital and country), and not the same way Madrid and Italy are”.

Ya, it seems AI’s will rule the world eventually 😛 

The second method it uses to regulate the rankings is by monitoring the User Satisfaction.

As I earlier said that Google wants to show its user the best, User Satisfaction is the key.

In simpler words, the post that many people have liked to gets a ranking boost and vice-versa.

They use some criterion-

  • SERP Click-Through Rate
  • Dwell Time
  • Bounce Rate
  • chevron-circle-right
    Pogo Sticking

Let me explain each one of them briefly-

4. SERP Click Through Rate 

Whenever you search for a particular keyword, its not fixed that you would click on the first result always. You sometime would click 3rd or the 7th for some reason or the other.

So improving your posts click through rate is very important. You can do this by-

  • Writing better Search Titles - Use numbers and make it long. Smart Usage of Brackets also helps
  • Write better Meta Description- Now that Google has increase the length of Meta Description, writing a good one is more important than ever.
  • Use of Schema Markup - Like Star Ratings for reviews etc.
  • plus
    Use a Table of Content - This helps in creating a links below the meta-description.

Schema Ratings

5. Dwell Time

Dwell time is the total time that a user spends on the time. This means your content should be good enough for the user to stay.

The better the dwell time, its good.

Example of a Good Headline

6. Bounce Rate

According to Kissmetrics Blog -

Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who come to your website and leave without viewing any other pages on your website. If you look into your Google Analytics, you will see a percentage.

If you’re average bounce rate, for example, is 75%, this means that 75% of the people who come to your website leave after only viewing the page they entered on, whether it was your homepage or an internal page.

7. Pogo Sticking 

Pogo-sticking is defined as going back and forth from a search engine results page (SERP) to an individual search result destination site.

In other words, pogo-sticking is when the searcher clicks on a link on a SERP, sees that it’s not what she is looking for, and immediately bounces off by hitting the back button. She then chooses another result from the results page to satisfy her informational need.

8. Voice Search

We cannot leave Voice Search behind, can we.

We has seen a huge growth in recent years. With Google itself stepping in the market with their own products, Google Home and Home mini.

Both Roku and Apple also intend to join the party.

So it’s not enough to optimize the content for Search but also for Voice Search. This means focusing on long-tail Keywords.

While keywords usually only represent about 10-15% of all searches, 70% of page views are a result of long-tail keywords.

Source - MarTechToday

It will help in search too. It’s a win - win situation.

According to MOZ-

Voice search will be more than 25% of all US Google searches within 12 months. Despite this, desktop volume will stay nearly flat and mobile (non-voice) will continue to grow.

9. Mobile

If you’re page is not mobile optimised, go fix it now. You might be losing on a lot of traffic and sales.

We all the no. of mobile user’s is increasing day by day.

If you haven’t heard by now, not only does Google boost pages that are optimized for mobile, but they will soon roll out a mobile-first index. This means that Google will begin crawling and indexing the mobile version of a website over the desktop version.

What does this mean for business owners? Mobile-optimization isn’t just cosmetic, it has an SEO value. You can solve for two challenges with one solution: create a stronger user experience and get higher rankings just by making your website play well with mobile devices.

Test your website’s mobile version con Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

Here are few tips that might be useful -

Page Speed

Among the many ranking factors. Page speed is also very important. So make sure choose a good hosting and use a CDN (Content Delivery Network).

According to CloudFlare -

A content delivery network (CDN) refers to a geographically distributed group of servers which work together to provide fast delivery of Internet content. A CDN allows for the quick transfer of assets needed for loading Internet content including HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, images, and videos.

Don’t block JavaScript or CSS

Gone those days where you would block these as there weren’t supported on mobile devices. Things have changed, so if you are still living in 2010 make sure to come to 2018.

Use HTML5 instead of Flash.

Design for the fat finger

Touch screen navigation can lead to accidental clicks if your buttons are too big, too small, or in the path of a finger that's trying to get the page to scroll.

Read More - https://moz.com/learn/seo/mobile-optimization

Conclusion

We have seen Google will focus more on the User Intent and Experience, so make sure the articles you write in 2018 keep these factors in mind.

Learn CopyWriting too, it will be both helpful in writing articles as well as FB Ads.

Hope you liked the article. What are your thoughts 🙂? Drop them below in the comments section.

The article was contributed by Tim Dugun -


Tim Dugan is the founder of Web Services CT, a digital marketing firm specializing in SEO and web design for small businesses throughout Connecticut. Tim has a genuine passion for helping small business owners succeed through his  SEO Company and digital marketing strategies.

Tim Dugan
 

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Naveen Sharma - February 24, 2018

Hi Tim,

Excellent article. In the last few weeks there has been a lot of buzz about the changes to be expected in SEO techniques. Your article gives a complete picture of it regarding changes in technology and what we need to do to adapt to it.

There is also a lot of jargon involved with SEO techniques but this article clarifies everything. Dwell time, bounce rate, pogo sticking, etc. have been described succintly.

Thanks for sharing the valuable information and the tips with us. Have a great day!

-Naveen

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