With Google’s search algorithm changing on a regular basis, it can sometimes be hard to tell how well our SEO efforts are actually working. Many business owners may even be wondering how important SEO is at all in 2018. Does it even matter anymore?
The Short Answer
Yes. SEO absolutely still matters. It just feels like it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with best practices. However, if you think about it, when has SEO success ever been described as a simple or quick process? When has it ever been easy?
Never. SEO has always involved many moving parts and search rankings have always been determined by a somewhat mysterious force – the ever-changing algorithm. But, for some reason, marketers and business owners haven’t been able to accept that SEO is never going to be anything but complex.
Why SEO Still Matters
The good news is that the complexity of SEO is the very thing that keeps us all from putting out terrible, irrelevant content on the internet and expecting people to find it. It is what keeps us honest, at least most of the time. SEO has evolved to be more than just a repeatable process that can be easily followed to achieve optimal results. SEO takes work, but if you’re willing to do the work, the results speak for themselves.
4 Tips to make your SEO efforts matter in 2018:
1) Structure Your Data
Rich cards and rich snippets are two of the most effective ways to structure your data, allowing you to communicate better with search engines. In each case, web developers include additional, specific information within the page, providing search engines with a better explanation of the content on a particular page.
Google likes structured data, and may choose to enable a “rich” set of features (such as reviews, images, recipes, etc.) for your page in the search results. Google may also create a knowledge graph search result to display your information, which typically includes information from multiple pages of your website or online application.
Rich cards and rich snippets are great ways to increase the visibility of your website and brand.
2) Optimize Content for Voice Search
Optimizing your content for keywords and keyword phrases is still an important aspect of SEO. However, today’s users are doing more talking than typing, especially when using their mobile devices. In fact, a study by Emarketer indicated that “35.8% of millennials use[d] voice-enabled digital assistants at least once a month” last year.
If you’re not taking mobile users, or more specifically, voice searchers seriously, your website may not garner the attention you’re hoping for in 2018. Instead of using keywords and short keyword phrases, it’s important to include semantic search phrases in your optimization strategy.
Users may ask questions like, “Okay, Google, where can I get ice cream nearby?” It’s time to start working these questions into your content for better SEO results.
3) Create Engaging Videos
Video marketing is a great, and potentially easy way to improve your search results. Even the simplest video can help move your website to the first page of Google search. You don’t even need special or expensive video equipment to get results.
People love videos. In fact, according to Hubspot, “Where both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather use video to learn about a product or service.” The numbers don’t lie. Videos are where it’s at.
4) Keep Creating High-Quality Content
While the rules of SEO may change faster than we can keep up, one constant remains: high-quality content is crucial to the success of your efforts. Flimsy, irrelevant content that doesn’t educate or entertain your audience isn’t going to get your website on the first page of Google search results.
If you aren’t putting effort into your content creation and at least trying to keep up with the latest SEO best practices, you aren’t going to get the results you want. It’s that simple. Your dedication to publishing high-quality, relevant content that your audience wants and needs won’t go unnoticed.
Do you need help with your SEO strategy or execution? CommonPlaces can help.