SEO 2018 - The New Era Of SEO: The Most Effective Strategie
SEO 2018 The New Era of SEO
Introduction to SEO
“SEO is a relatively new, constantly evolving concept for Internet marketers. No marketing expert automatically knows how to play ball with SEO.” — Matthew Cutts, former head of Google’s web spam team and current engineering director of the U.S.
Digital Service We believe that we could be bearing certain difficulties of achieving a comprehensive grasp about, or carrying a firm stance towards our confrontations and engagements with the recent and upcoming trends of SEO 2017 | 2018 lest we focus on revisiting or reviewing meticulously the fundamentals and technical understandings of search engine optimization (SEO), as well as how SEO really works.
Of course, every detail discussed hereafter will exclusively be within the boundaries and rigid confines of the just and fair white hat SEO practices— strictly adhering to all the primary search engine ideals, behaviors, rules, and policies.
SEO: A Redefinition Foremost,
we ought to begin redefining our basic understandings of SEO.
It is truly a redefinition after SEO has already freed itself from its long-standing graying colors connoting the mysticisms and trickeries for both of its black and white hat practices in the Web.
As Internet marketing professor,
Chad Pollitt used to say, “SEO is not something you do anymore. It is what happens when doing everything else right.”
Fact is that SEO has now become widely reputed as an essentially indispensable component of any upright digital marketing strategy or company.
Its new definition is just actually tracing back to be living by, and up to its original functions and purposes.
SEO is quite simply the comprehensive term encompassing all the tactics and techniques, strategies and methodologies, and disciplinary practices that you may adopt and apply to assure your website’s visibility, along with its contents and other significant details, on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Therefore, SEO is helping you out to position properly and advantageously your website to become immediately visible and easily searched out during the most crucial phases of the buying process;
at oftentimes, prospective buyers pay your site a visit when they may need anything further through your site, or even when ordinary surfers merely want to feed their curiosities.
Speaking of visibility, it actually indicates how high up your website considerably ranks or appears in the SERP upon using certain keywords or search terms to produce the ‘organic’ results. Organic results denote those appearing naturally on the search page instead of emerging in the paid-for sections, as shown on
Image-1 Paid-for results and featured snippets are also both essential in search engine marketing. Refer to the guides for pay-per-click (PPC) and paid search, and using featured snippets for further details.
SEO really sounds a lot simpler, especially when breaking down its strategies and processes used, which thereby, enables you to be more confident enough using the SEO term precisely. However, SEO can be very technical, and oftentimes, following to a tee to whatever the primary search engines demand.
Yet, like with most things, it only necessitates you to exert extra efforts working towards assuring the optimization of your content for consumption.
Else, why even take time building your content when no one else
would be searching for it?
The SEO strategies and processes used to boost visibility vary to certain
extents— from the common (or traditional techniques) to the innovative technical practices (or new adaptations arising from the latest changes in search engine operations), which you may all accomplish on your website.
Additionally, all these applied works in the site also vary a lot— from their backside or behind-the-scene works (often referred to as, ‘on-page SEO’) to all their promotional work approaches such as social media marketing, link building, etc.(often referred to as, ’off-page SEO’.
Purposes and Significance of SEO Yet, more than being confident of using SEO properly and precisely is the realization of how important SEO is— the notably substantial percentage of how the search engines drive constant traffic to your website is a clear-cut indicator for the significance of SEO.
As a supplement for the figures in
Image-2, recent studies further noted that 75% of all SEO traffic stemmed from organic searches, with only 6% produced from paid-for searches, while 2% arose from social media searches, and 12% and 15% came from direct and various referral sources respectively.
It is noteworthy that Google had cornered a little more than 90% of all the organic search traffic globally in 2015. Apparently, just by this overwhelming figure alone, your website should truly necessitate a very strong presence and visibility on Google SERPs.
For this reason, too, it goes to show how important indeed you need SEO to increase traffic to your site, or simply receive the highest chances possible for a broader readership base.
As you know, it has always been paramount in digital marketing that heightened site traffic directly equates to higher sales and revenues.
Now, the question hangs upon how strong should then be your site’s presence. Results obtained by Advanced Web Ranking (AWR)— a website rank-checking software— showed that the first five results on the primary
SERP tally for about 67% of the total clicks while results on the 6th to 10th domains account for close to negligible clicks of 3.73%.
On the most fundamental of levels, your website is akin to a cake.
The tempting icing would be your paid search, links, and social media network, but the major ingredients comprising the entire cake are the content, site infrastructure, information architecture, and content management system (CMS).
Every detail would seem indispensable that eliminating a single part would render your entire cake bland, dull, and considered fit for garbage disposal.
As noted aptly by a funny meme circulating around the Web,
“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results!” Along with its significance, the ultimate goal of fundamental SEO is never to trick, tweak, or cheat all the search engines for your site’s readability, ranking, and revisits, but:
☐ To build an excellent, perfectly smooth, consistent, and coherent user
☐ To convey to all the search engines all your pure intentions through the application of ideal SEO practices in order for them to recommend highly your website for direct and relevant searches.
Since SEO consists of several differing functions, as well as countless SEO services you may offer or avail, it is worthy to note the following trio of primary considerations, which are all about incorporating initially all your online marketing efforts, plans, and principal goals, prior to engaging with the ideal practices of the SEO proper.
Define Your Planned Business Framework Concentrate and understand what would be your main objectives.
You may need asking yourself the following questions to know better about your planned business model:
☐ Are you aware of both your assets and liabilities?
☐ What are your main objectives?
(These goals refer to your personal aims, as well as to your website.)
☐ Are you in the business of persuading people to make ‘impressions or eyeballs’ (both terms interchangeably refer to the number of people visiting your website)
☐ Alternatively, are you engaged in a particular venture, which most people wanted to click?
☐ What exactly determines a ‘conversion’ (refers to any action occurring on your website that is more than valuable compared to anyone who just visits your site, then simply leaves sans doing anything) for you?
Essentially, what comprises or represents a conversion depends entirely upon your entire plan.
Optimize Plans for Multi-Channel Networking
Application of basic SEO strategies such as keyword implementation is not only essential on-site, but also, it would be ideal to extend such strategies across various off-site channels like the following platforms:
☐ Email or Google+;
☐ LinkedIn or even Quora; and,
☐ Offline channels, like TV, radio, and print ads.
Applying a consistency with your keyword phrases within these multi-channel networks not only augments your branding drives and campaigns but also familiarizes and instructs users to utilize specific keyword phrases you are optimizing for. Optimize Plans for Multimedia Solutions Note well, Google created two indices for its search queries— one for desktop and the other for mobile devices.
Thus, to attain a much wider reach, you need not only confine your optimization processes within the desktop experience, but also ensure focusing optimization strategies on the latest search frontier enterprises— mobiles, tablets, and other innovative media.
A common optimization strategy for multimedia usage is creating videos, audios, or other rich media non-text contents since it would be much easier landing all these rich Internet applications on the first SERP as opposed to plaintexts.
However, always ensure using the latest readability practices of search engines, to enable them crawling upon your contents— especially when using portable document formats (PDFs) or Adobe Flash applications. Without having all these concrete website plans, your site will most likely fumble across the undesirable twin
SEO page errors:
☐ 301-page redirect, taking your users automatically to another page by clicking or entering your URL
☐ 404-page error, arising from website malfunctions
“Marketing is not just billboards and TV ads anymore. Nowadays, the Internet is the primary source for gathering information, so search engine optimization has to be part of your marketing strategy in order for you to stay relevant online.”
SEO 101: Basic Guides
To How White Hat SEO Works “SEO gets the visitor to the door. It’s up to your site’s content to welcome and retain that visitor.” — John I. Jerkovic, IT Lead Consultant of the wealth management company, Sengual Search engine optimization consultant, Jill Whalen once remarked, “Only search engine tricks need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.
” Thus, echoing Matt Cutts’ same observation expressed at first chapter’s opening quote, one could never be an expert in SEO since its practices evolve constantly with respect to the equally evolving changes and innovations of search engines. What is always sure and constant is that everyone can actually perform all the various SEO practices… and perform them right and proper.
SEO does not really connote an activity of rocket science that it takes you arduous years of studying it. You only need to know the basics and soar eventually from there. Jill Whalen continues to say, “Good SEO work only gets better over time.
” Laying out the basic guidelines of SEO provides you what you truly need to soar higher; at the same time, it enables you to understand better, how an ideal SEO works— fulfilling objectives of boosting your website traffic— to either increase sales of your products or simply, reach a wider base of readership.
Foremost, you have to understand about the traffic trap so that, in turn, you may know the actual dealings of SEO.
Many digital marketers often misconstrue viewing SEO specifically as the root for creating free traffic. While it is all true that free traffic is the result of SEO, it is not how SEO typically functions.
The true intention of SEO is helping users searching for you, or your site, in particular, to find it easily. Achieving such purpose would be matching your website’s contents to what users are trying to search.
Bear in mind what the successful SEO practitioner, Aaron Wall revealed,
“The success of a page should be measured by a single criterion: does the visitor do what you want them to do?”
For instance: John sells custom-made scented candles.
You can see on his blog how he makes the candles manually, at oftentimes, relating to the various fragrances he uses. The keyword competition in terms of fragrances slacks and John keeps publishing several great contents about them.
Sooner than he realized, his site landed high rankings on the first SERPs for many various kinds of fragrances.
The potential cause for concern here is that users looking for the same fragrances, which John uses, are most likely making scented candles themselves. Worse, it would be much unlikely for them becoming inclined to purchase John’s candles. Yes, he receives a huge volume of traffic, yet, nothing ever converts because visitors or users have entirely different goals. Thus, your first lesson learned here is ensuring your goals match properly those of your users if you desire SEO working effectively for you. It is never about the traffic, but conversion. It means determining what you truly want, then optimizing the want with keywords, which lure users wanting the same.
However, aside from keywords, effective SEO entails a lot more details.
1 – Finding the Proper and Pertinent Keywords Researching for the proper and pertinent keywords is the primordial step towards a highly successful SEO strategy. Fact is that, almost everything in your site orbits around your keywords.
The world of SEO defines a keyword as, “an abstraction or conceptual word, extrapolated from multiple search queries.
” Thus, it is a certain word, which users use for searching specific subjects on search engines.
Hence, when you are marketing a particular product, all your keywords used should have an affinity or association to your product and, as much as possible, identified by universally, when wanting your products appearing in user’s searches.
The keywords you use are what drive your target traffic to your products.
Several online tools are available to help you search the right keywords.
Foremost among these keyword researcher tools is the widely renowned Google Search-Based Keyword Tool.
Begin brainstorming and researching your possible keywords, and compare for yourself how they fare with the competition through using the Keyword Planner tool from Google AdWords. Apparently, performing your keyword research could somehow be mind-numbing; yet, it is vitally necessary for your proper keyword searching process. To facilitate you further, work and bring out keywords with the following ideal attributes:
☐ Possess a steep search volume; meaning, users identify and search your chosen keywords
☐ Possess relevance to your site or have the support of your site’s content
☐ Possess low competency levels; meaning, they have fewer results, which in turn means, having greater chances of ranking higher Nonetheless, upon noticing that some of your chosen keywords are highly competitive within your site’s niche, it is highly advisable to apply for long-tail keywords, which makes it easier for your site to rank higher in the SERPs.
Long Tail Keyword The long tail keyword describes a remarkable keyword creation process, whereby, a combination of several low-traffic keywords delivers potentially more visitors instead of using fewer high-traffic keywords.
Typically, long tail keywords are phrases, consisting usually of two to five or even more keywords.
The longer they are, the better, since you will have lesser competition for such particular phrases against the generic keywords in the search engines. Besides, these types of keywords are very straightforward and specific to whatever products you sell.
Whenever a user uses a very specific keyword search phrase, chances are that they are searching precisely for what they are virtually planning to buy. The bottom line is that targeting long tail key phrases will definitely lead to results that are more profitable. Apparently, the profitability stems from these following important reasons:
☐ Facilitates your site towards higher rankings
☐ Lead to higher sales conversions of visitors
☐ Enables more pages for indexing in Google However, it would be very disadvantageous for you if you keep focusing and dabbling too much in creating long tail key phrases that are too specific, if not, too common.
As it is the case, you are bringing your key phrases to a highly competitive search, which reduces your chances of meriting higher rankings.
Thus, it is even highly possible that you will never receive sufficient traffic for sustaining your business.
For this reason, it would really be ideal to have either:
☐ Fewer indexed pages providing you a huge volume of lowly targeted traffic; or,
☐ Greater number of indexed pages, each providing you a lesser volume of highly targeted traffic You may instead view the idealism through this perspective: Do you rather intend to rank your site for using only a single keyword that accounted to deliver a thousand visitors daily, OR, targeting about a hundred long tail keywords, half of which delivering you a single buyer daily?
2 – Creating Quality Content It has long been a buzzword in SEO circles that content is king. Foremost, quality content brings to the table the following significant reasons to support its royal stature in SEO practice:
☐ Cultivates the Ideals of SEO Purposes – High quality and unique content for your product’s website or blog influences SEO greatly, as well as the rankings in the search engine for two main reasons:
On one hand, publishing regularly 300- to 500-word count quality contents, with naturally placed or stuffed keywords and built-in internal links that lead to other pertinent contents, facilitates your website ranking organically for relevant keywords and search terms.
Ultimately, a higher ranking practically exposes your brand to more users and prospects looking for good contents in your niche. On the other hand, it builds your authority in the niche, and thus, opening windows for creating an enthusiastic backlink profile.
☐ Promotes User Engagement – High quality and unique content, regardless of form—text or non-text— encourages user engagements with your brand, either consciously or not. Users eagerly take time out empathizing with your brand message, digesting your entire content, and perhaps, even sharing, liking, or commenting your content.
Otherwise, poor contents only prompt users to keep scrolling past until your content becomes lost into oblivion.
☐ Generates Fresh Leads and Conversions – High quality and unique contents build brand authority and exposure in a very saturated market. With more consumers becoming aware of your brand, your site certainly gains strong potentials of generating new leads and increasing sales conversions. Generally, good contents characterize less of the blatant and straightforward marketing pitches, yet, remain seemingly advertorial with its theme.
This urges consumers to engage sincerely with your brand sans any conspicuous sales messages, which often disrupt their engagements.
Furthermore, contents, written and presented in an editorial or journalistic reporting style, foster the growth of the consumers’ relationship with your brand, evolving from their present status as ordinary consumers to valued clients to brand advocates. On the contrary, product-oriented contents only annoy consumers and produce negative effects on their relationship and impressions with your brand.
☐ Contributes More Value to Your Product – High quality and unique content— particularly in the form of an informative post about your product, a how-to blog entry, a webinar or an instructional video— adds a great sense of value to your product or service. Consumers generally welcome such content for reasons that it influences greatly their lives, imparts with them new information, and somehow, resolves a problem in their daily living. Obviously, the value gained is intangible.
It does not entail any direct monetary worth, but of course, it is invaluable to your business framework, as well as to the budding relationship between the consumers and your brand.
☐ Enhances Website
Traffic and User Experience – High quality and unique content are also excellent means of driving traffic to your website while retaining them for longer durations on the site or prompting them for further revisits.
For instance, a website appearing with only a home and contact page virtually receives very limited page views, high bounce rates (visiting, then leaving immediately), and few user engagements.
Contrariwise, a website appearing with an onsite blog filled with entertaining and engaging contents projects positive impressions upon the users while encouraging them to visit multiple pages and interact with the site’s interface.
For all these reasons, the common denominator that bestows upon the content its kingly crown is focusing on its high quality, unique, and authentic creations that entertain, spark interests and contribute value for consumers.
For turning out such content creations, put emphases on:
☐ Titles and Subtitles / Taglines – Eye-catching or intriguing titles stimulate reader’s interest. Capitalize on a great initial impression at the first instance.
☐ Originality and Structure – Uniqueness and quality of content prompt users visiting your site since they cannot find easily a similar content elsewhere.
Structure refers to ease of readability with inclusions of headings, subheadings,
☐ Freshness and Timelessness – Although it is great publishing content that remains relevant to the changing times, you should also keep adding new content regularly.
You can consider introducing a blog or Q & A section of your website if time does not permit you to create high quality and unique contents.
☐ Keyword Selection – Choose the right and relevant keywords in your content to bring users to your site.
☐ Link Building – Build links to quality sites, which complement contents of your page. This encourages other sites within your niche linking to yours as well.
☐ Unique and Plagiarized-Free – Never publish copied, plagiarized, or duplicate contents, else, search engines imposes your site with penalties.
3 – Optimizing Website Codes Not only do search engine bots read the texts of your website, but they also read evaluating your website codes written in hypertext markup language (HTML).
For this reason, you need to optimize the following eight different areas of your codes: Coding Meta Title Tags Title tags enclose the official title of your website.
Helping you demonstrate optimization points for your title tags, consider the following code examples used from two popular global web design services outfits— webdesignerdepot.com and iconcept.com.ph— which both take differing approaches in their respective site code markups.
First, look at webdesignerdepot.com:
As you will notice, the author stressed the site’s name and niche.
When you look for it in search engines, you may possibly enter searching directly for, "Web Design” or "Webdesigner Depot.” Looking at the counterpart’s iconcept.com.ph site: The author of iconcept.com took a more different approach.
As the author included its location to its niche, it emphasized the major essentials of what the website distinctively implies. Most likely, you would find it by searching specifically for, “Web Design in the Philippines,” or any proximate variation thereof.
Therefore, when you code your title tags, it all boils down to ensuring the title includes your primary keywords.
Optimizing further the search engine results, each page of your website must bear a distinctively unique title tag, which should not exceed 70 characters in length. Specifying Meta Description Tags The meta-description tag is to provide a curt summary that describes specifically the content of your webpage.
Essentially, it bears no impact on the rankings in the SERPs, but its importance lies upon letting users know what your site is all about by reading the brief description appearing just below your meta-title tag in the SERP. Refer to Images 5 & 6 below for the same site examples.
Hence, with a unique description and proper formatting, your meta-description tags strategize to increase your click-through rates (CTRs), or the percentage of users who really click on your website.
Although search engines have currently ignored the use of meta-keywords, they are still important because your keywords guide you to create your meta-description tags.
Besides, keywords used indicate the specificities and nature of your website.
Observe the emphases of the meta-keywords of the same site examples in their respective meta- description tags:
For webdesignerdepot.com: <meta-name="keywords" content="web design, web designer, Photoshop, graphic design, CSS, illustrator, twitter, photography, free icons, WordPress, web developer, web development" /> <meta-name="description" content=" "Web Design Resources for Web Designers.
We include Photoshop Tutorials, WordPress Plugins, and Web Development tools. Download free icons,
Photoshop brushes." /> The site was very comprehensive by citing more of their services other than their flagship expertise, web design.
Searching for "web design" in Google, webdesignerdepot.com shows up right on the first SERP.
Other sites with equally variegated web design services also prop up like behance.com and courser.com.
Thus, when having several online service interests, you might wish to take such keyword and meta-description approach.
For iconcept.com.ph: <meta-name="keywords" content=" one-stop web design, digital marketing company, web designer in the Philippines,
mobile app, SEO, SMM, PPC, digital solutions" /> <meta-name="description" content="One-stop web design and digital marketing company in Manila, Philippines offering web design, mobile app, SEO,
SMM, PPC and other digital solutions." /> The site practically made a complete sentence out of their keywords.
It emphasized clearly the type of user it wanted visiting their site by specifying the location of their offered services.
Hence, upon searching for “web designer in the Philippines” in Google, iconcept.com.ph ranks topmost in the first SERP.
This approach would suitably suit you, especially if you want your services to cater exclusively to people in a certain location.
Therefore, when creating your meta-tag descriptions in complete sentences, ensure that your keywords situate well in the description.
It is ideal keeping your meta-descriptions longer in order to be sufficiently defining
and descriptive, but never exceed its 160-character limit; else, the search engine compels cutting it off.
Moreover, try making, as much as possible, a unique meta-description
for each page of your site.
In this manner, you will be gaining higher possibilities of users discover discovering more about your site. Structuring the Headings Akin to headings found in articles or books (either larger, bolder or underlined fonts), site headings are anchors guiding readers through the text. Without them, texts are terrible to read.
Thus, its principal purpose is making the text more readable.
Headings follow a specific and chronological order: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 and so on.
The first heading code, h1, starts as the principal heading on your page.
The subsequent heading codes go down to sub-level headings on your site.
Apparently, the perceptual structure denotes, the more specific and detailed your content is, the higher will be the corresponding heading’s number. Generally, each page should only have a single h1 or main heading tag, and then, you can make as many sub-level headings of h2s, h3s, etc., as necessary.
More importantly, ensure that your headings include keywords, which are relevant to your site’s content.
Despite the fact that both headings and subheadings are not prime ranking factors, they influence greatly SEO because of their importance of facilitating users to understand your text. Besides, they help readers for easy access to certain topics of your content. In short, headings are very useful for organizing and structuring your entire texts.
Therefore, if readers use them as they so intend, so does Google. By that means, headings heighten the possibilities of users to read actually your article, as well as improve accessibility to your contents.
Creating and Submitting Sitemaps Sitemaps are special documentary codes you create yourself, or from certain free software, which provide search engine bots a sort of a roadmap of the structure and organization of all your website pages.
The sitemap facilitates these bots efficiently in finding everything on your site; and thereby, finally indexing them to display your pages on the Internet.
You can create sitemaps in two different types:
☐ HTML Sitemaps – form sets of specific markup codes and symbols that describe file and page contents (chiefly, text and graphic images)
to make it easier for users to read.
If your site has a few hundred pages, you must link every page in your
HTML sitemap to give your visitors an overview of about everywhere they wish to go.
Yet, if your site contains a few thousand or more pages,
you may only have to link those essential pages.
☐ XML (Extensible Markup Language) Sitemaps – form the same sets of specific markup codes and symbols as HTML sitemaps, only that, they are self-defining or the data itself embeds the data structure, making it easier for both users and machines
Even if your site comprises a million pages, you can link every page of your site in your XML sitemap.
Several free XML sitemap generator tools found online can help you create your sitemap. Among the top three most recommended are the following: