Epyk Digital is an SEO agency in Johannesburg, and we work mostly with small businesses that are trying to get a piece of the pie when it comes to SEO and getting on that 1st page of Google for the keywords that they are trying to rank for.
In 2018, we still see a lot of local businesses that are not taking advantage of free tools, like Google My Business, and truth be told, these businesses are losing a lot of sales for not showing up in the local pack.
SEO gets tougher every year, and for businesses that have not gotten online, they are getting left behind. more and more small businesses need to invest in SEO, and if you are a small business and you are looking to win the SEO game, you need to take a look at these SEO trends that will impact on your small business in 2018.
Voice search is going to matter even more in 2018 . . . and that’s why we have Google Assistant. To get the full benefits of Google Assistant, you need to consider long tail keywords. The great thing with long tail keywords, is that they have less competition, and even though they may not have much traffic, they are better targeted.
SERP Rich Snippets
Small businesses (and big ones) are going for that page 1 spot with all their might, and getting on that 1st page is amazing. However, if you have been using Google and observing, you would have noticed that Google has introduced SERP features, the most common being the featured snippets and local packs. If you have seen the SERP rich snippets, you will know that they grab the eye, and they command the searcher to take a look. This way, the searcher does not have to click the snippet, as they give the answer to the question that the searcher is looking for. For your small business, this means that you have missed out on a click. Small businesses therefore should work on being featured in that snippet and enjoy all the SEO benefits and traffic.
Site speed matters
The speed of your site and how fast it loads is a ranking factor and it’s a known fact that Google loves sites that load faster. If you think your site may have issues with speed, head on over to Google’s Page Speed Insights to find out those issues and get them sorted out. Most of us love WordPress, because it’s great for SEO. The truth however is it uses a lot of plugins to improve the functionality of the site. There are also scripts that could possibly slow down the site, so take a moment and check how your site is being affected by the plugins/scripts that you have. No one has time to wait around while your site loads . . . people will simply go to your competitor.
Mobile is HUGE
Right now in 2018 . . . most small business sites still aren’t mobile friendly/not responsive. It is crucial that your site can be viewed on different devices, because people use many devices to access the internet. Having a website that gives a poor experience when using a mobile phone or a tablet costs your business a lot of money and most people will just click on the back button and visit a competitors website. A website that is unresponsive will negatively impact on the engagement and bounce rate of your site, and these are ranking factors for SEO on Google, so make sure that you sort out your site. If you need a site redesign, don’t wait, get it done.
Get an SSL certificate
Back in 2014 Google announced that HTTPS would be a ranking factor and fast forward to 2018, the people who have SSL on their sites are enjoying the benefits of better rankings. Great SEO coupled with an SSL certificate can help you outrank your competitors . . . so if you don’t have the certificate yet, make that a priority. Simply inquire about it from your hosting company or come to us. SSL certificates are not that expensive, so not having one just does not make sense to a business owner.
If you are a local business owner in Johannesburg, or in South Africa, and you take these steps and implement them on your website, you definitely will see your rankings improve. These tactics can get you on that first page of Google,and if you need assistance, just get in touch with us at 076 128 5968.