Must See! 15 rules to apply if you want to dominate in SEO 2018

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Dec 19, 2017
If you want to absolutely crush the SEO game in 2018, you need to put in the work.

15 Rules for SEO in 2018
If you're looking to dominate SEO in 2018, then there are loads of rules, but 15 stand out in particular. Be sure to pay homage to these rules if you're looking to dominate the SERPs.

1. Assess your page speed and improve where necessary.
Use Google's Page Speed Insights to determine the areas of improvement required for your domain. By considerably increasing your site's page speed, you can vastly improve your potential visibility. You can also use tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix and Varvy. Here are the areas you should be looking to improve with any page speed enhancement:

  • Reduce the server's response time to requests
  • Eliminate render-blocking CSS and JavaScript above the website fold
  • Leverage browser caching to enhance speeds of page elements being served up
  • Minify your JavaScript , CSS and HTML where possible
  • Enable compressions like GZip
  • Optimize all images with loss-less image optimizers like

2. Use a CDN for your domain and DNS when possible to quickly serve your content.
Utilizing content-deliver networks (CDNs) like Amazon's Cloudfront is crucial to being able to quickly serve your content to users no matter where they're located. CDNs spread your content across multiple servers all around the world by mirroring it, then serving that content from the closest server to the visitor.

You should also consider moving your DNS to a CloudFlare or similar configuration that will help with DNS propagation times. Often, DNS propagation can lag depending on who the registrar is and where their servers are located versus where the DNS request is coming from.

3. Build useful content that adds value.
Create great content. Always. And don't try to take shortcuts when doing it. Google's ability to sniff out great content is getting better and better with each passing month. Don't try to game the system here. Actually go out of your way to make great content. When you do, it'll reflect on your site and the traffic will increase. Great content will engage visitors and will invite them to share it. Overall, focus on these elements when building your content:

  • Never write content less than 2,000 words if you can avoid it
  • Create a healthy link profile both with internal links and relevant outbound links
  • Cite all your sources and back up facts with statics and studies
  • Section off your content and make it easy to read
  • Ensure that you place relevant, high-quality images as your primary photo
  • Utilize a healthy keyword usage but don't overuse or stuff keywords
  • Build content that's instructional and helps solve a problem
  • Write your content for humans by making it sound natural and organic while also paying homage to search engine.

4. Ensure mobile responsiveness and usability across devices.
Mobile searches are far outpacing desktop searches today. Focus on mobile responsiveness and usability. According to Search Engine Land, mobile searches were at nearly 60 percent of all searches in 2016. Take the time to ensure your site is optimized for mobile devices and can be easily used across all platforms by implementing a CSS library like Bootstrap or building out your own.

5. Focus on enhancing the user experience.
Create a great user experience. That means, make your site easy to use. Make it easy to navigate. Make it easy to search for and discover the right type of content. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use breadcrumbs in your navigation
  • Implement a fast site search
  • Don't make your website too graphic-rich
  • Make the main menu easy to use
  • Categorize all your content using tags or categorizes
  • Avoid using too many pop-ups
6. Supplement content with videos, audios or podcasts to increase engagements.
Site engagement is huge. Google is acutely concerned with the amount of time that users spend on your website. Thus, when you build useful and engaging content, people want to stick around longer. Now, you clearly need to leverage words and long-form content here. But, you should also supplement that content with videos, audios and podcasts as well. This will increase your average page times and session times.

7. Utilize Latent-Semantic Indexing for keyword diversity.
Latent-Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a core technology that Google uses in its Hummingbird search, which is its current iteration of semantic-style searching. LSI allows Google to serve relevant content by understanding what the user is searching for rather than trying to return back content based specifically on the keyword itself. LSI is also just a fancy way of saying the same thing in another way.

For example, "make money online" could be said in a number of ways like "generate cash on the internet" or "earn an income on the web" and so on. Google knows it's the same keyword. Utilize this for all your content. This will allow you to create organic and natural-sounding prose without having it appear keyword-stuffed.

8. Create relevant outbound links in your content.
Outbound links are important. Don't worry about sculpting them with nofollow or dofollow links. Simply create relevant links within the content so that people can continue on in their discovery journeys. Always have at least two to three relevant outbound links within every piece of content you create.

9. Focus on quality over quantity of links.
The quality of your links is far more important than the quantity of them. When building links to your content, don't go for mass numbers. Target the highest quality domains and ensure that those links are created naturally and organically. That should always be your goal and your aim. Think "white hat" and not "black hat" here.

10. Always market your content by leveraging trusted domains.
When I build content, even when I build it on trusted domains, I always market that content using other authority sites. No matter where you create that content, building content to market it is the key to winning SEO in 2018, or any other year for that matter. Simply create other useful pieces of content on authority sites like Quora, LinkedIn, Publishing and Medium, for instance, with a single link pointing to the original piece of anchor content.

11. Do not overuse ads above the fold.
Be careful of how much ad usage you have above the fold. At the end of the day, you don't want the large part of the header being taken up by ads. This is going to detract from the user's experience and Google specifically doesn't like this. Also, too many ads served from too many ad platforms is going to naturally slow down your site. Keep it to a bare minimum.

12. Create ungated super-guides with clear calls-to action.
Roland Frasier, one of the most respected names in the online marketing field, says that his company, Digital Marketer, is focusing on building ungated super-guides. Super guides are simply pieces of content that are massive value posts (MVPs) and drive such an enormous amount of engagement and shares that they help to catapult a domain into the stratosphere.

13. Do not try to do anything deceptive or sneaky.
Forget about doing anything that's deceptive or sneaky and focus on adding value. Don't try to redirect users or trick search engines by cloaking content. If you're serious about winning the game of SEO, whether it's in 2018 or any other near, you have to stay away from tactics like this. You'll lose Google's trust and the trust of any visitor coming to your website if you try these shady tactics.

14. Leverage social media to build viral content that links back to your domain.
Social media can certainly drive a tremendous amount of user traffic when done right. Leverage social media to build viral content that's not business-focused, but rather adds some sort of value, whether it's entertainment value or informational value in one way or another.

15. Solicit influencers in your niche to help you supercharge your results.
Target influencers to help push your content out there. Whether it's through Instagram or Facebook, there are plenty of influencers out there who can help champion your cause. It can help you reach a large audience, especially in the very beginning, and to help you get the word out there.