Top SEO Tips for 2017

SEO tipsSince we’re well established in the new year, you’ve likely already been strategizing with your SEO team on how to organically rise to the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages) you’re looking to rank on.  Your plan is well laid out and you’re ready to tackle this constantly evolving creature head on.  Or maybe you haven’t and it’s already February and you’re in a panic. Don’t worry; there’s still time to catch up. We’ve got some well informed SEO tips that will set you on the right course for 2017 and up your visibility in the digital sphere this year.

Prioritize Mobile

This tip should already be one you’re taking seriously, but if not, please do.  For the sake of your success as a company and your online visibility, you need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile use.  I don’t need a statistic to tell you that users are primarily accessing information from their smartphones or tablets.  Additionally, our attention spans are shortening as access becomes increasingly fast paced.  For both of these reasons (and the fact that Google will penalize you in its search results if you’re not mobile friendly), your website needs to focus its attention on catering to mobile users.  No ifs, ands, or buts about this one.

Think Evergreen

For your content, that is.  Instead of churning out content simply for the sake of filling a content quota, focus on masterfully crafting copy that is compelling, actionable, and truly valuable for your readers.  Create useful articles that people can come back to long term.  Your users not only desire this, but Google will reward it as well.  The recent Panda algorithm update by Google is purposed to search and deliver quality content.  Keep this in mind and make it your focus when it comes to content creation in 2017.

Be Prepared for Long-Form Content Changes

In the past, content that contained over 2,000 words reportedly rose to the top of the SERPs.  This type of in-depth content is important (and will continue to remain so for desktop use) and has tended to rank well, but there are a couple of caveats to this approach.

First, there’s the danger of filling a large word count quota with a whole lot of nothing for the sake of creating long copy.  This isn’t going to get you anywhere with Google, since as we mentioned above, the search engine is actively heat-seeking quality content.

Second, with our focus changing from desktop to mobile platforms, this is likely to see some change.  Long-form content isn’t ideal for mobile and so the best practice here is to pump your content chock full of useful information while keeping it relatively short and optimized for mobile users.

Evolve Keyword Strategy

As you’re honing your keyword list and what you’d like your brand to be ranking for, an important piece of the SEO tips puzzle for this year is to be mindful of user intent.  What this means is to be aware of what your consumers will be searching for and keenly perceptive of semantics.  We’re talking about identifying phrases that relate to products, services, and websites a user may search for rather than a black and white list of keywords found.

Intention is everything in 2017 when it comes to search engines, and Google in particular is keying in on detailed phrases instead of broad stroke keywords.  Where Google goes, the SEO-minded must follow.

Don’t Put All of your SEO Eggs in the Google Basket

Or something like that. The point here is that you don’t want to focus so entirely on Google’s best practices that you forget to cater to other important search engines like Bing or Yahoo.  There are consumers who utilize these services and it would be short-sighted of your brand to ostracize them by not optimizing your site for these engines.

Consider that Siri uses Bing as its default search engine and then keep on considering and realize how many iPhone users never change that default setting.  Make sure you’re seeing the big picture and covering all of your search engine bases.

SEO Tips 2017: Conclusion

Your main takeaway here is user experience.  If you’re crafting your site to best serve your users and giving them ample reason to share and return to your space, you’re on the right track.  For more SEO tips and for answers to any questions you may have regarding your SEO for 2017, contact JJ Web Services.