Seeing as SEO is ever-changing, with plenty of developments and alterations to consider, it’s important to make sure you stay ahead of the competition and continue using the best practices that work.
Here are some of the proven SEO techniques that worked in 2017 and will continue to be relevant and effective throughout 2018.
New Meta Description Length
Probably the most notable change so far this year to SEO is the increased length of meta descriptions. While the length of meta descriptions used to have a limit of between 156-160 characters, today the limit is 320.
So, if you’re writing meta descriptions, try to include as much as possible up to that point, or Google will simply use content that’s on the page.
On the other hand, meta title length is still the same at around 60 characters—remember that it actually comes down to pixel width rather than character length.
Make Your Landing Page Content Longer
Today, quantity is just as important as quality, and vice versa. While a few years ago quantity and spammy keyword-stuffed content switched to “focus on writing 500-1000 words of high-quality content,” today you’re better off writing pages that are 2,000 words or longer.
However, the key to this is writing fresh and engaging content rather than simply writing nonsense, or including duplicate content.
But it’s important to keep in mind that ultimately, today’s pages need to be long and readable to really rank well. You’ll see a difference when you combine length with original and well-written content that keeps people on the page while positively influencing Google’s perception of your site.
Focus on Keeping Visitors Engaged
One of the most important ranking factors in SEO today is visitor engagement. Basically, the longer people spend on your pages and looking at your content, the more signals Google receives that indicate your site is worth ranking.
Now, while this may mostly mean reader engagement on your website, this also now applies to YouTube videos. So, your company will do well to write high-quality content that keeps readers reading, while your YouTube videos keep viewers watching to help those videos rank higher.
The latter means that you’re better off creating longer informative and entertaining videos of 15 minutes or more that people are likely to spend time viewing. This way you’ll increase video rankings to supplement your webpage rankings.
Backlinks, Backlinks, Backlinks
Backlinks are still as important as ever to SEO. Again, this comes down to a perfect balance of quality and quantity.
You’ll want a large number of high-quality links to your website that appear on other reputable websites, as this sends signals to Google that you’re an industry authority.
Getting backlinks can consist of guest posting strategies, or purchasing relevant domains with existing authority and posting good original content on them that then links to the website you want to rank. The latter may cost more money, but the ROI should make it worth the investment.
Incorporating these techniques in your SEO strategy for 2018 can help you stay on top and give you the desired results in the long run.