It remains a nice cat-and-mouse game: companies that want to be findable online and the powerful Google search engine that constantly adjusts the algorithms and rules for the same findability.
This game ensures that SEO can sometimes come across as rocket science. But you don’t have to. With a few useful insights, common sense and empathy with your online visitors, you can go a long way.
In the early years of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), a few clever tricks met to score well in the main search engine; Google.
With filling in title tags, frequent use of keywords on the web pages and in the images, you were already totally on trend.
These ‘tricks’ are now known as the absolute basis. In 2018 much more is needed to score high in Google.
You could even call it a total change of mind set, because everything revolves around the customer experience.
The 6 best SEO tips to keep Google a friend
The higher quality visitors experience your website, the longer and more often they visit it.
That gives Google more reason to sell advertising space, the most important revenue model of search engine No. 1.
How do you ensure in 2018 that your website becomes easy to find – and remains?
The 6 best tips at a glance:
- Speed and security – Make sure your website is up to date
Do you also switch off on a website that takes forever to load? Speed is crucial for a positive customer experience. The ideal loading time is a maximum of 1.5 (!) Seconds.
In addition, since 2017, every website must run on https instead of http. Such SSL security shows that your website is well protected.
The AVG was added to this on 25 May 2018: the European General Data Protection Regulation.
You are required to state on your website what you are doing to ensure the privacy of your customers.
- Context instead of ‘keyword stuffing’
Google has been using artificial intelligence for a while, where user searches are interpreted broadly.
You can make smart use of this by adding a lot of context to your website and social media.
For example relevant blogs, a wide range of synonyms or a YouTube channel with background information or funny vlogs.
Watch out with fake news. Google punishes the posting of fake news, because fake news adds nothing to a positive user experience
- Personalized and on localized search results
To make the user experience (UX user experience in jargon) even better, search results are increasingly offered in a more personalized and geographically sensitive way.
You may recognize it from Google My Business, which immediately displays the details of your (local) business.
You see the search results becoming more customized and even more personal.
Even the most unsuspecting ‘Google ear’ will find that searches are very precisely tailored to where he or she is at that moment, in combination with personal online searches from the past.
Reading tip! Discover how to write good SEO texts!
- The spoken search
If you provide a clear FAQ on your website, then you have an advantage over so-called voice assistants, such as Google’s Assistant and Sire.
Write your FAQ content in the most natural way possible. Speaking language is allowed. Just as real people will search.
- Involved social media content
High-quality, involved social media content remains by far the most important SEO trend for 2018 and the coming years.
Search engines have had regular updates and a lot of shared content for years have been a top priority.
- Optimize video for searches
Even though Google remains the most important search engine, YouTube has been at a stable number 2 for years.
Videos go through the online audience like hot sandwiches and are therefore perfectly usable as a marketing tool.
Via videos you can receive information faster, clearer and often more fun. A great reason to optimize them for Google via keywords and descriptions.
Videos continue to be rewarded for their relevance and often appear high in searches.
And what can we expect in 2020 in the field of search engine optimization?
Do you really want to be part of the forefront of SEO? Then sustainability and attention to people & society is ‘the new black’.
Place fair trade, sustainability and CSR at the heart of your organization and you spectacularly increase customer happiness.
Companies that ignore sustainability will therefore be leaving a significant part of their turnover from next year.
After all, in this period of a still growing economy, the consumer determines.
In combination with the explosively growing awareness of climate change, environmental issues and poor working conditions in low-wage countries, no company can ignore genuinely sustainable business operations.