While some believe search engine optimization is less relevant today for businesses, nothing could be farther from the truth. With effective SEO strategies, businesses gain increased trust from consumers. This, in turn, encourages social media sharing and word of mouth marketing that further strengthens your business’ brand. However, while these are clear benefits to SEO strategies, search engine optimization best practices are in constant flux. Why? It is because Google and other search engine companies are constantly changing their algorithms. Therefore, for businesses to maintain a competitive advantage, they need to stay abreast of the best SEO strategies. The following represent five of the most important search engine optimization trends for 2018.

Primary SEO Strategies – Quality Still Matters

Many businesses tend to focus too heavily on keywords and search phrases when pursuing their SEO strategies. Notably, these are still important. However, increasingly, the trend by search engines is to identify high-quality content. What does this mean? Content targeted by other reputable sites as quality information (back links) can drive higher quality ratings. Likewise, content that receives more user traffic can do the same (a chicken and the egg issue). All SEO strategies should, therefore, strive to provide high quality, informative content to their customers. Then other search engine optimization efforts can examine keywords and forward links to make the content richer, but the priority is to create good quality content first.

It’s All About the Experience

Increasingly, best practices in SEO strategies have shifted toward a focus on the experience of visitors to a website. While exact search engine algorithms do not define exactly what an experience-centric website represents, some key insights are evident. First, websites and content that immerse the reader in rich, quality information are important.

In addition, other features are becoming more important as well. Websites offering efficient navigation, multiple content formats, and other aspects that drive customer value increasingly defines the good experience. Not only should SEO strategies pursue search engine optimization through quality content. They must also do so with attention to the user experience simultaneously.

Search Engines Are Increasingly “Sculpting” Your Site

If you were in the search engine business like Google, your focus would be on customer experience during search activities. You wouldn’t want your customers having low-quality web pages pop up on their search results. What would you do to ensure a better customer experience? You would likely be proactive and find higher quality web pages for each site to highlight. This is exactly what Google and other search engine companies are doing. This “sculpting” process involves ranking some web pages on a site lower or higher than others. However, you don’t have to rely on Google to determine which pages on your website are most valuable. Businesses can use indexing and other strategies to help Google target those web pages you think are most valuable. These activities reflect other important SEO strategies in search engine optimization efforts today.

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Ever heard of clients complaining about the decline of content quality? It’s time to change your strategies.

Lengthier Content is Becoming Preferred

Traditional SEO strategies tend to promote brief, concentrated content. However, trends suggest that this is losing favor among customers. Search engine optimization content that tailors short attention spans may no longer be the best approach.

Many consumers, especially Millennials, want to be educated and more informed. Therefore, longer content may be preferred over shorter content that only focuses on sales and calls-to-action. This is an important trend for many businesses to realize.

Rather than quick blurbs that make a brief impression, more extended and informative content might better drive transactions. These search engine optimization efforts have notable implications in your SEO strategies.

Search Engine Optimization Should Be Integrated

SEO strategies that only focus on website content is a thing of the past. Today, search engine optimization efforts must be integrated among all types of media materials. Various types of media your business uses include social media, paid media (Google Ads), and earned media (outside media). This is in addition to your website content and any blogs you provide. SEO strategies perform best for your business when integrated across all of these areas. By integrating your search engine optimization efforts, your business can also get more out of your data analytics.

Overwhelmed? Consider Hiring an SEO Expert

To keep up the constant changes in SEO strategies and search engine optimization techniques can be daunting. Not all businesses have the resources needed to invest in current search engine optimization trends. If this is the case, then hiring an SEO expert can be a great move. In addition to keeping up with current SEO strategies, an SEO expert offers many additional advantages. It includes greater content consistency, enhanced time efficiency, and more effective branding efforts. Regardless of whether an SEO expert is needed, knowing recent search engine optimization changes is important. Aligning your business’ SEO strategies with these changes can make a big difference in the competitive advantage your business enjoys.

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