As we near the end of 2017 it’s important to begin looking ahead to next year to figure out what your SEO strategy will look like. There are many trends we’ve seen this year that will certainly continue into 2018 and I want to focus on three in particular.
1.) User Experience – I don’t think I can possibly put enough emphasis on this one. User experience is not everything, but actually it kind of is everything. The days of building websites with good SEO as the primary objective and everything else secondary are over. Obviously, you want to keep SEO in mind when writing content but a smooth user experience is now of primary importance. If your website is full of SEO-rich content but clunky to use Google will punish you. You need to focus on the user first and foremost. Your site needs to be easy to navigate and offer a smooth user experience on ALL devices. Your site should be just as engaging and fast on a desktop as it is on a tablet or smartphone. Keep an eye on your bounce rate. If users are coming from a search engine and then clicking off your site after a few seconds something is wrong. Have you checked your site speed lately? Check it on desktop and mobile to see if there is a difference.
2.) Link Building – Link building has been an important part of SEO from the beginning and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Gaining quality backlinks relevant to your niche will still be important in 2018. Don’t just try and get as many backlinks as you can, as always focus on relevant backlinks to help build authority. Guest blogging continues to be a good way to earn those relevant backlinks. That said, Google warned earlier this year that they will be begin taking a closer look at guest blogging to fight spammy links. That means make sure your guest blogs are on quality sites relevant to your niche and not just some blog posting mill.
3.) Local SEO – Make sure your online business is optimized for Local SEO. That means cleaning up directory listings that have broken or incorrect information. In addition to making sure your Google My Business listing is optimized, Google also likes to see that same information be uniform and accurate across the web. Just because your GMB is accurate does not mean it’s correct everywhere else. In fact, 80% of businesses have either broken, missing, or inaccurate listings online. If the sign in front of your business was broken wouldn’t you fix it? The same mentality should be applied to your online presence. We offer a free scan tool that will check to see where you have broken or missing information. Use it!