Kickstart Your SEO in 2018

With January quickly coming to a close, we’re truly settling in to the New Year and looking forward to the coming months and thinking about new strategies and maximising our returns. It’s important to start off on the right foot after all, and SEO is no different.

To set the stage for a great year of SEO, here are 3 simple (but not necessarily easy!) tasks you can put in motion to give your online strategy a kickstart. What’s fantastic about having to put a little elbow grease into these tasks, is that it may well set you apart from the crowd, considering not all of your competitors may not want to put the effort in!

1 – Faster Page Speed For Improved Rankings

Google have just announced that starting in July 2018, the speed of your mobile pages will be a ranking factor for its mobile search results. This is directly related to user experience, as a faster page speed is generally a much smoother and better experience for users, which has become Google’s main focus in direct ranking factors as of late.

More often than not, mobile page speed is a huge opportunity for improvement for most websites. It’s often an oversight, but it’s more important now than ever and could well be your first port of call for tightening up your overall SEO.

Some ways you can improve page speed include:

  • Investing in high-performance web hosting
  • Reducing http calls by merging CSS and JavaScript files, eliminating WordPress plugins and using sprites
  • Properly scaling and compressing images
  • Implementing server caching, browser caching and Gzip compression
  • Minifying CSS and JavaScript files

2 – Use Your Brand to Build Links

There’s a right and wrong way to go about building links, and you may well have been subject to some link requests yourself that were done poorly. The matter of fact is that reaching out for links to “cold” contacts can be a challenging process and in general you won’t get as many links back in comparison to the number of emails you send out. Building links more effectively depends on the relationships you have built and the quality of your approach as opposed to the volume you send out.

It’s a difficult challenge, but if you can build a brand that you can advertise as a staple or authoritative source in your industry, people will be far more susceptible to connecting with you and your website. If done successfully, you’ll even find that people will be linking to your content without you having to ask!

  • A few different ways you can develop a personal brand:
  • Creating consistently branded profiles on key social networks
  • Regularly sharing valuable content from others in your industry, along with your insight on it
  • Engaging with your audience, both those below and above your stature within your industry
  • Regularly publishing amazing content, both on your own website and in industry publications and top-tier business publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur and Fast Company

3 – Utilise Video Content

Videos have become increasingly and alarmingly popular over the past few years, resulting in them becoming as much of a necessity as having a website and a presence on Social Media channels.

Video can be a powerful tool when it comes to keeping visitors on your pages for longer amounts of time, which directly results as a good sign of a positive user experience in Google’s eyes and will ultimately lead to a positive impact on your organic ranking.

In addition, if you publish your videos on the likes of YouTube, you are further expanding your audience and putting your brand in front of far more potential customers. Plus, you’re leveraging the authority of YouTube’s domain, so you also have the opportunity to get your videos ranked in Google’s search results.

Some ways you can incorporate video into your SEO include:

  • Creating videos that answer questions your prospects have about your products, services and industry, as well as videos that demonstrate who you are and why you do what you do.
  • Optimizing your videos on YouTube so they’ll show up in YouTube’s search, in conjunction with that, building relevant, high-quality links to them so that they show up in Google’s search results.
  • Embedding your videos from YouTube on your own website to keep visitors engaged and on your website longer.