SEO in 2018 entails comprehensive services that work to improve your site's visibility on search engines and engage your target customers. Link building, commenting on industry blogs and forums, and optimizing your meta descriptions are 3 services that help achieve SEO success.
SEO is a different ball game in 2018.
In the past, SEO was synonymous with keyword research and optimization. In 2018, however, your SEO strategy needs to be more comprehensive.
For example, an SEO strategy should now include 3 efforts such as:
- Link building
- Commenting on industry blogs and forums
- Creating compelling meta descriptions
Let’s take a look at how these can help your SEO strategy.
1. Link Building
Link-building is one the most significant factors that influence search ranking. Earning backlinks from other sites signals their endorsement of your content as relevant to a particular topic.
To earn quality backlinks and their SEO benefits, your business needs to be diligent about outreach and keeping track of the companies that link to you.
First, you need to understand what type of links you are likely to receive from different kinds of sites and the sort of efforts you can conduct to build links to your site.
Understand the Difference Between Do-Follow and No-Follow Links
There are 2 types of links you need to know about: dofollow and nofollow.
Dofollow links provide direct SEO benefits. They are essentially instructions to Google to "follow" links to your site, meaning they endorse your content as a worthy source of information.
Nofollow links are links that don't count as "endorsements" of your site like follow links to. These are common for links you post in the comments of sites such as Quora or on social media. While nofollow links do not have direct SEO benefit, they can create engagement on your site if readers click through and visit your site and potentially research your products.
In fact, you might be able to get dofollow links from your nofollows.
For example, if you post a link to a piece you wrote about Google AdWords on Facebook using a nofollow attribute, a business owner might click on your article, browse through content on your site and decide to write a blog post on the topic that gives dofollow links to your content.
Use a Writing Habit to Create Compelling Guest Posts
Guest blogging creates opportunities for dofollow links.
In 2018, however, you can’t a write a mediocre article and expect a high-traffic blog to accept it. High authority and trafficked blogs have stricter writers guidelines formatted to provide value according to Google's ranking algorithm.
It may sound like a lot of hard work but the benefits of guest blogging are worth it. Guest blogging does more than bring you traffic: Creating content on another site also brings authority and credibility to you or your company as a thought leader in your industry.
- Make a commitment to writing every day. Telling friends and colleagues about your writing plan will help you stay accountable.
- Write every day for 5-10 minutes only. Starting small and keeping your writing habit is more effective than starting big which can cause overwhelm and make you want to quit.
- Think about what you will write the day before, and closing all tabs and notifications on your screen so you won’t get distracted.
Writing something Unique and genuine about a topic is far more interesting as a guest post that summarizes previously known information about a topic. So, be creative about how you ideate and format your guest posts.
Guest posting sites typically only allow a set amount of links back to your site and some don’t allow any in the content itself but allow one in your bio.
Depending on the blog’s guidelines, you can also hyperlink to a specific page within your bio. Prepare a bio that links to the page that makes the most sense for the post you write.
Reclaim Your Lost Links
While building new links is great, making sure that your existing links are working properly is just as important. Through finding and reclaiming lost links, you can maintain the quality and SEO power of your backlinks.
Losing links can happen when businesses go through content or URL changes. If you have inbound links from external sites that you notice have been removed, get in touch with the website that initially provided the link and ask for them to replace it.
You can also lose links if you relaunch your site, update your content, or change your URLs. You will likely be able to easily fix and create new links internal links , but your external links could be compromised. If this happens, your traffic may drop.
You or your brand has probably been mentioned on other websites but you may have no idea because no links have been attributed. Unlinked mentions are a great opportunity to boost your SEO and create engagement on your site. Good news: You can search these mentions using Google Alerts to find them and attempt to get them linked to your site. Here’s how:
Type in your name, your company name or the name of your product/service and set an alert, so you’ll know when websites are talking about you.
Not having a dofollow link is a missed opportunity, but is something that can easily be fixed. Contact the site that posted the content and asks them to add a link and provide that link for them. They may say no, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
2. Comment on Industry Blogs and Forums
Providing helpful and insightful comments on industry blogs and popular forums can also help your SEO.
If you post a comment on in a forum thread on sites such as Quora or on blog comment sections that includes a link to your company, readers may want to check out your site.
When you comment, use a conversational tone so people don't think your content is spammy and avoid linking to a product or service that is not relevant to the article or thread.
For example, if you read an article about the best hotels in Chicago, and you have a suggestion for a hotel, don’t just leave a link about it. In a real conversation, you would likely give more insights. Tell people why you think it’s the best hotel, offer details about its service and pricing, and then provide a link so that people can learn more.
A good way to engage readers is to provide a solution to their problems or questions. People commonly use forums to pose questions about business issues or concerns.
If you come across these threads, craft a comprehensive and useful answer that includes a link to one of your relevant web pages that speaks more extensively on the topic.
3. Write Compelling Meta Descriptions
A meta description is the snippet of information that goes right below the link on a search result that describes the displayed result.
Meta descriptions can drive engagement with your content online by giving searchers enough information to decide to click on your result.
Think about it, would you rather click on the page result with a clear and cut description of what you’re looking for, or would you click on the search result with an incomplete description, or one that is difficult to understand?
When creating meta descriptions, take into account how many characters you use and use keywords that you know will appeal to your target customers.
SEO in 2018 Requires a Comprehensive Strategy
As you can see, SEO is more than finding the right keywords. Though they are vital to SEO, using a combination of link building, commenting and engaging with people online through blogs and forums, and optimizing your meta descriptions, are SEO services that help engage audiences and boost search ranking.
About the Author
Brendan learned everything he knows about business by putting some skin in the game and starting his own. He currently leads an ROI-focused SEO team at Clique Studios.