How to nail your SEO in 2018

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) isn’t new. It’s been around since the late 1990s and is always developing. Trying to keep up with it can feel like a full-time job, but it is actually easier than you think. The problem is, there is a lot of wrong – or at least outdated – information on the internet. That’s why so many people are still getting it wrong. In this article, we’re going to offer a brief history of SEO writing and show how it has changed, so that you have the most up-to-date information. We’ve asked Orb Online, an SEO agency in Sussex to add their tips and secrets to a fool proof SEO strategy.

Early SEO

Back when the internet was a relatively new phenomenon, and more people were using Ask Jeeves than Google, SEO was a completely different beast. In the early days, the primary focus was on keyword stuffing. SEO experts would get as many keywords into the web-page as possible. That meant filling every tag, piece of copy, headings and subheading with keywords. Basically, the more keywords you got into a web-page, the better a search engine would rank it. Amazingly, some people are still using this technique, and it is actually now detrimental to your search engine ranking. Back when SEO was new, the idea was to fit keywords in and then make your webpage readable and useable. Now it is the other way round. It is much more important to make your website easy for users to understand and navigate.

The Evolution Of SEO

Around 2008, there was a difficult transition from the tradition of keyword stuffing to a more intuitive keyword algorithm. Keywords were still important, but not in the same way. For example, instead of stuffing as many keywords in as possible, search engines looked for keywords in important places. That meant creating keyword-rich tags, headers, sub-headers and copy, but making the website more user-friendly. Links also played a big part. Inbound links – or backlinks – are links that direct customers and search engines to your website. For example, if someone used information from your website in a blog post, and then put a hyperlink to your website, that would create a inbound link. The more inbound links to your website the more relevant the content.

SEO Today

Search engines now have much more advanced algorithms to determine which websites rank well. Google has lead the way on this and is now – by far – the most popular search engine. To rank in 2018, you have to answer the question that the person using the search engine is asking. Everything typed into a search engine is some form of information query, whether the searcher is looking for a new pair of shoes, or the latest weather update. With that in mind, writing for SEO is all about answering questions. Search engines want to match the searcher with the best possible website to answer their query. It is still important to get your keywords into the title element and body content and less important, but still useful, to get them into the H1 tag, H2 tag, meta description and image description.

Fresh Content Is King

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king” before. Well now it’s all about fresh content. Search engines focus on websites that regularly update their website with information, whether that’s news, blog posts, new pages. An easy and popular way to create fresh content is by creating a blog. Make a list of all the questions that you regularly get asked and answer those questions in blog posts. If someone has asked you a question about your business, you can bet someone else has typed that question into Google. Also remember to share this content on social media and around your network. Creating inbound links is still useful in SEO today.  

SEO Writing Checklist

Keywords – When you are starting to write an SEO-optimised web page, think of all the keywords relevant to the search query you are trying to rank for. Make a big list and organise them in order of relevance.

Writing – When it comes to writing your copy, forget the keywords. Copy that is written directly to the website visitor always ranks well. Then, when you are happy with the copy, go back and fit in the keywords you want to include.

Fresh Content – Update your site as regularly as possible with high-quality content. This is one of the top three things search engines are looking for.

Tags – Make sure the keywords you are trying to rank for are in the title element and body content. You can fit them into other tags, but without these two, you will struggle to rank.