Top 15 SEO Tips 2018: Most Important Ideas You Need For Online Success
You research keywords, write good content and follow disciplined on-page SEO steps.
But why your web pages and content pieces aren’t getting rankings in 2018?!
Sure, you cover all the basics of SEO, but there are some intricate things that you skip.
This “SEO tips 2018” is a post with strategies and ideas that usually stay hidden or seem complicated.
You will learn tricks that make content, keywords and SEO optimization more effective.
Let’s begin this technical SEO checklist 2018:
1. Divide competitor analysis into 3 steps
Competitors are your best teachers.
Learning from your competitors gives you a clear picture of what you need to do and how you need to do it.
The same happens when you want your SEO techniques to work.
There are 3 steps to make competitor analysis easy, effective and insightful:
SERP analysis: The ultimate goal of a content piece is to reach the top organic space in a relevant SERP.
So, the first thing you should do before anything else- analyze the SERP you want to top. Add this idea in your own list of SEO in 2018 to make this year more successful for your online presence.
Understand the dominating intention of that SERP (Commercial, navigational or informational)
Make a list of popular adjectives used in titles
- How To
Pick points from the writing style of URLs created by competitor pages
When I looked at Backlinko’s URL writing style:
I realized three things:
- Make URLs as crispy as possible.
- Include the main keyword in URLs.
- Don’t include the year (for example SEO tips 2018) in the URLs.
Competitor’s content: In digital world, “Content quality” is a comparative term. So, you have to know your competitors’ content before planning content strategy for your site.
Evaluate the topics included in competitor content pieces
When I decided to write my “SEO for beginners” guide,
I went through the best guide available online, which was Moz beginners guide to SEO.
Their collection of topics helped me design my own comprehensive guide.
Understand the content outline and the flow of their work
I closely evaluated the sequence of topics in Moz’s content. Their chapters helped me decide my content outline.
Spot keywords and their positions in content pieces
Write down any weaknesses you find in terms of content quality
Though Moz’s content was extremely comprehensive, I thought my users would love to see a list of “SEO Terminology”.
So, I included that idea and designed my SEO basics guide like this:
Social media analysis: Big players in your industry spend their money and time creating new ways to market their content on social media. The writing style of social media posts, use of hashtags, and image selection are a few of them. These factors can help you prepare your content for its promotional purpose since its beginning.
2. Plan 3 stages of SEO strategies in 2018 (before, during and after content creation)
Sometimes the complexity of SEO techniques stops you from achieving your maximum creative extent.
A better way to justify creative quality and technical quality together is to design a pattern for SEO.
In 2018, this SEO tip is the most valuable change you can bring to your working style.
Learn the basics of search engine optimization. Then, divide SEO responsibilities into three clear parts.
Choose tasks that are necessary before starting the content.
- Topic research
- Keyword research
- Image creation and selection
- Content promotion strategy
- Link building strategy
Define SEO processes that are necessary during the content creation.
- Content outline
- Keyword placement
- Image optimization
Give yourself SEO responsibilities after creating the content.
- Publish content
- Promote content on social media
- Market content for backlinks via email outreach
- Write guest posts about your content
- Monitor content performance over time
3. Merge user intent in keyword research
Another addition to “SEO tips 2018” would be not focusing just on the keyword data.
Yes, you read it right. You have to save yourself from becoming too technical when researching keywords. Or, you can say that it should be a merger of technical aspect and topical analysis of keywords.
Of course, you still need to find competition level and search volume for keywords. But it is also important to dig deeper and understand the intent of a keyword.
For instance, if you search for a query “SEO templates”,
Google’s Search Box will present different variants of user intents around this keyword.
Now, you can choose one or more keywords that seem suitable to your content strategy, and
Create HIGHLY TARGETED content.
Merging user intent in keyword strategy also gives you a clear perspective of how your content should be. You become aware of the topic outline and concepts that keyword requires.
So, for these reasons, you should learn to merge user intent in keyword and content SEO.
4. Understand audiences and influencers separately
Quality-wise, both audiences and influencers want you to impress them.
For audiences, it is usually the readability and usefulness. Influencers, on the other hand, desire promotional traits along with all other qualities.
It is important for you to separate your audiences and influencers in terms of SEO strategies and techniques. The idea is to understand separately and execute everything together.
Ask following questions when designing your SEO strategies:
What answers do audiences want?
When I decided to write a comprehensive post on “image SEO”,
My goal was to get traffic and backlinks at the same time.
First, I looked into the audiences’ queries around “using images”.
I conducted a search on Google:
With this, I concluded that people are looking for “image copyright” queries a lot.
