If you have a new website there are heaps of things you can do to optimize it to attract visitors and new customers. Search marketing is evolving and moving at a very fast pace, so as a business owner you need to be up to speed with the latest trends that can help you leverage and enhance your business profile online. Following are a few hot marketing strategies for 2018 that you should be embracing ASAP as part of your marketing.
The favourite of 2012 and 2013 and still going really strong in 2018 ( in fact it’s actually one of the most important things you can be doing), content marketing, is still a great way to get noticed online and improve your organic rankings. Content marketing is the creation of content that can be read, shared or liked by customers. Generally, this content is added onto your website either via a blog, new web pages, or news articles. It is immediate and is really the best channel open to you to communicate with your audience.
Overall, in the latest Google updates, content marketing is now the preferred option that Google uses to rank websites. Thin poorly worded sites will bear the full brunt of this latest algorithmic change and suffer through poor rankings and SEO penalties.
You should also note that Google is now looking at the way your audience engages with your copy. They look at how long people spend on your site, how they engage with it as well as bounce rates. So in 2018you have to make sure that your blogs are what’s called sticky. That is, readers really need to engage not only your blog but your entire site.
The days of thinking that you can design and build a website and then hey presto you are suddenly ranking on Google are well and truly over. If you think that you can slip by and ignore content marketing, you do this at your own peril.
So the rule of thumb here is to start publishing regular, interesting, riveting, fresh new content that your user base is going to read. Do it now because the longer you wait then the more catch up you are going to have to play!
You should also be aware that Google can now decipher the difference between published content that is written for the search engines and content that has been purely written for consumer consumption; the latter being the preferred. This means that if you think that you can get away with articles written in the third world for a couple of dollars, think again. You will be penalized and hit hard by Google. Rest assured that the new hype and buzz is all about sensational copy. I always like to tell my clients that’d they do not have the man power or resources to do it, then outsource it. Just don’t site back and ignore it.
Social media activity
If you have never dabbled in the social media landscape (and I find this highly unlikely), then as a small business owner, you really need to be looking at Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram as a good starting point for your social media activity. Google now looks at ways in which your business is mentioned on these platforms and if there is enough positive activity ( and by this I mean natural, organic activity – not buying thousands of likes on Facebook), then your website will see a significant increase in its rankings. Again, this is 1 factor in determining your online position, but it is definitely something to consider. For 2018, it’s all about establishing your brand and solidifying it in the marketplace. Social media is the perfect medium for this.
Also look at Google +. This is Google’s answer to Facebook and I am told that activity in this space is also a good move when it comes to SEO. Again, be careful in your approach to all these activities. NEVER try to spam or over optimize keywords, if you think this will help in your SEO – in short it won’t. The mantra here is to be natural and do everything as though the search engines didn’t exist.
I know the temptation is there to get as many links as possible on as many varied social media platforms, but be warned, this type of activity could prove fruitless.
Mobile and local search
More use of mobile phones by consumers over the past 2-3 years has seen websites transform from purely desktop to responsive. To capture these consumers, your website should be designed responsively. This way, users will not have to garb and pinch their way on their screen to navigate their way around the site. Even if your business may not be eCommerce and it may be a small B2B, you still need to be aware of this very mobile market. And, the news only gets better. This market base and mobile usage is only going to grow and get larger.
According to ACMA an Australian Government website, statistics show that mobile phone usage will be growing at a very fast rate:
Conversion focused landing pages
Conversion rate optimisation is another huge & very hot topic in 2018. That is having each page of your website designed for maximum impact. What you need to be focusing on is ensuring consumer engagement and this can only be achieved through very specific conversion focused landing pages on your website. Treat all pages individually and think about how your audience views these. If the public are moving throughout your site, exploring all pages and finally making an inquiry this will be favoured by Google. For this to do really well you have to make sure all your web copy and graphics are perfectly in synch so that when someone lands on your page they are going to be very tempted to stay.
2018 is the year for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
How quickly does your website load on mobile phones.Google will be prioritising this in 2018 and giving better rankings to those sites that can demonstrate faster loading times. Consumers are very reluctant to hand around and wait for sites to load especially if they are on the go and are using their smart phone; hence the need for super fast downloads. Google will even tell you in the search console about your AMP and how to improve it. So for better rankings make sure your site is fully optimised for speed. Make sure you get your web developer take a look at the AMP website.
Quality link building
Link building as we all knows of paramount importance when it comes to determining your SERP’s and position on Google. But in the coming year it will be tougher to rank your site if the inbound links are not relevant to your industry. From now on, all links will have to be from high domain authority and trustworthy sites if there is is any hope it will rank. Defying this will simply result in a Google penalty or some severe ranking suppression until all toxic links are removed.
These are just a few trends that we are starting to see emerge in 2018. But, if I would have to pick themes important 2 factors you should be focusing on it would be content and links. As usual, if you want to succeed online, you will have to work with an SEO company to help you achieve this, especially as the technical nuances of Google get more difficult.