The new year always tends to bring a whack of shiny new marketing ideas that are exciting and fun. Before you get caught up in blockchain, A.I. chatbots, VR, paid social ads or any other new digital rabbit hole, remember that website SEO should be your top priority first. Because SEO is the single most important strategy that delivers measurable results for digital growth.
There's a lot of ground to cover in SEO, here are just a few things you should know about why SEO delivers top ROI.
1. Over 90% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
Want people to find your business online?
Then you'll need to make SEO a top priority (Source: Junto).
2. There are over 1 billion active websites online today.
Just a *little* competition for online attention today so making the most of your website means SEO is a MUST.
You can check out the real time website counter on Internet Live Stats here.
3. 81% of consumers use search engine research before making a purchase.
Wanna make sales?
Better make SEO your number 1 digital priority (Source: Junto).
4. Your website needs to be 100% mobile for top SEO rankings.
ICYMI, mobile is the norm online today.
The majority of internet searches and website activity happen on mobile (Source: Google Think).
And, Google's new mobile search indexing means that any websites that aren't mobile optimized will see a hit on SEO rankings (Source: Search Engine Land).
So, if your website isn't already mobile optimized, 2018 is the year to make it so for the sake of your SEO.
5. Half of website visitors will leave a site that takes more than 2 seconds to load.
If your website takes too long to load, your bounce rate goes way up and your SEO takes the hit.
Fast loading websites are a must for any effective SEO strategy.
6. Front end and back end SEO best practices WORK.
SEO isn't some magic vortex.
Search engines run on the ability to connect the user search with the most relevant websites.
This means that it's in everyone's best interest to use the free and available services that walk you through the front and back end SEO best practices to get your website front and center for your target audience.
Google services are fracking awesome and free. Get set up ASAP at Google Analytics.
7. Your website pages need unique titles and good content.
Front end SEO is all the stuff that's visible to your website users and it matters.
Website pages and content should focus on keywords for your website.
2018 is the year of voice search so you'll want to have search keywords and conversational keywords in the mix. Everyone's going to be updating SEO keywords this year.
8. Tags and descriptions matter for your SEO big time.
All that back end stuff, descriptions, tags, alt tags, meta descriptions - the back stuff people don't see but Google does. You need to get this all set up with keywords.
Get the Yoast plugin and use it.
9. Keep your eyes on the prize.
No digital strategy is as important to get new leads and convert new leads as SEO for your website.
Start with SEO and be sure your website is set up to capture email addresses from your website visitors.
10. Use micro social media to boost organic reach.
Most people know about macro social media, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest but what about the growing importance of micro social media?
You heard it here first, micro social media (A.K.A. online business listings) are becoming more and more important for SEO in 2018.
Be sure that on business listings online like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google My Business, have accurate and consistent information. Update your website with your new 'https' (oh yes, get your SSL if you don't already have it!). And make sure all your descriptions and photos are keyword optimized to get an SEO boost from micro social channels.
Remember that no matter what other digital strategies you're using, SEO is a top priority for long-term digital growth.