Author, Alain Parcan, director of marketing for Market Hardware, Inc., and NALP consultant, contributed this article.
When today’s customers are looking up products and services, it’s no secret Google is the number one option. Therefore, it is easy to see why business owners are desperately seeking the right answers when trying to solve the mystery of Page One ranking on Google.
In 2018, more and more landscape professionals will reap the benefits of their SEO efforts by staying up-to-date on current trends. Reaching your target audience relies on your ability to produce relevant content and optimize your Website based on current best practices. Here are three trends to keep in mind when setting up your SEO strategy.
Mobile Load Speed
One of the newest announcements coming from Google deals with the impact of page load speed on your SEO rankings. As early as July 2018, Google will start tracking page speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results. In a world that revolves around the latest Smartphones and tablets, more and more people are using mobile devices to search for what they need. Having a mobile-friendly Website is more important than ever, given the impact it has on your SEO results.
To be clear, this update will only have an impact on pages that provide a slow experience on mobile devices. But, with as much as 75% of searches being done on mobile devices, you can’t afford to ignore this trend. As Google continues to stress the importance of mobile, it’s essential that your site is optimized for the mobile experience.
As current technology continues to evolve, so does the need for more advanced forms of online security. A big factor in 2018 will be the implementation of SSL certificates on Websites. These certificates – previously reserved for Websites that transferred financial information and other sensitive data – help protect data shared by users, and Google wants to see them installed.
Google has indicated they are taking SSL into consideration when determining search rankings. If you’re struggling to compete in search results in your area and don’t have SSL enabled, it could be causing you to fall behind your competitors. We expect Website security to play an increased role in search rankings as we move forward. Talk to your Website provider about getting an SSL certificate set up on your Website in 2018.
Optimizing for SEO
SEO is an ever-evolving strategy that you should attend to on a regular basis. Building a successful SEO campaign requires attention to detail when tracking results and constant optimization of your Website. There are some general techniques you can take advantage of that will show improved results for your SEO campaigns this year.
Focus on the content you are posting on your Website. Is it optimized with relevant keywords to the services you provide? Use language that your audience will understand and is actually searching for. Google is looking for high-quality content that is informative and educational. When you create content that helps readers complete a task or solve a problem, this tends to rank higher in search results.
Take advantage of link building. Link building implies having external pages link to pages on your Website. This is still one of the most important factors in the eyes of Google when determining search rankings. The more quality links you have pointing to your Website, the better reputation your site holds in Google’s eyes. Google also takes into account the source of your inbound links. Just as a link from a reputable site or organization can help your reputation, spammy links can quickly ruin your standing with Google. Have your links come from reputable sources and link to relevant content on your Website. Be sure to monitor the links pointing to your Website to make sure they are not broken.
Staying in tune with these SEO trends will help keep you ahead of the competition this year. SEO campaigns can have a great ROI, but avoid a “set it and forget it” approach. SEO campaigns run best when the latest trends are followed and implemented on your Website. If you’re looking to improve your SEO strategy this year, give these tips a try.