The 11 Most Important Tips for Search Engine Optimization in 2018

Search Engine Optimization is a daunting and exciting industry. The rules are constantly changing, making content creation more important, all in an effort to maximize click-through-rate. With Google’s most recent update, Hummingbird, your page is assessed, and your relevance is determined by the quality of your content. Mastering the algorithms and crafting your content to maximize your traffic is no easy feat, so follow these tips for search engine optimization.

1. Embed Video

More than ever, video is increasing engagement with digital content. Rather than linking to a video that can redirect your audience, make sure to embed video so that it displays directly on your page. Embedding video will increase time spent on your page, as well as improving your SEO rankings.

2. Everything is Mobile First

The majority of online traffic is mobile, meaning that larger-screen devices like desktops and laptops don’t make up much of your target audience. Mobile devices come with different ways of formatting content, different resolutions, and different audiences. Keep this in mind when formatting your images, text size, and your top-of-the-page content.

3. Be Wise with Keywords

Gone are the days of keyword stuffing. With the Hummingbird update, Google has begun to use natural language processing, meaning that your keywords should be worked smoothly into your content. Having a couple long-form keywords will help target your audience better, while also boosting your rankings.

4. Link Building

Link building is a huge part of search engine optimization. Search engines are able to keep track of where your content is linked from, or what content you link to, making it a part of the optimization process. Whether it’s linking to relevant pages within your own site, external links, or having your content being linked to, link building will help with organic growth.

5. Formatting

Google’s spiders recognize the HTML tags you use, so formatting plays a key role into SEO. Having several headings, shorter paragraphs, and bullet points will give you a ranking boost. Take advantage of the full range of options when formatting your page, including multiple heading styles, spacing, and italics for when they fit your content.

6. Don’t Forget the Meta Description

Tools like WordPress make it simple to add a meta description for your page, so make sure to utilize this. The meta description is often the first text that your audience will see from your page. Not only will having a strong meta description improve your CTR, but it will also help with your page’s relevance.

7. Content is King

Your content should be genuinely engaging and unique. Simply creating short blogs with keywords included won’t get you past Google’s sophisticated algorithms. A mix of language processing, CTR, engagement, and other factors will determine the quality of your content, so the most effective strategy is to create authentic content.

8. Tag Your Pictures

Pictures don’t translate easily to text for SEO, so including tags with your images provides a great opportunity to increase your rankings. Tag them using keywords and phrases that are relevant to your audience. A relevant tag will boost your page’s ranking and make your content more engaging for your audience.

9. Prune Your Older Content

Whether you’re writing instructional guides or a nutrition blog, you don’t want to leave your content on your site for too long. A competitor may post a more popular article, or time may make your guide obsolete. When this happens, it can dilute your site’s relevance, so make sure to take down older, less relevant content.

10. Don’t Forget Text

If your content is primarily visual, add some descriptive text. This is especially true for infographic content, where the words may be part of an image. While pictures and videos drive engagement, it’s hard for Google’s spiders to convert them into text. Including text to accompany this content will make it easier for Google’s algorithms to determine your page’s relevance.

11. Take Advantage of Google Correlate

Google Correlate is a powerful tool for SEO. It lets you see the strength and relevance of any keyword, letting you see what people searching a keyword tend to click on. You may think that your keyword is straightforward and relevant, but it might attract an audience that isn’t looking for your content. Use this tool to curate your keyword selection to get your content to the most relevant audience.

SEO is one of the fastest growing industries in the digital marketing space. More complex algorithms in search engines like Google and more competition in the digital space make this field more complex than just using keywords. Organic growth and natural CTR is the most effective way to reach your audience long term, so make sure to use these tips to your advantage.