With every new year comes a new set of trends and tasks that you have to check off your list to make sure that your site stays on top this 2018.
Good news is, we're not talking about trends you've never even heard of. A lot of what's likely to get big in 2018 is also derived from the changes and updates that happened in 2017.
Suffice it to say, this new year combines tried and tested SEO tactics that you have to reinforce, alongside new trends that are sure to come up this year. And to help you reflect on what to prepare for, we've compiled 5 of the most actionable SEO tasks to cross off your checklist for 2018.
1. Optimisation for Mobile Devices
The rise of mobile search has steadily been on the rise over the years, and 2018 is the year that we will officially see Google implementing a mobile-first indexing. So what does this mean?
According to Google, they "will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users." This just means that as a developer and site owner, you now have to pay so much more attention to how the mobile version of your site is crafted.
It's not enough to sit back and relax, thinking that you have a working mobile version of the site. It has to provide a seamless user experience. Best way to go about it is to have a website audit done on your mobile site to know points for improvement in terms of speed, layout, design, user experience, and so on.
2. Local Search Rankings
Both on-site and off-site optimisation for local searches have become more relevant than ever. In order to ensure that your site doesn't fall out of the game, you have to constantly work on improving your local search optimisation.
Not only should you monitor your site's activities and analytics, but tracking that of your competitors should also be on your checklist. Knowing how customers are finding your site or the site of your competitors would work wonders in winning the local rankings game.
3. Voice Search Optimisation
Did you know that about 55% of teens and 40% of adults use voice search daily? Those numbers are straight from Google's reports and it could only mean that voice search may as well be the future of SEO.
But while this may be the prediction of many experts, it's not something that you should be wary of. Take note that what sets voice search apart from your regular search engine optimisation is the format of keywords used.
Those who use voice search use normal and conversational questions, as opposed to oddly structured phrases that's the norm for SEO keywords. Start looking for most commonly asked questions or sentences in relation to your main keywords and go from there.
4. Keyword Grouping
Nowadays it's not enough to simply rely on a set of main keywords. What's become more effective is the intelligent use of primary, secondary, and other related keywords-also known as keyword clusters or groups.
Having these related keywords present in your text content helps prove to Google that your content is actually relevant to searchers' queries. There are keyword grouping tools that you can use, or you can do it manually, as tedious as that may sound.
You'll be surprised at how well it pays off in the end, especially in proving your site's relevance in search engine results.
5. Improve Site Speed
Are you even surprised that site speed has become even more necessary this year? Your site's speed is not just an important ranking signal, it's also a major UX factor, which of course impacts rankings as well.
To give you an idea of what your standards of site speed should be, Google expects your pages to load in under 3 seconds. Just three seconds.
If you're not up to par with that, first thing you should do is to know your site's speed using Google's page speed test. You can check on individual pages there and identify problem areas that you should fix as soon as possible.
The new year is a chance for you to revisit your SEO strategies to see what's been working, what's lacking, and what you can improve on. At the same time, you have to be aware of the updates that are coming your way, so you can prepare for it ahead of your competitors.
If you feel overwhelmed, you can start with these 5 SEO tasks we've provided and go on from there.
Awareness is half the battle and since you're already in the know, consider it as a small victory! Of course, just make sure to follow through in executing these tasks and strategies to win over the SEO game this 2018.