Are you still writing content for your website the same way you wrote it a few years ago? If you are, it is time to upgrade your understanding of writing for SEO in 2018. Let’s look at some Old School and New School SEO theories for 2018.
Old School SEO:
15 years ago, putting as many key search terms into your content was key to being found by new search engines. The search engines didn’t actually read your content and try to understand it. They just look for the exact word or phrase that was being searched for. It was raw, rough, and archaic.
Putting the Search Engine before your user
The whole point of a search engine is to recommend content for their clients that add value. If you create an article that is only built for the search bot, if users ever make it to your site, all you are going to do is make them mad and they will bounce from your site. If your content sucks for the user, it now sucks for the search engine too.
There was a time when making a subdomain (blog.yourwebsite.com) was cool, and a way to shorten your URL and still drive people to your site. Today, subdomains are indexed as completely different websites from their main domain. This means, if you put your blog on a different domain, vs a subfolder, you are not helping your domain authority out at all with the search engines.
New School SEO in 2018:
Writing with the User query in mind
Search engines are only powerful to a user when they provide the best content to the searcher. This means you need to provide content that solves the query the search user had. If you can’t solve this query, why would Google think about linking to you? Your right, they wouldn’t! Bottom line, answer queries best, be ranked best, period.
Answer questions as intended, not just with keywords
Think of a question like, “What is the score of the Chelsea soccer game?” How many pages could this link to? Every game Chelsea has had since the beginning of at least the internet, right? But with thinking about the intent of the question, I want the score of the most current game, and most likely the game going on right now. So the top search result based on my intent will be the current or last game Chelsea played in and possibly upcoming matches they will play. Now the “Chelsea” keyword does matter, but not as much as the intent of my search.
There are a few HTML tags you MUST still include your keyword in
Just don’t mess with these! Make sure you have your keyword in the Title Tag and in the Body Area. This is not negotiable if you want to rank on the search engine.
Here are a few others to consider:
Headline Tags ( H1, H2) – You are literally telling the search engine these are the most important elements on your page, make sure you use them correctly. 1 – h1 per page, and h2’s for the rest. Use keywords where appropriate.
URL – It is preferable to have your keywords show up in your URL. It indicates to users they are in the right place, and when it is shared people can see what they can expect to read on that page.
Meta Description – Now this one is a bit different Meta Descriptions are click bait in the search results. The SERP doesn’t use these tags to rank your page, but it does highlight your keywords in the text when they are available. IF that text shows up in bold, you believe that page will be a better result for you, so you click… boom, click bait.
Image Alt Tag – The Alt tag is the best way to get Google’s image search to find your image. Don’t keyword load these, but rather describe the actual photo. If it is a picture of a PomChi, say so. Don’t say “Little Dog Consulting” because you want the image to come up when people search for Little Dog Consulting.
Voice search is going to matter more and more
Find ways to incorporate how people ask questions verbally into your page content. If I ask Siri or Alexa or Cortana the following “What is the best mac and cheese ever?”. How are you answering this question on your food blog? Natural spoken language will continue to be the next frontier of search. Think ahead now about how you will plan for this change in search so your articles, content or website comes up on the newest search to matter to your customers.
Bring it all together
The old adage “content is king” continues to be true. Now it is time to grow to also have impactful, insightful and thoughtful content as well to be found in search. Create content your customers, readers, friends, and family would read. Put your personality in it, and above all answer the query being asked. If you have the most engaging answers, your page is sure to rise in the rankings and your voice will grow!