Further research introduced queries around “image modification”, and “image SEO tips”.
So, I included all of them in my content outline.
Are influencers looking for more in-depth content than regular audiences?
To answer this question for my “image SEO” content,
I headed to one of my favorite platforms- Growth Hackers
Their “Posts” section has great tags, which allowed me to find popular and trending content pieces around “image SEO”.
With this research, I concluded that content pieces with “Image tools”, and “SEO best practices” were very popular.
Which keywords and topics can impress both influencers and audiences?
During my research on Quora and Growth Hackers, I came across three terms frequently:
- Image SEO
- Image Optimization
- Using Images
So, I was clear that my guide would contain concepts related to these keywords altogether.
Does a content piece have strong readability, usefulness and promotional traits along with it?
Finally, I combined the obtained ideas with my overall keyword research and created my image SEO guide.
5. Use SEO on all platforms
Your website is just one platform to reach out to your target audience. The online world is about communities of audiences, viewers, influencers, and peers. You need to tap into all those communities through different pathways such as:
- YouTube SEO
- Q&A forums such as Quora
- Social Media
- Industry-focused sites for guest posting
Empowering useful content with SEO optimization can actually help your site as a brand. Which is why you need to invest in working on search engine optimization even when you are writing an answer on Quora or posting a simple news about your site or business on social media.
- Always follow a clear keyword pattern when promoting content on different platforms.
- Understand the platform itself to modify your SEO techniques for better results.
- Find and follow a voice that can become your brand’s identity on every platform.
- Add useful links to bring traffic to your official site.
When posting content on social media,
I utilize hashtags, character limitations, post vocabulary, post link, and images.
6. Develop a consistent content voice for your brand
SEO and marketing are not two parallel things in digital world nowadays. They both have been merged into one lane. Digital marketing professionals know this and you should incorporate this as one of many SEO tips 2018.
Your website is a brand. So, any type of content associated with your site should give a unique sense of brand familiarity. The message should have a consistent voice if you want to win audiences’ loyalty. And SEO plays a big part in that.
Suppose you have to select one of the terms- “Great Ideas”, “Cool Ideas”, “Dope Ideas”, and “Effective ideas”.
There is no general right or wrong term here. It is all about choosing a voice best-suited for your brand.
So, if your site is about games, gadgets, or lifestyle, you can choose “dope ideas” or “Cool ideas”.
A technical site can decide to go with the term “Effective Ideas”.
The goal is to keep the selected voice tone consistent to build a brand familiarity.
The process of copywriting should support as a voice for your brand in terms of writing style.
7. Save long form content from getting boring
Long form content has become a key to best search engine ranking nowadays. But there is a downside to it, if not represented effectively.
You have to master the ability to keep the audiences engaged throughout the content. It happens with experiments. You have to try various SEO and content elements, and keep on analyzing the data behind those SEO techniques.
Here are a few elements which you can play with:
- Compelling subheadings with targeted LSIs.
- Meaningful visuals optimized with image SEO.
- Bolded or highlighted quotes.
- Bullet points
- An appealing call-to-action
These elements can allow you to present your topics in an interesting outline. And that allows readers to consume your work more easily.
8. Stop avoiding technical SEO issues
In 2018, SEO trends won't help you, if your website has technical SEO issues.
You have to deal with the following technical SEO problems to create a strong website:
HTTPS: Moving to HTTPS is a necessity to keep your site a safe place and tell search engines that you care about the security of your visitors.
Accelerated Mobile Pages: Google has motivated content creators towards mobile-optimized pages with AMP.
Ensure crawling: You have to be aware whether Google and other search engines are crawling all the pages that you want them to. It allows you to point out issues such as duplicate pages, broken web pages, and indexing errors. There are tools such as Deep Crawl and Moz site crawl are useful in finding and resolving SEO issues.
Semantic Markups: HTML tags have to have correct information to enhance the semantic value of your web pages. It will help Google evaluate the context of the content available on your pages. So, get your HTML tags checked for their semantic value.
Page load speed: Google offers you Test My Site to ensure that your pages are optimized properly to load within 3 to 5 seconds. This is one of the important SEO ranking criteria. Hence, I recommend you go to the page speed guide that I have created in sync with the latest "Google Speed Update".
9. Internal linking comes within the current SEO techniques 2018
Backlinks are directly associated with SEO ranking factors. But internal links are as critical for your site as any other link you achieve.
Internal linking is the process of linking one web page of a site to another page of the same website. You use hyperlinks to provide a navigational pathway for visitors. Most site owners do it, but sometimes it doesn’t serve the right purpose.
