8 Definitely Relevant SEO Strategies in 2018


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8 Definitely Relevant SEO Strategies in 2018

Can you figure out the only thing that’s a constant in search engine optimization?

It’s change.

The techniques keep evolving. Some of the old practices, such as high-quality content writing, are still relevant.

However, even those constant factors keep changing.

We can describe 2017 in few words: the year of semantic search. Google improved its capacity to understand a searcher’s intent, so it’s providing results by contextual meaning. We all followed that trend and we keep improving the practices related to it.  

So where will we stand in 2018? If you’re in this field, you know that you shouldn’t just follow trends. You must jump on board before everyone else does.                                       

We’ll list the top SEO strategies that are definitely relevant for 2018.

1. Voice Search

Is voice search the next big thing in SEO? It might be. Since mobile is part of our daily lives and voice search functions are getting stronger, it’s safe to assume that this trend is going to hit us big in 2018. The trend was also predicted to be important for 2017, but we’re still not there yet.

Knowing that, it’s crucial for SEO practitioners to start optimizing their content for voice search. How do we do that?

– Focus on including conversational keywords, which your target audience uses for voice search.

– Claim your Google My Business listing, so people will get proper information when they voice search for your business.

– Make the FAQ page perfect!

– Include questions and answers in your content.

2. Mobile-First Index

The official announcement for Google’s mobile-first indexing came out in November, 2016. Although this shift was expected, it still took many SEO masters by surprise. In its essence, this change means that Google will consider the mobile version of a website as its primary, or “real” version.

If your primary content and markup differs across mobile and desktop, you’ll have to make serious changes to improve your ranking. The most important thing to do is to use the robots.txt testing tool, so you’ll make sure that Googlebot can access your site’s mobile version.

3. The Rise of Visual Search

All content across the web is getting more visually-focused than ever. Does that mean we’ll start using images as queries? Yes!

Think of this example: you see a really nice watch in an online magazine, but you don’t know what the brand or model is. With image recognition, you could find that watch in online stores. Pinterest, Amazon, Macy’s, Asos, and other websites have already made image search options available on mobile.

Google has been showing us related images for years now. To get your images featured there, you should implement the Schema Markup.

4. User Experience

Everything we do is related to user experience. In 2018, SEO masters will be even more focused on that aspect. Google makes it clear: its users have to get value, so you better give them solutions. If you don’t play by those rules, you’re out of the game.

What does this mean in terms of SEO practices?

– You must improve the speed of your site, as well as its navigation and readability.

– Your pages should engage the audience and lead them towards solutions.

– Provide personalized experiences through recommendations relevant to the user’s history on the site.

5. Featured Snippets

People use Google to ask questions. They want quick answers. The search engine is doing everything to improve their user experience in that aspect. Gaining a featured snippet for a particular question will take your SEO results to the next level.

Let’s say you’re one of the many companies that are trying to sell treatments for vitiligo. When people ask Google “What is vitiligo?” and your answer appears in the featured snippet, they will visit your page. On that page, you’ll give them all information they need, and you’ll suggest a solution: the treatment.

– Start by including questions and answers in your content.

– Improve your FAQ page and group similar questions together.

6. Comprehensive, In-Depth Content

It never gets old. Mary Moore, content marketing expert from BestEssays, explains why: “If someone is looking for a solution and searches for it via Google, what website do you think  they would visit – the one that offers in-depth info for everything they want to know, or the one that features superficial information they already know? In-depth content always wins.”

To rank your content, Google used to check the title and description tag, H1 tag, image ALT text, URL. We all tried to get our keywords there. Google is getting much smarter. It takes context into consideration. You can rest assured it will be getting better at measuring context throughout 2018.

7. Video Gains the Spotlight

According to Cisco’s annual forecast of Internet trends from 2016, 82% of all consumer UP traffic will be video by 2021. We’re already witnessing the revolution: video is omnipresent. People want to see more video content, and SEO practitioners have to follow that trend.

Create video content! People are searching for tutorials, how-to content, reviews, testimonials, and all other kinds of information on YouTube. They are even skipping Google quite frequently.

8. Link Building

Link building is not the way it used to be. That doesn’t mean the strategy is disappearing. It’s only changing.

Instead of being focused on guest blogging that would include links to your site, you should be focused on adding value that naturally attracts links on sites from your niche.

Build relationships! When you offer a guest blog, do not attempt to include a spammy or questionable link. Make it extremely relevant and make sure it gives value to the readers.

We Keep Improving SEO

Google keeps improving. The needs of Internet users keep evolving. SEO practitioners have no other option but to keep improving and evolving, too. Some of the traditional techniques are still valid, but we have to make room for new, more advanced practices that will improve our rankings.

 

About the author: Joan Selby is a former ESL teacher and a content marketer. She also runs her own blog about social media and writing tips. Joan is a Creative Writing graduate and fancy shoelover. A writer by day and reader by night, giving creative touch to everything. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Best Tricks Not To Bore Your Readers to Death

Writing isn’t just about imparting knowledge. It’s also about entertaining your audience. Some people seem to struggle with that second part, though. They have a lot of interesting things to say and yet somehow make whatever they’re saying intensely boring.

