Keep your page off the bottom of everyone’s search results by checking out our 2018 SEO ranking checklist.
In the digital world, search engine optimization has been an absolute necessity. Things are changing. SEO experts like Neil Patel are evening talking about the “Death of SEO”.
Like everything else digital, common practices change so fast that it’s easy to get left behind. SEO isn’t dead yet, but it is time to update our ‘best practices’ list for SEO rankings in the year 2018.
So sit back, take some notes, and get ready to stay on top of those Google searches.
Let’s get started:
1. Respect the Google-bot.
When you’re trying to improve a page’s ranking, it’s important to remember how Google finds your page for its output. Google uses web-crawlers to find your page and if your content isn’t easy for the bot to navigate, you’ve already lost the game.
Learn how to make things easy for the humble Google-bot and the world of SEO will remain open to you. You can achieve this by seeking out and hiring someone versed in technical SEO. The hope is that this person will create clean sitemaps for your site which will make them easy to index by Google crawlers.
2. Do your keyword research.
If you don’t do your keyword research, you’ll never increase your page’s ranking. A great resource for this is KWFinder. It shows you search volumes, ease of ranking, and the top sites already ranking for that keyword. In addition, you’ll also see closely related keywords and synonyms.
Start with guessing a given user’s intent and come up with a primary keyword. From there, try to come up with as many related keywords as you can, and center your research around those. If you’ve properly guessed the intent, then your keyword research can help take your page to the top.
Don’t underestimate long-tail keywords. These can be a section or the entirety of your content title, but typically are a longer phrase that you can imagine people searching. For example, “Know the Difference Between AI, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning“.
This is both the title and the long-tail keyword of one of our more successful articles. We already had content targeting the keywords “AI”, “Machine Learning”, and “Deep Learning”. For that reason, we didn’t want to use those in this article. At the same time, we could easily imagine people searching for “the difference between AI,” and so this long-tail choice seemed ideal. As it turned out, people do search for this term quite often.
3. Find out what Google thinks is relevant.
This tip will require some research on Google’s SERP, or search engine results page. This goes hand-in-hand with your keyword research and will help you fine-tune the kind of intent you should be basing your SEO efforts on.
Try doing some searches for your intent. You might find a ton of competition, which is useful to research what kinds of pages are currently ranking. If you’re lucky, you might even find nothing. That can be a double-edged sword because it means that your intent is either dead wrong or will be fantastically easy to rank for.
4. Put your best person on the front lines.
If you have content on your site, then you should be proud of it. If you have multiple content contributors, though, then you need to pick a star. If you have someone who consistently makes credible, authoritative content, then you need to find a way to amplify their content.
Google picks up on things like credibility. If a link fails to give authoritative results, users will click on other links in the list. After a while, Google will realize that their top search term isn’t satisfying the user, and it’ll rank other pages higher.
5. Don’t be afraid to ‘get meta.’
If you don’t already know how to set a good meta description, then you need to do some research on the subject. That little snippet of information determines how Google ranks your page so optimizing it is an absolute must.
If you make your meta description pop by utilizing hot keywords your page has a much better chance of ranking highly.
The meta description should at once summarize and be a hook for your content. Many times, if the meta description doesn’t interest the reader, they won’t click on your search result. Ensure it has the most useful and easily digestible information available.
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