Purpose of internal linking:
- Empowering web pages’ content by connecting with other relevant pages on your site.
- Allowing a reader to find detailed information on connected topics.
- Getting traffic from one page to the other in order to reduce bounce rate.
- Making Google bots understand the depth of content quality you have to offer.
When you keep these things in mind, your internal linking process seems more meaningful to visitors as well as search engines.
From now on, don’t just think about the number of internal links. Focus on the value and the purpose an internal link can fulfill for you.
10. Become legit content source to get more backlinks
No matter what you write about or what type of business you have online, people want quality.
Behind all the technicalities of digital marketing, quality is the ultimate requirement your audiences have from you.
Backlinks, sales, revenue and higher rankings, it is all possible with quality content.
But there is one problem!
Every piece of information is available on the internet.
You cannot create new information anymore, but you can present the old information with a new perspective.
This is how you can become a unique content creator:
- Learn modern SEO writing tips.
- Use in-depth research to select attention-worthy topics.
- Gather data around your topic using research or surveys.
- Find your own perspective around that same topic.
- Formulate a content strategy including, blogs, infographics, videos, and articles around that topic selection.
With these SEO tips in 2018, you can bring freshness to your content and attract more backlinks from multiple sources.
11. Combine manual and automated SEO techniques in link building
The importance of backlinks is no secret to anyone. Link building comes under essential SEO techniques to gain top rankings.
But the parameters of quality backlinks have evolved.
You can’t rely on paid links, blog comments or other spam techniques for rankings.
To attain quality links in 2018, you need high-quality content and intense marketing.
A strong backlink strategy requires following actions:
- Competitor analysis
- Research for broken links
- Content promotion
- Email marketing
- Social promotion
Choosing only a manual or an automated process can’t get you relevant links. It takes a balance of manual and automatic procedure to achieve high-quality backlinks for your website.
In-depth reading for quality link building:
- 90+ Link Building Tools Your Competitors Are Using
- Link Building SEO: Guide To Become A Master From A Beginner
12. Maintain a cycle of promoting every high-quality content
Marketing your content is not a one-time process. You can’t just promote your content for a while and move to a new one. Every content piece requires a continuous cycle of promotion to stay fresh and reach more readers and influencers.
Here are a few steps to add to your SEO strategy and maintain a smooth content promotion cycle:
- Make a list of best pages and content that your site has.
- Make another shortlist with content pages that are link-worthy.
- Keep updating old pages with fresh information.
- Use infographics and videos to improve the engagement quality of your pages.
- Re-promote online through social media and email outreach.
These steps will create a loop of content promotion and make your best pages stronger day by day.
13. Become serious about image SEO
Visuals on your site impact bounce rate, conversions and readability. Plus, Google offers an opportunity to win more traffic through image search. Hence, you have to become serious about image SEO optimization.
Your images have to have certain qualities in order to appear on Google’s image search and impress site visitors:
- Visual appeal
- Promotional scope
- Optimized file size
- Descriptive file name
- Keywords in image file name and ALT text
These are only the basics of image SEO. Here is a guide to understanding image optimization in detail:
14. Start making efforts towards voice search SEO
An article on Search Engine Land explains the importance of voice search SEO in 2018 in terms of visibility, and reaching more consumers.
Mobile users are inclining towards voice search more now.
Another study conducted by Backlinko tells the nuances of voice search optimization.
Though there are no direct optimization steps for voice search, you can use Backlinko’s study to prepare your site and content for future:
- Using question and answers in your content.
- Keeping your answers short and concise.
- Using common language in writing that people use when speaking in general.
- Formatting your web page with featured snippet position in mind.
15. Upgrade SEO strategy with changing analytics
Site owners and bloggers spend hours evaluating outside tips and tricks to learn Effective search engine optimization. But the best SEO tips of 2018 are available right there in your analytics.
You should also learn from your site’s performance. Here are the analytics you need to monitor regularly:
- Page traffic
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Session duration on pages
- Referral traffic
These insights tell you how your site is performing and which aspects need more work.
For instance, if the referral traffic is going down, you need more relevant backlinks to obtain the right audience.
Similarly, high bounce rate says that your web pages require more engaging content, internal links and other ways to hold visitors.
Learn how to reduce bounce rate:
Do you feel prepared with these SEO tips 2018?!
Every tip offered in this post can easily align with your current SEO tactics. So, these SEO techniques will definitely help you empower your site’s rankings and authority in 2018.
Hopefully, these SEO tips for 2018 have made you feel more confident about the online game plan for your site this year.