What You Need To Write For SEO in 2018
8 min read
We are well into 2018, and if you don’t have an SEO game-plan in place, it’s not too late to start. To be sure, SEO is a multifaceted undertaking. It requires technical knowledge and expertise, especially in the development phase of web design, to setup a website for search engine success. But beyond that, what’s Google looking for when it comes to ranking high in 2018? Here’s what you need to know now about writing for SEO and employing UX tactics that foster user engagement.
Longform Articles for Better Indexing
Today, it’s well known that longform articles and blog posts often rank better in Google’s search results than shorter content. Just look at this graph that reflects one of our SEO client’s increased search engine visibility after publishing a longform article. Their overall visibility more than doubled after we posted their first article that ran about 1,500 words.
You can see that writing long, informative content is a highly effective way to increase rankings.
Still not convinced? Think of it this way: Google’s search engine algorithm is designed to serve users the highest-quality, most relevant information. Now, consider a recent study revealed the average content length of each top 10 Google search result was more than 1,000 words. Searchers want the big picture, and they don’t mind reading more. And Google gets that.
You might think that flies in the face of everything we’ve been fed the past decade: users have short attention spans, content should be brief, and broken out into digestible pieces of content. By all accounts, in 2018 that is not the case.
Engagement Metrics and SEO
So why does longer perform better?
For one, engagement metrics are weighted more heavily these days. In other words, Google can see that users who click on a specific search result are more likely or less likely to stay on that page and engage with the content. When users stay on the page to discover additional content, Google ranks the website higher. If Google is rewarding these long, engaging articles with higher rankings, then what does that mean for your writing strategy?
Well, it certainly means you can’t afford to put out mediocre content. Pumping out thousands of words each month is an onerous task — especially when it requires quality content creation for optimization.
Tips For SEO Writing in 2018
SEO writing in 2018 requires adroitness. It involves researching and targeting lucrative keywords and phrases that affect your bottom line. It means discovering high-volume, low competition keywords that are viable and easy to rank for.
It also means writing to answer search queries. Google rewards quality writing that most effectively solves frequently searched questions. This content consistently ranks better than writing that doesn’t answer questions. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure your content is crafted accordingly.
Another useful tactic to include in your SEO writing strategy is including related keywords that Google has identified as commonly associated with a query. Above all, SEO writing in 2018 means publishing quality content that champions user experience. You can follow all of these tips but if you fail to put out content that engages visitors, good luck getting articles and blog posts to rank or convert.
Digital Experiences and SEO
Besides SEO writing for your website, creating engaging digital experiences for SEO is equally necessary. With the increased importance of engagement metrics, it’s vital to captivate users through compelling website design. Simply put, it’s another way to keep users on your website longer.
In addition, your website should explain product offerings, while immersing users in your brand. Recently, we designed and developed a website for a major manufacturer of custom parts for engines. To promote interaction on the homepage, users are greeted with an assembled plastic venturi that comes apart as the user scrolls down the page. This feature not only demonstrates how the company simplifies complex designs for their clients, but it also promotes user engagement through an impressive feature.
Journey Simplification for Better Task Discoverability
Another way to ensure users don’t leave your site is through user journey simplification. Clarity and simplicity facilitate task discovery by successfully leading users to the information they’re looking for. If users can’t easily find what they’re looking for, they bounce from your site. The easier it is for users to discover the information the information they’re looking for, the better the user experience.
Video and Your SEO Checklist
A final important item on your website checklist should be video. For RL Hudson, we incorporated video in a number of ways to drive engagement. First, we created a video that tells the story of a rubber part, from design to delivery. Through storytelling, video can draw your target audience to discover more. In addition, different texture videos incorporated throughout the RL Hudson compel visitors to pause. It’s another opportunity to explain your products and services and weave your brand messaging into your digital experience.
In 2018, user experience demands more information, clarity and interactivity. The bottom line is positive user experience contributes increased engagement; and more user engagement translates to higher search rankings. At Station8 we write articles, stories, and product copy, and website copy for a wide variety of business big and small. All of our websites are SEO-ready from a technical perspective.