Your Ultimate Guide to SEO in 2018

2017  goes as the ‘Year of Change’ for SEO. From Penguin to Hummingbird, Google search engine slams down spammers and focuses on prioritizing blog authority. Getting ahead anywhere with SEO in 2018 is competitive and needs high learning curve. I will make it succinct.

Continue with on-page SEO factors like adding tags (H1, H2…), add internal links, and add ‘alt’ tags to images and so on. These are the basics that remain unchanged. Let’s move forwards towards top SEO Tips 2018.

1) Focus on Social Signals

Back in 2010, Matt Cutts confirms the use of social signals as a ranking factor. You can notice authoritative blogs linking each other. As the news goes viral on social media, you can see Google favoring content freshness for ranking.

The reasons you need to focus on enhancing social signals for your blog/s are:

  • Increase in blog visibility
  • Ability to build a brand value
  • Getting found and indexed by search engines faster
  • Responsive social media interaction
  • People get to know YOU & Google prefer “authority”

Start being active on these popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ & Pinterest. While automated social media marketing tools like HootSuite and Post Planner work to enhance social signals, try to network personally.

2) Create Content that Converts

This is the right time to focus on content that gives conversion; conversion in terms of affiliate earning, higher organic traffic, email subscribers, product downloads and whatever if offered through a blog.

Stop creating mediocre content. It might rank for some time on Google but later, it is bumped down the ranking pages. It’s true that not every blogger can write but efforts should be given to improvisation.

See blogs like Search Engine Land or Mashable; they have a team behind its success. Hire bloggers to contribute exemplary content on your blog/s and let them build their authority. Their authority ranking will surely help your blog/s to rank higher.

Further, the 2013 Google Hummingbird update changes the course of search engine rankings forever. Google is not ranking content based on keywords but based on “understanding concepts, relationships between concepts, and more complex questions”, says Search Engine Watch. Therefore, create content which is useful for both the audience and search engine alike.

3) Mobile Responsive Blogs

In this Info graphic, Microsoft states the distinct possibility that the number of mobile web users will surpass desktop users. In other words, your blog SEO in 2018 should be mobile optimized. A higher risk looms over any blog’s usability if it doesn’t load on mobile frameworks. It could mean loss of readership and earning.

You can start with using mobile responsive blog themes. Elegant Themes, Genesis and Thesis frameworks are mobile responsive. Since the mobile screen space is less, the blog should be aptly optimized to show only relevant tabs and content.

Next, the mobile responsive blog should load faster. Check the speed and improvisation recommendations via Google Pagespeed Insights, Tools.pingdom.com and Gtmetrix.com. Lastly, to view how a blog is rendered on mobile devices, check out these options – to check rendering on iPad, various mobile devices with different screen size, and an overview response.

4) SEO in 2018 depends on Authority

SEO in 2018 will depend a lot on blog authority. Focus on Google Authorship. This will surely be an interesting year for authority development. The “Authorship” tag is like a vote of approval from Google. If any web page shows Authorship link from a verified author, it get higher distinction and ranking.

The moot point – Google doesn’t want bloggers to be anonymous.

Whether yours is a multi-author or single-author blog, get authorship. Encourage your blog authors to add the “rel=author” tag in their bylines to increase the trust factor.

What I am trying to say is your content may have excellent on-page SEO to rank higher and it might even rank, but showing authorship will help to sustain the ranking. Which is better? You decide.

5) Monitor Outbound Links

Be careful while linking to other blogs or websites. While search engines like Google recommend to link to other webpages (like you see in this article), they should be contextually relevant; it is known as “co-citation”. It means you’re contextually using relevant pages to raise the value of your content.

Outbound linking is good but you should monitor their quality at regular intervals. Making the outbound links do-follow or no-follow is your prerogative; a healthy mix of both is recommended. If you accept guest blogs, design a proper quality control structure to maintain the overall content quality of the blog.

Endnote

Unlike the naysayers, I believe that SEO is not dead. It changes every moment and the trick to surviving a business online is to adapt to these changes and compete.

Start by creating a 6-month blog SEO strategy. Write down on-page SEO factors and share it with blog contributors. Prepare a promotion and marketing plan. Write down content creation guidelines and ideal ways to reach audiences outside your comfort zone.

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