2018 SEO Quick Tips

Monday, August 27th, 2018

2016 SEO Quick Tips

Achieving top Google rankings has been highly reliant on quality back links, a keyword-rich content structure and a solid technical setup.

While these things are still crucial, we’ve compiled eight additional suggestions worth taking into account when optimising your website for Google Search in 2018.

1. Improve RankBrain Compatibility

RankBrain is a type of artificial intelligence system that helps Google to provide relevant search results – it is one of Google’s top three search ranking signals. RankBrain is particularly useful with unique or ambiguous search queries. 

So how exactly do you optimise for RankBrain? RankBrain uses Click Through Rates and Dwell Times as indicators for page relevance and usefulness, so aim to entice viewers to click on your Google listing using compelling text and, once they get to your site, keep viewers engaged with your quality content.

2. Amplify It

Got some great content? Get it out there through as many channels as possible. The aim is to get as many people talking about it, sharing it and referring to it as possible.

Use social media, email newsletters and industry-related websites.  Also, think about businesses / organisations who might like to know they were mentioned, or who might reciprocate the link if approached. 

3. Think About ‘Near Me’ Search Queries

With the aid of mobile devices people want to have decision-making information at their fingertips anytime, anywhere. They want to know where you are, how long it takes to get there and your opening hours.  This is particularly important for hospitality type businesses.

If your website isn’t anticipating these needs and providing fast, easy to access information for relevant local search queries on mobile device platforms, then you are going to be missing out on traffic. 

4. Re-Purpose Existing Content

Have some tired and dated posts on important topics? Overhaul, update, re-format, expand and renew to get them working better for you. Add relevant fresh links, make it easier to read and add good quality images.

Be sure to keep the well performing titles and headings, try to add value rather than taking it away. Try to work in related keywords and phrases a searcher might use instead of the original keywords.

5. Increase Your Local Presence

Focus on your local SEO, specifically add your business to New Zealand or regional-based directories. Include as much relevant information as you can and choose sites that allow customer reviews or feedback. 

Encourage happy clients to add reviews to these sites. Other people’s opinions can be crucial, particularly for such a small country, as they can provide a valuable point of difference when a potential customer is having trouble deciding between two very similar businesses.

6. Consider Voice Search

Optimisation for how someone would search for your business using voice search is a major new trend for SEO heading into 2019. The popularity for voice search is growing largely due to voice input being faster and easier than typing or menu navigation on small screens. Think Siri, Alexa and other emerging voice search options.

Google has increased its efforts in voice recognition capabilities so it can better understand natural language for voice-based searches. It makes sense to set up relevant content that takes into consideration how people would search using voice commands.  It’s often different to what people type into a keyboard, so do some testing and see what results you get for your niche.

7. Improve The User Experience

Is your content unique and does it directly answer potential customer questions quickly and efficiently?  Think how / what / why / when / where / who / which / how much.  For example, “How do I fix an xyz?”

Google tries to provide clear answers to knowledge-based queries with answers from quality content so it pays to think about what questions your site can provide answers for and answer them as early on in the piece as possible via concise and relevant content.

8. Track It

Tracking and analysing website performance is essential in 2018. Regularly monitor key data like your web traffic, click-through rates, rankings and backlink profile.  Review what your competitors are up to.

Using key performance indicators enables a far more targeted approach to optimising website performance moving forward. Some useful analytics tools are:

  • Google Analytics. Great for tracking behavioural site data, such as bounce rates and sources of traffic.
  • Moz Pro. A complete suite of SEO tracking and analytics tools.
  • SEMrush. Useful for rankings, keyword search volumes and analysing backlinks.

With over 200 factors, there’s a myriad of permutations that influence Google’s rankings.  However, the above suggestions provide some key areas to review.  If you are left feeling a little out of your depth, or want more information, get in contact with Avatar.

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Mark started working in the Internet industry in 1994. He went on to startup New Zealand Tourism Online, Avatar and other companies. Mark enjoys meeting with clients and strategising online marketing solutions.

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