SEO is always changing. The more advanced search engines get, the more work we have to put it to rank highly.

Gone are the days where we could stuff hundreds of keywords onto a site and have it appear on the first page of Google. Search engines are looking to rank the best content. When someone searches for “best place to eat in London”, the #1 result is Tripadvisor. That’s because the search engine algorithm has determined Tripadvisor as the highest value site for those search terms.

So how do you get to #1 on the rankings? That depends on how competitive the search terms are. For example, it will be easier to rank for “best seafood restaurant in Shoreditch” because its a more specific search. To get to the top you have to provide something pretty great. Then you need to make sure you are ticking all of the boxes in terms of SEO.

Here are the main SEO strategies in 2018, according to Hunt Digital

1. Find the Right Keywords

Some blogs will tell you to forget about keywords. But don’t believe the hype! Keywords are still important in 2018. Determining your keywords is the first step in any successful SEO marketing campaign. If you don’t know what keywords you are trying to rank for, how will you know if you’ve been successful?

There are hundreds of tools out there to help you do this, like Google Adwords and SERPS. The trick is to find the right balance between competitiveness and demand. You don’t want to pick a keyword that no one is searching for. But on the other hand, you don’t want to pick a keyword that everyone else is trying to rank for. So you should aim for somewhere in the middle – a keyword that has a decent level of traffic and relatively low competition.

2. On Page Optimisation

Now you have done the background work, you need to develop your content. Back in the day, you would have been told to stuff as many keywords as possible into your content. But that won’t fly anymore. Orb Online says to make sure your content is written naturally and try to mention your keywords 2-4 times on a page.

3. Put Your Keywords in the Right Place

There are certain places where it is crucial to mention your keywords. Without filling in these parts of the page, your website will never rank –

  • Page title
  • Page meta description
  • URL
  • H1 or H2

If these terms don’t mean anything to you, type them into Google for advice on how to access them.

3. Optimise Your Images

People are still forgetting to optimise their images! Visual content is extremely important to a website visitors’ experience, and Google knows that. You need to modify the image’s filename and ALT tag to include your keywords. Also, don’t forget to compress your images, so they don’t slow the site down.

4. Boost Your Backlink Profile

Having other websites link to your site lets Google know that it can trust your site. But this isn’t just about getting any link. Again, in the early days of SEO, sites would upload their links to directories, which would boost them up the rankings. There were also sites selling opportunities to get linked back. These won’t stand up anymore though, as search engines can tell the difference between high and low-quality links. It used to be about quantity over quality. Now though, Google is more advanced. There is no need to upload your site to the countless directories available. Instead, follow these simple tips:

  • Monitor lost links – links can get broken or lost when you update a page’s URL. Download a tool like Monitor Backlinks to help you track them down and recover them.
  • Guest posting – This isn’t about just posting a blog on any old site. You need to develop a relationship with a site and provide high-quality content that you can eventually link back to your site.
  • Use your network – Offer special discounts to business partners that could provide high-quality links. Also get your friends and family to share your site around if you think it will be of value to their network.
  • Skyscraper Technique – Find a great piece of content, rewrite it to make it better, send it to the right people.

5. Understand Your Data

It’s surprising how many SEO “experts” don’t learn how to effectively track their data. They understand how to optimise for SEO, but can’t accurately tell you their results. Google Analytics is your SEO best friend. Learn how to use it and you will be able to pinpoint where your SEO strategy can improve.

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