SEO is a fast moving field. Hence, it is no surprise that you will find people getting swept up in new advancements, trends, and practices. However, there are some gold standards in SEO that all SMBs should adopt in 2018.
Define Your Audience
SEO drives traffic to website. But that would be of no use if your website is not showing up in front of a relevant audience. Hence, it is in fitness of things that you should identify the type of audience you are targeting and know their search patterns, demographics, geographic location, preferences, etc. A step in this direction can be made by setting up a Google Analytics account that will enable you to learn more about them on a daily, weekly, monthly basis.
Put Your Audience First
When creating your blog posts, it's an absolute must that you have a reader-first mentality. What your readers were really getting out of the writings should be uppermost in your minds.
Never Assume You have No Direct Competitors
There will be always someone who has already used the keywords you wish to target. Do your homework to find out who these competitors of yours are and how you can differentiate your SEO strategy from those of others.
Improve Your Page Speed
Google lays great emphasis on page speed. A great page speed improves the visibility of your site. According to Gomez.com, even a second delay in a page's load time can decrease the customer dissatisfaction by 16 percent. This is all the more important in the case of mobile users.
Use Long Tail Keywords
Using long long-tail keywords in your strategy is key to the success of your business. For instance, considering the keyword "SEO tips" may take a long time for improving the ranking on Google. However, using long tail versions of the keyword "SEO tips" such as "SEO marketing for your business" can increase your chances of raking high in Google.
Small businesses need to be especially focused on local search. If you are a small brick-to-brick business, local SEO is of utmost importance. It has been found recently that 50% of those consumers searching locally on their smartphone visit a store that same day. The figure stands at 34% when it comes to search on a computer or tablet. Hence it is in fitness of things that your business's visibility should rank high in your area. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing out to competitors.
Get Your Website Compatible For Mobile Devices
Findings of a survey reveal that 60% of traffic is coming from mobile devices and that number is likely to increase. Hence it is incumbent on you to ensure that you site is optimized for mobile visitors and not difficult to navigate on mobile devices. This becomes all the more necessary because Google is in the process of awarding higher ranks to the sites that are mobile optimized.
With the passage of time, the use of voice based search is increasing. It is now clear that you can ignore voice search at your own peril. Since voice search queries differ greatly from typed queries, you will have to optimize your content for voice search.
SEO is not a sneaky or deceptive practice, even though there are people who tend to think so. Tricking search engines by using shady tactics is not going to help you. By doing so you run the risk of losing the trust of search engines.
Focus On Quality Over Quantity Of Links.
Quality rather than quantity should be your prime consideration when it comes to building links for your website. Cranking out mass number of links without quality has the potential of damaging your website's credibility.
SEO is an ongoing process. However, starting with a sound strategy will translate into online success for many years to come.