6 Actionable SEO Strategies to use in 2018

Google no doubt is the ‘Hulk’ among-st all the search engines; it is incredible, giant and dominates the search market. Ranking on Google is the priority for every business to reach prospects and customers. 2018 is already here and the fierce game of search engine optimization is fiercely on. Be it the three pack list of maps or the organic listings, every online business out there is on the verge to get on the top three results, trying to outrank competitors to drive traffic on their own website.
Google is trying to serve the users with quality results by continuously adding updates to its algorithms in 2018. SEO is the crux of Digital Marketing and along with the arrival of the new SEO trends there comes a question, how to stay ahead of your competitors? The answer is right in front of us, we need to fulfill the searcher’s request and come up with a satisfying result. To outrank competitors we need to fill the gaps which others have to left behind.
 

 

Staying ahead in the search competition in 2018:

 

1st Actionable SEO Strategies – Keyword research and usage:

 

Keyword research and usage:

Whether it is 2017 or 2018, a thorough keyword research is a must for the content to rank well in the SERPs. Choose keywords which your target audience is searching for and make an effective use of it without stuffing. Using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords is a good way to avoid stuffing and still making the point with the use of similar words or phrase. Google values LSI keywords and it is seen that most of the pages ranking well on Google have made a good use of these keywords within their content.
 

So it is recommended to make use of LSI keywords wherever possible.

Actionable tips:

  • Check out for the Seed keyword for which you want to get ideas on.
  • Drop your keyword into Google keyword planner (GKP) or Ahrefs or any other keyword research tool which you prefer to use, it will come up with the related keywords.
  • Add the all the relevant keywords which you want your content to be ranked for (also check for the average monthly search count for the keywords chosen) to your list.
  • Google itself comes up with the relevant suggestions when you put a term into the search box (while not hitting on search), you can go for these rich LSI keywords and sprinkle it in your content wherever necessary.
  • Also check out LSI Keyword Generator to come up with LSI keywords

2nd Actionable SEO Strategies – Creating a persuasive Title & Description:

Title still remains one of the crucial factors which needs to be considered to rank at a better position.  After searching for a term or a phrase, the title is what a person looks at before visiting any website. Title is your first impression to the user, so we need to make sure. So the title must be crafted well, keeping in mind the usage of the target keyword & the character limit (which is around 55 – 60 characters)in it.
Title Example
(The title tag in the above image has all the necessary elements needed to be persuasive. The character count is within the specified limit with keyword at its front. Also the use of special character ‘Number’ makes it to stand out in the SERP. Go through the following article on title to get deep insights.)
Apart from creating a persuading title, crafting a good meta description may also add to the CTR. With the recent increase in the character limit for description (from 160 to about 320), there are possibilities to add extra value to your results and get more clicks. Although Google sometimes ignores the meta description provided by us and comes up with crafting a description from the content within the page. Still, it is recommended to add one.

 

Meta Description Example

Actionable tips

  • Always try to start your title with the keyword.
  • Craft a unique and sensible title limited to 55 characters.
  • Put your brand name at the ending of the title tag to create brand awareness. It can also help in increasing the CTR.
  • You can also experiment using numbers, stats or special characters within the title to stand out from the crowd and add an appeal to get clicked
  • In case of description, you can put in the relevant keywords while providing an in-depth idea of the page.
  • Keep a safe distance from stuffing or get ready to dragged down and penalized by the mighty Panda also.

3rd Actionable SEO Strategies – 

Optimizing site for Mobile First Indexing & Responsive design

 According to 2017 stats, there are about 299 million smartphone users in India and globally it is even more. With such a huge rise in the usage of smartphones as compared to desktops and the recent roll out of the mobile-first indexing, it has become necessary for the sites to adopt mobile-friendly and responsive designs and provide users with a great experience. A non-mobile friendly website with poor navigation is a big no! So if you have not adopted a mobile-friendly and responsive approach yet, you should! Or you’ll have to see your competitors being on the top, snatching all the traffic away.
 
Mobile First Indexing
 

Actionable tips

  • Add a high quality content along with quality images which includes proper alt tags in it, also add relevant videos.
  • Make your content scannable by adding subheadings, lists, and bullet points.
  • Make the design user friendly by removing irrelevant pop-ups and avoiding use of flash images.
  • Check out Google Webmaster Central Blog to know more about mobile first approach

4th Actionable SEO Strategies – 

Speed does matter: Optimize the page to load fast

 page to load fast 
 
You must have surely heard the saying ‘Slow and steady wins the race’, this may be true! Only in the stories though! not it the world of SEO. No one is going to wait for a slow processing site to load and wait until it shows up. People are surely going to hit the back button if your site loads slow. Google wants you to serve the searchers with a fast loading website. So make sure to optimize your site for speed.
 
 


Actionable tips

  • Make the best use of the page speed insights tool offered by Google and look into what’s messing up with your website’s page speed. If it’s too technical, it’s time to get your developer on work.
  • Keep the size of your images optimized as a very high-quality image can make a page to load slow.
  • You can opt for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to get a faster loading experience on smartphones.

5th Actionable SEO Strategies – 

Keeping eyes on Voice Search

The world of search is changing at a faster pace, optimizing your content for voice search is the new thing to have a look at on. The increasing use of smart voice assistants like OK Google, Siri, Cortana, and Alexa has given rise to use of voice search. No! Voice search is not taking over traditional text search, text search is going to stay in its place, voice search opportunity should not be ignored though. The number of voice searches are increasing at a good pace, so there is a need to go for a conversational type of content which gives the results for what, when, why and where of the searcher.
 
Voice Search
 

Actionable tips

  • Get yourself in the searcher’s shoes and come up with the long tail terms which you may search for finding anything and put them to use.
  • Try to make your content more of conversational type by adding a Q&A element to it.
  • Optimize your content for featured snippets (explained below)  and local search and you’re almost there! As most of the voice queries are served with answers from featured snippets and the local listings.

6th Actionable SEO Strategies – 

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are the answers which you sometimes get above the organic results after you search for a term, it is seen on top of the first ranking website and also referred as position zero or rank zero. These snippets provide users with a short and sweet brief of the content taken from the web page. According to a case study by Ahrefs, 99.58% of the answer in the featured snippet is taken from the top 10 results from the first page of Google. So there lies a great opportunity if you can grab it with some efforts and try to optimize for these so-called featured snippets.
 
Featured Snippets

Actionable tips

 

  •  Make a strong content enough to get ranked on the 1st page of the Google, as the featured snippet is taken from the website from 1st page. 
  • Adding a structured data markup can increase your chances of getting ranked under featured snippets. So go for it if it suits your niche.

 

 Conclusion


 So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start implementing the above mentioned strategies and check what works for you to stay ahead of the competitors and get most of the traffic. Search Engine Optimization is highly dynamic in nature, no one other than Google knows what it is going to come up with in the near future. What’s working well today may become history later. All we can do is abide the Google webmaster guidelines and play safe. There is much more to go through this year, so keep your eyes wide awake and stay updated to make the most of SEO success.

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