Agencies are spending more time than ever before focusing on best practices for SEO. With over 75% of online searches happening on Google, emphasizing SEO should be a key part of marketing strategies for all brands. It’s important to constantly be on the lookout for new SEO trends, and evaluate how they impact your search strategy and those of your clients. Achieving an ideal SEO strategy is never a completed task, it’s an ongoing process that continually develops as, as the internet grows and changes. Marketing professionals and agency leaders need to know the best way to wield this powerful tool as search engines change and improve.
Here is your agency SEO checklist for 2018:
Utilize Google Search Console
A lot of new marketers know about Google Analytics but ignore Google Search Console. In 2018, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of all the tools that are available. Google Search Console is easy to set up and helps Google crawl a website to take advantage of all its pages. If you’re managing websites based in the US, it might also be worth looking into additional search engine consoles like Bing Webmaster Tools. Using these tools gives you insight into the performance of your current SEO techniques.
Install Yoast SEO on WordPress
All websites using WordPress in 2018 should at least be taking advantage of the latest version of Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO is an easy tool for marketers to use to optimize websites with both on-page SEO and meta information for search engines. Yoast SEO takes care of all the big SEO properties like tags and sitemaps in one easy console on WordPress. Yeost SEO offers a lot of powerful features, and the free version alone is enough for most businesses.
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Perfect your Keyword Search
Believe it or not, many marketers will begin placing keywords into their web copy without having a strong understanding of what keywords their audience is actually searching for. Understanding your keywords is essential for a strong SEO strategy. If you’re just starting out, rely on popular keyword search tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner and KeywordTool.io to plan out the right keywords for each of your web pages, and ensure that you have at least one keyword per page. For new businesses, rather than competing with the highest searched keywords, consider focusing your strategy on lower-volume, more specific keywords. This will ensure you have a higher chance of ranking high for these results.
Use Synonyms When Possible
Years ago when SEO was in its infancy, it was common practice to pack the page with as many keywords as possible. Today, most marketers are aware that this practice, now known as “keyword stuffing”, is not only bad for your copy, but it can harm your SEO strategy overall. As search engine artificial intelligence has improved and search engines are able to pick up on the nuances of synonyms, it’s easier for marketers to use more natural language when formatting page copy. Instead of loading the same keyword several times within a page, try to use synonyms and variations on your keyword phrasing. This will help you appear on similar search results while making your copy easier to read.
Don’t Forget Internal Linking
With more marketers trying to build SEO ranking through high-quality links, some marketers still make the mistake of neglecting internal links. Featuring internal links on your website and blog posts helps search engines crawl the website, while also encouraging readers to stay on your website for a longer amount of time. In-content links are more powerful than navigation links, because they’re easy to read, meaningful for your readers, and best of all, are easy to add to your content. Don’t forget to add new links to your old copy in order to refresh older content.
The Best SEO Strategies in 2018
SEO is very much alive and well in 2018. The process of building a website page ranking isn’t always fast, but it can be made easier by following the criteria on this checklist. SEO optimization is key to any strong marketing strategy in 2018, and this practice is here to stay.
Ashley is a super-connector with Linkio, helping businesses with building their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in the SaaS world and digital marketing.