SEO is constantly changing, yet so many companies stay stuck in the past when it comes to best practices. Starting right now, your Atlanta digital marketing team can pledge to keep up with modern changes and cut out bad habits in 2018 to find greater success.
Here are five SEO New Year’s resolutions you can adopt to stick with the times and achieve better performance with less effort in the year ahead.
1. Strategize Content Around Keyword Groups Rather Than Picking Topics at Random
Studies from thorough companies like SEMrush reveal that using specific keywords isn’t as important as covering certain topics. In fact, the top-ranked results for a certain query may not have that verbatim query anywhere in the body text. You could search all day and never find it.
Instead, what seems to matter more to sophisticated search algorithms like RankBrain (which powers Google) is the context of the top-ranked content compared to the keyword. In response, blog topics and evergreen content pages should reflect general ideas more so than repetition of specific high-value keywords.
How do you change up your approach? Write down around 20 suggestions from Google Keyword Planner next time you use it rather than just one or two. Come up with a list of 3-5 blog topics that would be guaranteed to cover the same group of subjects implied through the keyword suggestion.
With this approach, you get both depth and breadth without resorting to (now useless) keyword stuffing.
2. Stop Ignoring Your URLs
Google likes custom URLs that use descriptive words as opposed to randomly generated letter and numbers. These URLs are more-easily crawlable, more easily fetched, and offer valuable metadata that search algorithms can use to improve results.
Also, your audience is more likely to click on a URL that contains relevant words as opposed to garbled text on a suspicious link.
WordPress and other CMSs can let you customize your URL. If you don’t use these systems, then ask your webmaster how to create URLs manually rather than through random generation.
Also, speaking of URLs, take the time to make the switch from HTTP to HTTPs. That is, if you plan on having your site survive 2018.
3. Put More Thought Into Your Title Tags, Headlines and Meta Descriptions
Headlines are extremely important for both SEO and signalling to your audiences that something is click-worthy. Yet, too many people hammer out a headline without so much as a second thought. Ditto for title tags and meta descriptions, for that matter.
You can switch up your approach to writing headlines with this suggestion from Moz’s Rand Fishkin. You should also try to generate a few different varied options in order to consider different angles that can help you improve results.
For an extra gold star, try A/B testing multiple titles on social or through email marketing!
4. Ask Yourself: “Who Would Help Amplify This, and Why?” When Writing Something
Every piece of content should serve a purpose and offer value. We may find these criteria hard to meet when writing content, though, because it’s subjective.
To help you out, here’s another suggestion from Rand Fishkin: Think about a certain target persona, and ask whether they would share the content and why they might want to do that. This thought experiment can help you rule out arbitrariness or subjectivity when creating content while helping you focus on immediate value.
When every piece of content can be matched with someone who would love it, that’s a formula for beating your content marketing performance goals.
5. Partner With an Atlanta Digital Marketing Team if You Need Help
The most important thing about any technical subject is to recognize when you need help. Partnering with an Atlanta digital marketing team can bring you the expertise you need to learn quick lessons and quickly improve your performance.
If you think you are ready to collaborate in order to make your SEO as good as it deserves to be in 2018, take a look at EverSpark’s Atlanta SEO agency services today.