There have been some big changes in SEO practices in 2018. Here’s the lowdown on the facts you need to arm yourself with to become an SEO champion in 2019.
1. Keyword Meta Tags Aren’t Useful for SEO Anymore
Don’t misunderstand the above statement: SOME meta tags are still essential for SEO, namely your title tag and your meta description.
However, the keyword meta tags you use to help your page rank for particular things? Google doesn’t care anymore.
Search engines caught onto the fact that less scrupulous website owners were using keyword meta tags to rank for things that, actually, their page wasn’t relevant for. That’s why it’s no longer important.
2. Page Load Speed Matters
Google rewards websites for fast load times.
A slow-loading page will instantly harm your chances of ranking.
There are many things you can do to minimise load times, however. For example, change the order stack of the page load to prioritise essential content (and load adverts last).
3. Google Doesn’t Care About Keyword Density
It used to be that you could hide keywords in white text on the page to stuff your website with content to rank.
Google and other search engines caught onto keyword stuffing spam practices. Instead, keywords had to be put in at a natural density – not too often, and not too rarely – for a page to rank.
That doesn’t matter anymore.
You need to make sure your content is serving the user’s query, no matter how many keywords you do (or don’t) use. Don’t over-stuff keywords, as Google will recognise that – but you don’t need to have a precise number of them, either.
4. You Can Have Duplicate Content Without a Penalty
Google has a duplicate filter.
Duplicate content is filtered to show the most relevant example of that content for the user query.
There is no such thing as a penalisation for duplicate content. Your most relevant page for the search query will rank, which is why it may look like you’re being penalised for duplicate content. In fact, if you click ‘view similar results’, you’ll see the other duplicate pages come up.
5. You Need to Optimise Time on Site, Not Click-Through Rates
Your content may drive traffic to your website, but if users are bouncing almost immediately that’ll damage your ranking ability.
Optimise your website to capture the right audience instead of every possible audience. Tailored content encourages people to stay on the site for a longer period of time.
It’s the time on site that Google now looks at, and not how many people are going to your site in the first place.
…And 3 SEO Myths Totally Busted
There are some things about SEO you may have heard over and over again. Here are three of the most common SEO myths totally busted.
1. Content Is King!
Without including links as part of your SEO strategy, your content isn’t going to be much use.
Strategic external and internal linking practices need to occur on every piece of your content if you want it to rank.
2. Sitemaps Are for Nerds
Since the introduction of mobile first ranking, sitemaps have become increasingly important for SEO.
Every website needs a sitemap.
Without a sitemap, Google and other search engines may miss relevant content on your website. That means you’re missing out on ranking – when you could be a very relevant search result.
3. Social Media Posts Help Your Ranking
While social media CAN help your brand gain visibility and spread your content, it won’t affect your search rankings.
The links you get back to your website, generated by interest caused by your social media post, will help your SEO. It’s not the social post itself, it’s the link you share (and that others, hopefully, will post as a backlink on their website).
No Time to Update?
These are just a handful of SEO facts and myths: there are many more that’ll blow your mind if you want to update your strategy.
It’s time to ask an expert for help. Get in touch with our team today for an audit to help you develop a supercharged SEO strategy for 2019.