The 3 changes in SEO in 2018 that call for new strategies  

Thinking of running a website and running it successfully is a lot different from each other. For a website to become popular and profitable, a strategist and a webmaster need to work hard to come up with their checklist. This includes frontend optimization for better UX, improvement of search engine optimization (SEO) and of course development of marketing strategies to keep the products and services visible.

In most cases, the problem is not the lack of a strategy, but the lack of its dynamicity. Most SEO expert teams and webmasters tend to fixate on their existing or past strategies more than the evolving trends of SEO. In reality, you need to update your plug-ins, extensions, tools, and strategies every year to stay in tune with the rest of the digital world. Google releases multiple small and large updates each year. The only way for a business to thrive is to stay visible by updating their SEO strategies.

Are you aware of the new strategies of 2018 that you need to add to your optimization game for staying relevant?

Rethink your Google crawl budget

Google has always been crawling website content and indexing sites based on the same. Off late, there has been a significant shift in the indexing and crawling process of the leading search engine. Now, just because Google or another search engine is crawling your site, there is no guarantee that your site will feature of an SRL. The pages that do not promise an enriching user experience (UX) do not find a place in the SERPs.

  • Thin content pages

  • Template content pages

  • Dynamically generated content pages

  • Pages with broken schema, canonicals, and broken links.

  • Search result pages

  • Faceted pages

These are the few kinds of pages that do not make it to the Google SERPs.

To understand if Googlebots are crawling your website and if you need to change your website content/layout, you need the help of a tool that will help you with log file analysis. Yes, it is a bit technical, but it will instantly tell you if your pages are indexed or not. You can use free tools for this analysis.

Cannibalization analysis: are you doing it?

What happens when several pages on your site compete for the same theme and topic? They use the same keywords, related metadata and topic. This will not allow the pages to rank well since the ranking equity is equally split between the two pages. There is no point in competing with yourself. This is cannibalization, and you need to develop a strategy to analyze it pronto.

You can include several parameters including modeled traffic, ranking changes, and MSV for different time periods. This is a sure way to find out if your similarly themed pages are competing against each other and if you need to work on them to stop the cannibalization process.  

Pay attention to what your buyers are saying

It might sound quite ridiculous, but there are times when certain patented products shed their formal names when they enter the popular world. You might be standing face to face with a very popular product of yours with a complicated overly-formal index-inspired name. However, your target buyers may tend to call it something simple and sweet. What should you do here? As an SEO strategist and a webmaster, should you keep referring to the product by its formal, patented name? Should you use the easy-going name your popular buyers use to describe it in blogs, discussion forums, social media and product inventories?  

It is every SEO strategist’s responsibility to deliver to their buyers exactly what they are looking for. So, instead of the more complex name, you should simply offer them content with the more popular name. This can also be a location-based strategy. For example – several brands including Dove chocolate, Vaseline, Anacin, Olay and Dr. Oetker use aliases in certain countries. When in India, asking for Dove with get you a soap bar, but asking for it in the US, will get you delicious chocolate. Always listen to what your target users are saying right now, before taking the next step and developing a new strategy.

Final words

Accelerated mobile pages, mobile first indexing, and progressive web apps are all parts of the SEO development of 2018. As per the new announcements from Google, all of these will determine the ranking, traffic, conversion rate and revenue of a website. The US sees over 72% mobile users log into mobile-friendly sites every day for reading and/or purchasing. These three steps show what is wrong with the most basic of almost all SEO strategies around the world. 2018 is high time you gave wholesome SEO strategy a deep thought.

Author bio: Clara Bran has been working as an SEO expert for the last eight years. Her work has reached several countries, and she has won several accolades for her achievements.  

Guest PostsLogan Lenz