5 SEO Strategies to Immediately Focus On in 2018

While Google's algorithm is constantly changing, these tactics aren't going to change anytime soon and will increase your chance of being found online.

Today, your website is your storefront. Even if you have a brick and mortar business, many people will find you online or check you out online because getting in their car. Sure, it's nice to have a great website with content that makes you stand out, but that doesn't mean anything if you're not being found online. That's where the real challenge is.

How do you ensure your ideal customer or client is find you? By making sure your website is optimized so search engines will push you to the front of the line, or search results. You need to pay attention to your SEO.

Focus on attracting long clicks

A long click means when people navigate to your page, they spend time digesting the content -- reading the copy, clicking through to other internal pages, etc. instead of bouncing off the website.

According to Jeffrey Bumbales, Founder of JB Digital Solution, long clicks are future-proof. When people navigate to your page and stay, it means a few things:

The content is relevant to their search query

The content is valuable and so is the user experience

The content is current and up-to-date

 "Search engines use bounce rate, time on page, and hundreds of other metrics to assess value and relevance," Bumbales said. "If you were previously attracting long clicks and notice that they are dwindling, it likely means someone else has released some content that is more thorough or more up-to-date."

SEO Is Simpler Than You Think. 5 Things Every Beginner Needs to Know to Get It Right

As a non-tech founder, I understand the resistance that comes with doing anything that makes you feel stupid. For me, that includes web design, HTML, and search engine optimization (SEO). This was particularly embarrassing since SEO is one of the most foundational digital marketing tools in the toolbox and I was "technically" a digital marketer.

Realizing I couldn't claim ignorance any longer, I Googled around for some articles and immediately overwhelmed myself. I didn't want to be an "SEO Expert," I just wanted to know enough to not be an idiot. How does SEO work and how far down the geek rabbit hole do I need to go to get SEO working for me?

To get the answers, I called up Bradford Crabtree CEO Michael Tesalona and asked him to sit down with me so I could ask him the questions I'd be embarrassed to ask in public. I wish I had this years ago.

Here's how he broke it down:

1. You don't need to be as geeky as you thought

For starters, learning that most of SEO is conjecture immediately made me feel better. Dozens of clients have ended up on the first page of Google thanks to Tesalona's efforts, still he explained, "No one really knows what Google's search engine ranking criteria are, but after years of following trends and getting results for clients, we have a pretty good idea of what definitely matters," Tesalona said.

5 SEO Trends to Watch for in 2018

By Kristopher B. Jones, serial entrepreneur and investor.

Remember the biggest trends predicted to remold SEO in 2017? Virtual reality has remained a nascent industry, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) have still not been adopted by the general population and local SEO is not dead.

SEO webmasters must always be looking forward in order to stay afloat amid a changing technological environment and Google algorithm updates that dramatically shift organic search results. I thought I'd offer some advice to stay ahead of SEO trends that are bound to make a big impact in 2018. Looking back at data from the past year, we'll explore how these trends will continue to shift the SEO industry in 2018.

The Mobile First Index?

Will this finally be the year Google unveils the mobile first index and makes AMP a ranking factor? Due to debut in 2018, Google should be creating a mobile search index that takes priority over its desktop index in terms of refresh and updates. How different ranking factors and keyword queries will be weighted on the mobile first index is currently unknown. One primary ranking factor that will take major precedence is site performance and speed. Incorporate responsive web design or AMP to your organic and paid search strategy.

Evidence of this shift has already had an effect. According to a BrightEdge study, mobile and desktop searches produced different results for the same keyword searches on the same search engines 79 percent of the time. This will produce major implications for local search, as well as general keyword research.

Natural Language Queries

The value of keyword research is still prolific in SEO, even though we've been switching to a topic-based search world for years now. One major impact the mobile-first index and the rise of voice search could have on SEO is the shift from exact match phrases to a more broad match SEO, where search engines more easily interpret natural language.

While voice search volume will probably not increase as much as it did in 2017, ComScore predicts that 50 percent of all searches could be voice searches by 2020. As voice search receives higher volumes, you should apply the principles of semantic search and try to meet user intent with the appropriate information. This will be crucial, as voice assistants pull answers from the rich snippet box on Google.

Agencies should begin shifting their focus on longer-tail keyword searches with stronger intent and a higher mobile conversion rate.