The basic premise of SEO has always been the same: Improve rankings in search results.
But as Google continues to update its algorithm, the exact steps required to achieve this goal have also changed over time.
So although the general idea remains the same, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you optimize your site in 2018.
Focus on the user
Google’s algorithm updates are almost impossible to predict.
The company is highly secretive about the changes it makes to its algorithm, sometimes even after they happen — so it can be difficult to keep up with those changes.
Still, every update has one thing in common. They’re all designed to help the search engine provide the best possible results for searchers.
So as you work on improving your site, always remember to keep your focus on the user.
Choose topics that are relevant to their needs, write content in a way that’s helpful and straightforward, and make sure that your site is easy to navigate and engage with.
This way, even though there’s no way to tell what Google’s next move will be, you’ll be working with the same core goal in mind — and that can only work in your favor.
Use keyword optimization
Search engines have used keywords as a consideration in how they rank pages from the beginning, and they’re still an important factor today.
You can learn more about the role they play in our resource on on-page SEO.
Optimize your site for the mobile-first index
One of the biggest changes in how people browse the Internet over the past few years is the devices with which we access online content.
In the early days of SEO, the only way to access a search engine was on a desktop computer.
Today, an increasing number of users browse on smartphones, tablets, and other devices. In fact, mobile Internet usage surpassed desktop for the first time in 2016.
It makes sense, then, that Google would take steps to make sure that their results prioritized pages that were accessible on mobile devices.
Their first step, in April 2015, was to boost mobile-friendly pages in search results. This change was so significant that many SEOs referred to it as “Mobilegeddon.”
But in 2016, Google took things a step farther by announcing that it would be switching to a mobile-first index.
This represented a reverse in how they’ve historically categorized and ranked pages, a shift illustrated nicely by this graphic from Moz.
Essentially, Google has always indexed and ranked pages based on how they appeared on desktop computers. This meant that their results typically reflected the best pages for desktop users — which made sense when these users made up the majority of their audience.
But if any of those pages performed poorly on smartphones, they’d be delivering a poor user experience for mobile users.
So to keep up with the increasing number of users accessing online content on smartphones, tablets, and other devices, Google reversed the process.
With this shift, they’ve started to rank pages based on the best results for mobile users.
This means that if a site doesn’t perform well on smartphones, its rankings will suffer — even in desktop results.
SEO Optimization Tools
As you work towards improving your site’s online visibility, there are plenty of tools you can use to simplify and improve the process.
Tools to improve your keyword research
Keyword research is the first step in any successful SEO strategy, and there are several tools designed specifically to help you identify the best possible keywords for your business:
Tools to simplify on-page optimization
Optimizing a page’s on-page elements is an essential part of the SEO process, and the following tools can help you ensure that you do so correctly:
Tools to improve off-page optimization
Another essential part of SEO is off-page optimization, which primarily involves earning backlinks.
Competitor research is one of the best ways to identify new opportunities for link building, and these two tools are both excellent choices for that process:
Tools to monitor your results
As you make changes to your site, it’s important to measure the impact those changes make. These are two of the best tools for monitoring your results:
Tools to improve your conversion rate
Your goal with SEO isn’t just to attract traffic — it’s to convert that traffic into customers and clients for your business. As a result, you’ll need to make sure that your site is in line with your visitors’ needs and designed to encourage conversions.
The following tools can help you measure your performance and identify opportunities for improvement:
Optimizing a site is a complex, and often challenging, process.
It takes time, planning, and a lot of patience to achieve the results you want with search engine optimization.
But if you’re willing to invest the resources it takes to create and carry out a well-planned strategy, the results you’ll see in terms of sales and revenue are entirely worth it.
It can help you boost your credibility, earn more traffic, and improve your online visibility.
Plus, you’ll achieve all of those results with spending a cent on ad space.
Beyond that, SEO is a great way improve the overall experience your target audience has with your brand. When you create content that’s in line with their needs, then make it easily accessible on a user-friendly site, you position your company as a helpful resource.
Finally, as you work on your site’s optimization, it’s easy to monitor and measure your results — meaning you’ll never have to worry on whether you’re allocating your digital marketing budget effectively.
So if you’ve been wondering why your site needs search engine optimization, the answer is clear: it’s one of the best ways to reach your marketing goals.
To discuss more on how we can help your business with Search Engine Optimization contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or +254 (0) 725 544 155