- SERP Features – with the evolution of SERPs features, its important that you monitor the features that show up for your keywords. Featured snippet, for example is one quick win where you have an opportunity to rank above #1 organic result. Yes, this is through quick answers, popularly referred to as “Rank 0”.
- Tools such as SEOMoz and SEO Clarity can help you identify keyword opportunities where you can rank in Featured snippet.
- Create Q&A pages and optimize them for queries that seek answers
- Embed relevant image on the page to bundle together in search snippet.
- Get more traffic and Improve CTR
- Structured Data
Google’s never officially confirmed structured data is a ranking signal — and, it likely isn’t.
Why bother, then?
Structured data lets you enhance your search listings in several ways: Think Knowledge Graph panels and rich snippets. The latter can increase your listings’ CTR (click-through rate)
- Select and implement relevant schema
- Analyze which types of SERPs appear most for the keywords that you want to target to help you determine which schema to utilize.
- Speed to be the major factor in 2018 – According to Google, 50% users leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. So, its important to optimize the load time. Check Google Speed Test and Think With Google Mobile Test report to check your website health and recommendations to fix the issues.
- Voice Search – Google says that 20% of all searches are voice searches and I’m certain that number will only continue to skyrocket in the coming years.
Use These Tips For Your Voice Search SEO Strategy
- Use Microdata - Adding microdata like location, phone number, pricing, menus, and operating hours for search engines was crucial before, but it’s even more crucial now with voice search and SEO. Microdata helps search engines understand what is on any given page which is key for Voice Search.
- Speak the way your users would. It’s not just about keywords anymore. The trend is shifting from short and stiff keywords to more human, more specific, and longer-tail search terms. Phrases and longtail keywords are the way to go. Keep this in mind when you’re creating content and using keywords on your site pages. We’ll have to be mindful now more than ever to be genuine and specific in our keyword use.
- What questions will your customers need to ask to find you? That’s what we need to figure out, and those are the key words and phrases (or actually, questions) we need to include in our site content. (FAQ pages are great for this.) Use a tool called Answer the Public, in which you can type in short and simple keywords and get back data on how those terms fit in with search queries around the web.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly and scores well as per Google Speed Test report.
- Dive deeper into semantics.
- Mobile First Index – Google will begin to index and rank your site based on the content on your mobile experience, and not your desktop experience as it has done historically.
Some tips to prepare for Mobile First Index -
- Need to have a responsive website
- Ensure your pages pass Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- In a mobile-first world, there are many things that you will have to worry about, but one of them won’t be Google penalizing you because you have content behind accordions or tabs.
- Review smartphone errors in Google Search Console
- Update mobile content to reflect desktop site
- Add Structured Data on your mobile version pages
- Go for AMP pages
- Optimize On-Site SEO for Mobile
- Keep load time fast
- Create Visual Content - a recent poll found that 37% of marketers stated that visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business.
- Use embeddable images on the site. Embeddable Images are images that are easy for other sites to embed into their content. When they do, they’ll usually link back to you
- Embed video on the page to improve the dwell time.
- Add infographics on pages
- Backlinks to stay but citations matter. Even if you don’t get backlinks, the citations of your brand/products/business can help in search engine rankings.
- AI and Machine Learning – RankBrain is a machine learning system that helps Google sort their search results. RankBrain focuses on two things:
- How long someone spends on your page (Dwell Time)
- The percentage of people that click on your result (Click Through Rate)
Create engaging content with a lot of data and visual content. Longer content that’s at least 2,000 words perform well compared to shorter content. Use Schema to leverage Google Search features. This can improve your CTR.
- Online Videos - According to Cisco, online video will make up 80% of all online traffic by 2021. Despite the fact that there are more videos out there than ever, HubSpot states that 43% of people want to see MORE video content.
In short, if you’re not creating video content, you’re missing out.
Some of the tips to take advantage of videos for SEO:-
- Tap into YouTube - Create new videos and optimize existing videos. More and more people are searching for stuff on YouTube and skipping Google altogether. 55% of all Google search results contain at least one video.
- Embed video content on text-based blog pages
- Markup the videos with Schema code. This gives you a chance to feature in “Featured Results”
- Start a blog with long-tail keywords. Use Google Keyword planner to get ideas about niche keywords. Use LSI keyword tool to make the content thematically relevant to the search query.
- Once you start a blog, you can also add curated content. By pulling in RSS feeds and sharing relevant content, you’ll provide value to your current visitors. Just remember to source any unoriginal content on your website or you’ll run into copyright issues.
- Make infographics – because visual data is processed much faster than text. With a few infographics, you can cram a lot more information into your blogs. This improves dwell time and gives you a chance to appear in image search and drive more traffic.
- Help a reporter out (HARO) - If you’re not yet familiar with Help a Reporter Out (HARO), it’s one of the best ways to get publicity and media attention. HARO is a great place to harvest sourced quotes for your blogging efforts, offer quotes of your own for backlinks, and gain earned media appearances.
- User-generated Content - If you look at the top websites in the world, accordingly to Alexa, they have one thing in common. They all have user generated content. Example, Google.com, Youtube.com, Facebook, Baidu.com, Wikipedia.org, etc.
Encourage comments on your blogs. This year Google said that “Comments are better on-site for engagement signals for SEO than moving to social.”
In other words, Google wants to see that you have an active community on your site. And they’re likely to pay even more attention to this ranking signal in 2018.
- Study Your Competition - If you want to rank high in the SERPs, you need to copy the styles of other sites that rank high. There are various tools available online like SimilarWeb that can help you with competition data. With SimilarWeb, you can find out where your competitors get their backlinks from and on what keywords they rank. You can also use SEOMoz to see backlinks the competition and getting so that you can reach out to those sites and get backlinks for yourself.
- Use link opportunity tool in SEOMoz to find citations of your business with no backlinks. You can reach out to such websites to put a backlink.
- Create questions and participate in answering questions on sites like Quora.
- Internal Linking - Internal links help to distribute link juice across your site, while assisting search engines and users in understanding the page and finding relevant information sources.
How to improve your website’s internal linking strategy:
- Review the current internal links on your site (Screaming Frog offers an internal linking report).
- Place relevant (strategic) text links from blog posts to your high-value pages, preferably with optimized and varied anchor text.
- Find and fix any broken internal links.
- Develop standards for internal linking (when to link where and how to link internally and externally) and be consistent.
- Content Distribution – According to a Moz survey, top SEO experts cite page-level social metrics in the top 10 ranking factors. You put a lot of time and effort into creating your content. Give it a chance to produce a return on your investment by amplifying it.
How to improve your content distribution:
- Promote your content via social media
- Repurposing your content into several formats (images, videos, infographics, SlideShare presentations) to increase your reach. You can publish the same article on blog, LinkedIn, medium.com and as a SlideShare.
- Use public relations and influencer outreach to amplify your content.
- Create a Flipboard magazine to promote your top content. Big brands like Fast Company, Huffington Post, NPR and others all share content on Flipboard.
- Go on Podcast - Podcasts are one of my all-time favorite ways to build links. It’s like guest posting… without all the BS. Just show up, provide value, and you get a sweet backlink:Go on Podcast - Podcasts are one of my all-time favorite ways to build links. It’s like guest posting… without all the BS. Just show up, provide value, and you get a sweet backlink: