3 SEO Tools and Tactics to Use in 2018-19
Fortune 500 marketer and New York Times bestselling author Neil Patel says about the importance of search engine optimization: “If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results. If your blog post, article, or product is on any other page of the Google search results than the first, then it’s the equivalent of it not ranking at all.”
In other words, the stakes are high. If your business website doesn’t make it to the first page of Google, then it will go unnoticed. Only effective search engine optimization (SEO) can lift your website from the ranks of the unknown pages and place it securely on the first page of a Google search result.
Google’s search algorithms, which dictate the kind of content that reaches that coveted first page, change periodically and, in doing so, send every SEO specialist on Earth into a frenzy. Their necessary response is to strategize and then troubleshoot new SEO tactics until they discover what works.
In 2018, this trial-and-error process has yielded incredible results and helped marketers and content creators prepare for next year’s SEO trends. Here are three that you cannot afford to ignore.
1. Use Mobile-First Indexing.
It’s no secret that the majority of Google searches are performed on mobile devices. Google wants to connect mobile users and their queries with the appropriate search results as quickly as possible. Therefore, the search engine’s machine learning algorithm scans your website’s mobile version first and uses its assessment to rank your site for both mobile and desktop searches.
Since the search engine bots primarily consider your mobile site, it’s critically important to optimize your site for mobile use.
If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly, responsive site, then change your website design template first and foremost. Your new template must read and scroll efficiently for mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Next, check your site’s mobile page speed and load time. Google offers a free PageSpeed test to gauge how quickly your website opens and processes requests. Take the test and review Google’s suggestions for mobile optimization. More often than not, you can buy your mobile page speed some time, so to speak, by minimizing the file size of your site’s design elements, such as graphics and photos.
Then, edit your mobile site’s metadata. You will want to use equivalent, not identical, metadata for the mobile and desktop versions of your website. Specifically, try to shorten headlines to accommodate tighter character counts on your mobile site but maintain the same relevant keywords on both sites.
Finally, double-check that all of your content, including text, photos, graphics, and videos, are indexable and crawlable on your mobile site.
2. Write for Voice Search Optimization.
Voice searches are quickly becoming the fastest, easiest, most popular way to find what you need on Google. Why?
According to Backlinko’s study, Voice Search SEO: How to Optimize in 2018, speed is a big factor. The average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds, about half the time the average page takes to process a type search. That fast response time delivers an almost immediate answer to user queries, which is Google’s ultimate goal.
Because speed is so highly valued in voice search optimization, Google’s algorithm gives shorter answers (fewer than 30 words) a higher search result ranking in voice search optimization.
How does this influence your website’s overall SEO strategy? To effectively rank in voice search optimization, you will have to write succinct answer snippets with 30 words or less.
Conciseness of the answer snippets aside, the Backlinko study also reported that voice search optimization heavily favors long-form content with an average of a 9th-grade reading level. If you want to capture more than just answer-based traffic, then create web posts that are at least 2,000 words long and use a less formal, more conversational tone.
3. Use Vetted, Free SEO Tools.
The most advanced SEO strategy in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you can’t locate and subsequently implement relevant keywords on your website.
How can you get started without dropping tens of thousands of dollars on professional keyword research and premium SEO tools? Use one of the two world-class keyword generators available for free: Ubersuggest and Moz Free SEO Tools.
Last year, Neil Patel purchased Ubersuggest and started offering it through his marketing website. This completely free keyword suggestion tool lets you type in a keyword, sort the query by web, image, video, e-commerce, and news and filter suggestions according to geographic location.
When you click Look Up, Ubersuggest gets keyword suggestions from Google Suggest and Google’s Keyword Planner and gives you a huge list of keywords, their respective search volumes, competition, and Cost Per Click (CPC).
Moz offers a suite of free SEO tools, which includes its own comprehensive, enterprise-class keyword suggestion tool, Keyword Explorer.
Like Ubersuggest, Keyword Explorer lets you enter a keyword and sorts queries by geographic location. What differentiates this tool, however, is that it allows you to filter keywords according to root domain, subdomain, exact page, or just keywords. In addition to keyword suggestions, Moz also provides you with search engine results pages (SERP) analysis and an organic CTR percentage.
Stay on Top of SEO in 2019. Hire the Experts from iPage.
Don’t guess at next year’s best SEO practices. Use these tried and tested tools and tactics to improve your website’s Google search results and increase your business’ visibility.
Not sure how to get started with keywords, voice search optimization, and mobile-first indexing? You’re not alone!
Even with great advice and research, implementing an effective SEO strategy can be an overwhelming process. That’s why iPage offers SEO marketing packages under the guidance of experts. We’ve also published a beginner’s guide to SEO and Google Analytics on our Help page. Reach out to our team to learn more about optimizing your website.