I belong to a community named Wealthy Affiliate and each week there is a live recorded video training session. In January of this year, the instruction was on how to do SEO marketing in 2018. Really it was more about a process than actual SEO. However, at the end of this post, I will give you a few SEO hints on getting indexed in Google faster.
The host of the live event is Jay, also known as magistudios (username at WA). He makes his living applying the affiliate marketing model first learned within our community. He gave us some very useful insight into marketing methods that will help boost your biz in 2018.
Keeping a Business Journal
Okay, I felt the same way. Is this a real marketing strategy? Well, not really but it can sure help. It is a fact that all successful business people keep a journal or diary. As a matter of fact, I wrote a post titled “The Art of Working From Home” which has a short excerpt on the importance of scribing or writing daily.
The benefits are significant from goal setting to jotting down creative ideas which may be forgotten. I know in my case recording my frustrations and setting daily goals has truly helped me deal with difficulties and keep focused even when I don’t accomplish all of the tasks I set out to do each day.
Here are a few suggestions of topics you can write about in your business journal:
- live webinars (that is what I did for this post)
- thoughts on training or lessons
- ideas for creating blog posts
- key learning “breakthroughs”
- accomplishments (rankings, sales etc.)
- niche related information
- short & long-term goals
- anything you feel is helpful & appropriate
What SEO Marketing Should I Not Do in 2018?
Knowing what not to do when applying SEO marketing techniques is just as important as understanding what is required to rank well in the search engines. Of course, Google and Bing have guidelines which every webmaster needs to read but it can be very technical for the average online entrepreneur.
The following is a few practices that will harm your website if not in the short term definitely in the long-run.
1. Shiny Objects Will Mostly Lead to A Loss in Revenue
Approximately 74,000,000 people have their websites hosted on WordPress. Site owners use plugins to add functionality and personality but this can decrease website loading time. Our community recommends a maximum of 5, however, it is on a shared server which means individual bandwidth is limited.
A plugin is a software component that adds a specific feature to the WordPress site. For example, I have one called EWWW Image Optimizer to compress any photos I upload to my website (helps with loading speed). Either a large number or highly complex plugins could slow down your website.
More significantly you want to avoid blackhat technology or automated tools. There are two reasons to be concerned. First, as mentioned above it could dramatically reduce loading time resulting in a loss of position in search engine ranking and second, as a consequence, a reduction in website visitors.
What is blackhat software? Basically, they are tools designed to “game the system”. The authorities always catch up with these guys and find ways to eliminate their effectiveness usually leading to a total loss of revenue. People who use them need to start their businesses over.
The developers are usually okay as they create the next blackhat tool but their followers often suffer as they are less experienced and can’t keep up with all the changes. Better to play by the rules.
2. Buying Backlinks Will Set You Back Big Time
Legitimate backlinks still play an important role in online SEO. There is some controversy surrounding this issue, however, based on the research I have done I believe it is still a part of the search engine algorithms. The key here is to be patient and do it correctly.
Hence, do not buy backlinks because it goes against Google Webmaster rules. The penalty if discovered will be harsh and buying backlinks attracts serious scrutiny from the Google. Having said that some people report good results but I do not endorse doing it.
3. Keyword Stuffing is a Big No-No!
Old habits die hard. I still think about keywords all the time. Now I actually need to remind myself not to use them too often. Putting your keyword in the title and once above the fold is enough. Quality content is emphasized these days. Above the fold is on the first page a visitor sees – I included it in the first paragraph.
I also use meta titles, meta descriptions, alternative tags and internal links. There is some debate about the effectiveness of the meta title and description but as I will explain further down it does help me with the initial indexing of a post.
4. Ads & Banners – A Thing of The Past?
I know of people using Adsense. The point is not to overdo it. Strategically place a couple of ads on your website because these days people seem to be turned off. The other point is it takes an awful lot of visitors to earn money because you only get paid for the clicks on the ad which is quite low.
The authority website model is probably not the best for Adsense, especially at the beginning. Maybe when you are receiving thousands of visitors per day but then you run the risk of them leaving the site.
Banners seem to be outdated too. Although, if you do use them do it sparingly. I place a small one above the fold and most affiliate links or large banners or near or at the bottom (none at the time of writing).
How to Penalty Proof Your Website
In addition to following the recommendations outlined above in what not to do, there are a couple of more actions which will help secure and ensure your internet site is search engine friendly.
First get the secure socket layer (SSL) implemented. It is easy to do. Sometimes you will need to pay extra for this service but it is also possible that your host will include the service with your web-hosting package. This is the case for me.
Next, make sure you have Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tool accounts. There is a bit of a learning curve but having your site registered will give you all kinds of useful information – not to mention I believe it helps to get posts indexed faster.
Finally, make certain your site is mobile friendly. Google has stated that more than 50% of searches are now coming from mobile devices. Using a responsive theme (mobile friendly) is a must. In addition, it is recommended that you use a theme with accelerated mobile pages (AMP).
Jay’s SEO Marketing in 2018
Now it is significant to note that Jay is an accomplished marketer with a well-established business. Those just beginning their online business may not be ready to implement all of these marketing strategies. It is also worth stressing that the model at times may apply to affiliate marketing taught here at Wealthy Affiliate.
1. Focus on mobile but bring the visitors back to desktop. The reasoning is mobile users are passive readers but do not make many purchases. Supply an opt-in form so they can enter their email and read a post later on your site.
2. Rich snippets look attractive and can increase the click-throughs to your website and affiliate links. What are they? Simply stated star ratings. There are various plugins which provide the service.
3. Social Media ad placements can skyrocket the number of people who view your blog. This is accomplished by reaching out to popular social media personalities in your niche. Just one share could potentially be worth a fortune.
4. Video marketing is becoming increasingly popular on social media and did you know more people watch YouTube than TV? I have experimented with this and it works. You can make course material as well.
5. Paid traffic is always a great way to increase revenue but you need to know what you are doing first. The best way to proceed is to focus solely on long-tailed keywords. There are still plenty available or many niches.
6. Retargeting is the process whereby if the visitor does not make a purchase the first time you target them again with ads on their social media page etc. This technique is used by the big marketers and is proven to increase sales.
7. Offline traffic still works but I tend to agree with Mike Dillard. I’m an introvert so I want to build the business online with as little interaction as possible. No cold calls or chatting up strangers. Not my style but it works for others.
8. Email marketing is always huge. I think Jay is coming to this realization a little late in the game. People like Anik Singal have been teaching this for ages using affiliate marketing as well. It’s never too early to start.
How I Get Indexed in Google Within 24 Hours
I promised you at the beginning I would include some hints about indexing. What I am going to teach you I also learned from within my online community.
In the first stages of website development, it takes time for Google to become familiar with your site and recognize how often you post. However, after the site itself is indexed and you have a few posts under your belt this method almost ensures indexing within 24 hours.
First, you need to have quality content. The length of all my posts is between 1500 and 2500 words and I try my best not to use fillers or useless information. You know, stuff just to fill in space and reach my word goal. It is better to have a short quality post than a long inferior one.
Then I ensure the following is implemented:
- The keyword is in the title & once above the fold.
- One internal link & one external link is included in post content.
- Meta title and description are filled in.
- One image has my keyword included in the URL.
- It has an alt tag filled in.
- I share the article at Google plus.
- I send the article for indexing through Google fetch.
This works wonders for me as the page or post is indexed within hours. How do I know? Well, there is a tool at WA which notifies me as soon as Google indexes it. You can also check it out manually but it can be time-consuming. Note this is different from ranking. However, the post must be indexed before ranking can occur.
There are certainly many different techniques for marketing online. What you need to remember above all else is to use legitimate marketing techniques to secure the long-term survival of your website. Those pursuing the affiliate marketing model can benefit from the ideas in this article.
I would like to recognize Jay once again for his wonderful training and making this post possible for me to write. If you have any questions about how to do SEO marketing please let us know. Furthermore, please click SEO Marketing in 2018 if you would like to watch the recorded training video in its entirety.