The thing about SEO, it’s always changing. As soon as you think you’ve got it down, there are new rules and changes to be implemented. Trying to keep up with it as a site owner is hard enough. So here’s a brief recap of what we’re seeing and what to expect.

I’ve been writing about SEO for years, and even I’ll admit that I’m not an expert. We got to our top spot in the searches through hard work and a lot of writing. One thing I’ll say about Google, when they say produce quality content, they mean produce quality content.

Quality Content

I’ve said it before – if you write it, they will come.

But you can’t just write anything. It has to be quality content. And Google has gotten better about sorting through junk and finding the good stuff. The old rules have said that 300-500 words per post, but new rules are saying that blog posts should be closer to 1000 words or even more.

An algorithm update called Fred (unconfirmed by Google) indicates that sites producing lower quality content are starting to lose rank.

With this information, for 2018 I think the recommendation is going to be fewer posts but longer content in each post.

Site Encryption

Another thing I’ve harped on over the last few years, and I will continue to harp on, is SSL. Encrypt your sites! Google changed the rules and I believe each year they use that as a bigger factor in the ranking factors.

Think about Voice Search

More and more, people are going to be searching using their voice. People pick up their phones and search using Siri or other options. When people search using their voice rather than typing their searches out, they will inevitably search using different phrases. We need to consider how people talk now in our SEO, so keywords are going to be more natural.

For example, instead of people typing, “apple orchards Wisconsin” they may use voice search to say, “Where is an apple orchard in Wisconsin near me?” And that’s a much different phrase so we need to think about that.

I’ve always been the kind of writer who writes how I talk, so I’m hopeful I have this one nailed.

Think about Speed

Speed is important, and if your site is slow, you’re just not going to rank as well. There are lots of things we can do to improve site speed, but my recommendation is to get quality web hosting! A good host can alleviate a lot of speed issues. Caching and using a CDN will also help.

Have we talked about mobile friendliness? No. Let’s talk about it.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly, that should be the #1 fix on your list for 2018. In fact, it should have been the #1 thing on your list in 2017 and also in 2016. These are the rules. I don’t make them, but this much I know is true. People use their phones now more than ever. That is not going away. It’s going to be more and more important. So truly, put the time, effort, and money into this change.

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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