SEO 2018 is a far cry from what constituted good SEO practices just a few years ago. Today there are more than 200 distinct factors evaluated by the Google search engine to determine how your website should be ranked. Those rankings are critical in terms of getting attention for your website too, because if your site isn’t listed among the top five results which are returned to a user, chances are you won’t be getting a visit. It is known that those first five results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) account for approximately 67% of all the sites which will be checked by a user.

Most Critical Factors

Maximize your SEO efforts by focusing on a few specific ranking factors – content and backlinks. Content has always been important of course, but content is only considered really good now if it embraces sound SEO features and principles, for instance having information that is deemed valuable and authoritative, as measured by others. That goes hand-in-hand with the value of backlinks, which are links from other sites that point to your site.

Those other sites provide their readers with links to your site because they feel that your content is relevant and useful. Both the volume and the quality of backlinks are important, with quality being measured by the ranking of the other sites. Volume of backlinks by itself is not a good link-building strategy, so purchasing them won’t do you any good anymore – they have to be from reputable, authoritative sites.

Building your own SEO Strategy

It’s very important that patience is a watchword for entrepreneurs and SEO, and when you go about building your own SEO strategy, you should understand at the outset that no matter what you do, you won’t see any benefits from it overnight. In terms of getting highly ranked, you should follow the gradual progress of how your important search terms achieve ranking in Google. It’s those search terms which match the criteria that users are seeking in answer to some question or need they have, so your SEO strategy should focus on gradually improving the ranking for those keywords, and variants of them.

What to Expect in 2018

There are a number of factors which will begin to gain traction in 2018, and which will influence how Google and other search engines evaluate your website. Here are a few of those:

  • Hyperlocal marketing – local marketing will get more precise, with favored businesses ‘near me’ prioritized when they’re just blocks away
  • Fast loading – all content on your web pages must load in less than three seconds
  • Voice search – voice search will become far more important, and it’s already used by 55% of teenagers and 41% of adults
  • Personalized search results – Google will begin to include a user’s search history in how it ranks returned results
  • Google will have competition – already Yelp! and Amazon are pressing Google for dominance in the search engine arena, and are attracting clients effectively. Personal assistants such as Siri are also joining the fray as serious competitors for Internet searches.

Value of SEO

The landscape of SEO is constantly changing it seems, but it’s still possible to stay abreast of those changes and incorporate them into your own SEO strategy. If you lack the expertise for that in-house, it might be a good idea to align yourself with an award-winning marketing firm which specializes in SEO web design, so you can be sure that Google is evaluating your site favorably. A reputable website management company will be attuned to annual changes in SEO factors, and can provide great value to your company in keeping you current with all the factors that will help improve SEO, which in turn will drive traffic to your site. Contact us to learn more.

 

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