Now, if you’re one of those people you might despair. You might think it’s inherent in your writing and there is nothing you can do about it. We’re here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. You can make your writing more energetic and interesting if you just know what you’ve got to do.

Here we’re going to explore some simple things you can do to engage your audience and avoid boring people to death. You ready? Here we go!

Stay on point

If you want to keep your reader interested, make sure you keep telling them about the subject matter that you used to draw them in. If for example, I suddenly went off on a tangent where I started talking about cats or shoes (or cats with shoes!) then a great many people in my audience would switch off.

Why?

Because that’s not what they came here for. They were interested in learning how to not bore their audience. They didn’t come here to learn about cats or shoes or even cats with shoes. Sure, it might entertain some people, but unless it’s a very clever metaphor for not boring your audience (neither cats nor shoes can’t write boring essays?) then it really shouldn’t be a part of your text.

If you’re somebody who sometimes drifts, then make sure you have a thesis before you start your article  – in case you’re not familiar with that term outside of the university, a thesis – according to dictionary.com – is ‘an unproven statement as a premise in an argument.’ The thesis of this article would be ‘Strategies not to bore your audience’.

Whenever I type something I ask myself ‘does this contribute to my thesis? Does this support my argument?’ If the answer is ‘no’, then it needs to be damned interesting or funny to stay in the text. Otherwise, it gets cut. 

Use short sentences

The harder your audience has to work the more tedious your writing is going to be. This is because they’ll have to slow down and constantly re-read sentences. And that’s boring – particularly as we went to get on to the next point.

Basically, as soon as you start using connector words (‘or’, ‘and’, ‘therefore’) you’ll want to stop and think if a period wouldn’t work better.

Even better, use something like readable.io or the Hemingway app to tell you if your text is too difficult and too wordy. Then take the especially difficult sentences under the loop and do your best to simplify them.

Your audience will be grateful to you.

Stop hedging

Okay, we get it. You’re not terribly certain about your opinion. Nobody really is. Still, if you constantly keep reminding people by hedging your words (‘I believe’, ‘It is possible that’, ‘perhaps’) then your readers are going to roll their eyes and go find somebody who is a little bit more secure in their feelings.

That doesn’t mean you should never hedge. Sometimes it’s important you make it clear you aren’t certain about something or that there are exceptions (like I’m doing right here). In that case, go ahead and hedge your words. The thing is, if this is something you’re doing with every sentence then when you really need to hedge your words your readers aren’t going to pay attention to that as they’ve learned to read past your hedges (or already abandoned your article entirely).

What the fluff?

Okay, this is wildly simplified, but in essence, it is true. The impact of your article is the value of what you’re saying divided by the number of words you need to say it.  

For that reason, if you can say the same thing with fewer words, then it will have a bigger impact as you’re giving your audience more bang for their buck.

For this reason, whether you’re writing papers or for your blog online you should look to remove all superfluous words from your text.

Some great candidates are ‘very’, ‘much’ and ‘that’. Often these words don’t add anything. In fact, consider removing any adverb you see. What is an adverb?

Well, Wikipedia tells us: An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, noun phrase, clause, or sentence. Adverbs typically express manner, place, time, frequency, degree, level of certainty, etc., answering questions such as how? in what way? when? where? and to what extent?

Now, sometimes they’re very useful. The thing is, that’s far less frequent than most starting writers think.

For example, you might write ‘she silently tiptoed through the room’ but what does ‘silently’ really add here? Isn’t it clear from the tiptoeing that she is trying to be silent? Similarly, you might put ‘he rudely interrupted her in the middle of her speech’ but here too we can figure out he is being rude by the fact that he interrupted her. We don’t need to be told.

So cut those words!

Edit

In fact, editing is generally a good idea. In truth, the best writers aren’t necessarily great writers, but they’re phenomenal editors. You can think of it as sculpting. First, you use the big ass chisel to cut the rough shape out of the stone. But when you really want to finesse a text, you need to go back and use the smaller chisel, the sandpaper and whatever else you use to add detail to a sculpture (Sorry, not a sculptor).

That’s what editing is. It lets you take the rough shape of your text and turn it into a truly great piece of work.

It’s a good idea to do different types of editing. If I edit a text, then First I’ll go through the text to chop sentences in half, take out pieces of text that don’t belong and increase the readability. Then I’ll through it again, using something like readable.io or Hemingway to get rid of the long sentences, the numerous adverbs and the other problems I might find.

And then, I’ll go through one more time to edit for grammar and spelling mistakes (I’ll use Grammarly for that). And only then is the test done. Yes, that does sound boring, but you see – it’s better I’m bored than that I bore my readers.

Conclusion

There is good news and there is bad news. The bad news is that writing isn’t something you’re going to be great at on day one. It takes hard work. It takes dedication. I’ve been writing for decades and I still produce texts which nearly make me weep.

The good news is that you can get better. If you put in the effort your writing will improve and you will notice it improving. Even better, as you improve as a writer you’ll also notice things that were hard before get easier. You’ll be able to write faster, without errors and in a generally more coherent manner.

All it takes is actually sitting down and doing the hard work of writing. Keep that up for long enough and eventually, you will excel. And then you will realize it was all worth it.

 

About the author: Kathleen Wallace is a freelance writer who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently she`s trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Kathleen is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.

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