Here is what I recommend to focus on in 2018 to get ahead of your competition, to attract and retain more customers, and to take your company to the next level:
1. Customer Success and Search Intent
Create the best customer experience possible. Tap into your database of the existing customers and create marketing personas. Then get into their shoes and try to understand what is their true intent when they make a decision to buy from you.
Go over your website as if you were a potential customer. Answer the following questions:
Are there any obstacles in the conversion process? (buttons not clickable, page elements not visible/not accessible)
Do they understand what your company can do for them in the first 3 seconds after they have landed on your website?
Ask yourself: “How can I add even more value to my current, former and potential customers?”
2. Technical SEO
Make sure your website is faster than your competitors’ websites. Make sure it has no errors in the code. Implement schema.org markup on your website. This will help Google to index your website better and understand what your website is about, providing better search experience for your future customers. Make sure your website is on https and not on http. This is a must in 2018 for better ranking in Google.
3. On-page SEO
Make sure your page titles, page meta descriptions, h tags, and other important page elements include the important keywords you want to be found for. Make sure the information on your web pages is diverse and the topic is covered from as many angles as possible. Leave no stones unturned. Your webpages should have text, images, videos, gifs, lists, tables, etc.
4. Relevant backlinks
In 2018 do not opt-in for low cost or suspicious link building solutions. Google algorithms have become much smarter to find out what links do good for your website and which links make your website look spammy. These are the safe sources of backlinks I recommend to focus on.
links from your company social networking profiles (Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter account, your Youtube channel)
get a link from your city’s Chamber of Commerce website (business directory)
get links from your local reputable business directories
take part in your local community events and secure links from the events’ websites or local bloggers that cover these events
reach out to your business partners/clients/suppliers, and ask them to link back to you
constantly produce high-quality content that adds value for your target audience and amplify your content through your email list and social networks – this will help you get more natural links.
5. Voice Search
2018 will be the year of voice search. Here is how you can use that to get the edge.
Search queries have become looking more natural. Several years ago we would search Google for “dentist in Dallas”, and now it has turned into “Hey Siri, what is the best dentist in Plano near me?” or something similar. Think about the questions your customers might be asking when searching for your business and use these questions and answers to them in your website content. Here are some resources that will get you started:
6. AI and Machine learning
It’s highly likely that your company already has lots of data accumulated about your customers. Tap into the data that you have and make data-driven decisions. You can use the information that you have for better targeting, improved customer satisfaction, and cost reduction. Machine learning solutions are here to stay and now it’s all about who will incorporate them into the business practices first. Here is a good article on LinkedIn about this topic: