This post is a part of our PESO model blog series – a guide to the basics of paid, earned, social and owned content.
It’s no secret that the online world is rapidly evolving. From Facebook’s algorithm changes to net neutrality, many unknowns are currently at play. With so much uncertainty in the digital landscape, one can’t help but wonder what other digital pillars are at stake.
While we won’t call ourselves psychics, we’re pretty sure about one thing: SEO isn’t going anywhere in 2018. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving your website’s search engine results page (SERP) ranking. If you want to increase your traffic, you have to rank as high as possible on Google’s results page – this was true 10 years ago, and it’s still true now.
To help you get a better understanding of the state of SEO in 2018, we spoke with John Gibbings, Hive Digital’s senior SEO consultant.
3 SEO and SERP takeaways for 2018:
- Google is watching. “Google is watching user engagement more closely than ever, especially when users land on your site from search results and then navigate either deeper into your site, or back into the search results for a competitor,” Gibbings warns.
Is your website clear, concise and visually appealing to visitors? If not, you’re essentially just turning traffic away – and hurting your SERP ranking in the process. We all have split-second attention spans these days. If you’re not giving your visitors an immediate incentive to stay on your site, they’ll quickly move on to greener pastures.
- Navigation is key. “The machines are learning how to best serve content to your visitors, and tailoring content to be easily navigable and easy to take in is the key to succeeding in 2018,” says Gibbings. “Continue to build out content for the reader, and don’t tailor it for the search crawlers. At the end of the day, Google will see the true colours of strategy when visitors continue to look for a better answer from competing sites.”
When it comes to designing your site’s navigation system, common sense is essential. Your visitors need to get around with minimal effort on their part, or your ranking will suffer the consequences. Keeping visitors on your website is the best way to achieve your business objectives; do those people a favour by providing them with the best possible user experience.
- Do your brand justice. “Websites should be living, breathing representation of your organization,” Gibbings advises. “Continue to look for new ways to better communicate to your visitors, and branch out your services to better compete in your given vertical.”
Your website isn’t just a tool; it’s an extension of your brand. Ensuring that your site is something your business can stand behind will result in better website quality and a higher SERP rank. Having an on-brand, simple and intuitive site will help to convert your visitors, which ultimately is the point of all your digital efforts.
While SEO is a complex topic, breaking it down bit-by-bit helps. Next week, we’ll explore the biggest SEO mistakes (so you can avoid them).
Thanks again to John and Hive Digital for their help with this post!