A strong internet presence has become an absolute must for any company, no matter what it does. In recent years, the field of marketing has largely shifted its focus from other, more traditional media to online content and social networks. However, a website, no matter how well done, is of very little worth if it does not rank well with search engines. That is why SEO has become absolutely indispensable for any modern marketing specialist worth their salt. Of course, just like anything else internet-related, SEO changes all the time. After all, as search engines evolve, SEO must follow, or it will become useless and obsolete.
Here are the main trends SEO specialists should keep an eye on in 2017:
Start with analysis
Like any other job, good SEO must first be based on a proper analysis of your audience’s needs and habits. Data from your page is invaluable as a source of information – it’s a unique window into your visitors’ behavior. If your bounce rate is high – you definitely have a problem that needs solving. The bounce rate is the number of people who stay on your page for a very short time and leave without doing what you ideally want your visitors to do. Your goals may differ depending on your website – sometimes the ultimate goal is a purchase, sometimes a subscription, and sometimes a click on an ad. Whatever it is, when the visitor stays on your page long enough and actually completes that desired action, that’s called a conversion. A high conversion rate is what you are really aiming for. All of the info you need in order to improve your page is readily available, but it does require a solid grasp of Google Analytics basics.
Content is king
This should go without saying, but nothing beats quality content. While it doesn’t guarantee top ranking in itself, it is your basic building block for success. Without plenty of good content, you don’t have the basis on which to build your online empire. That is why SEO always leans on an abundance of interesting texts that will attract visitors to your page and keep them there. Internet users are always on the lookout for the best and most useful pages, and, because the competition online is stiff, it is up to the site owners to offer the best possible content. It is no wonder then that the skyscraper technique is one of the most popular concepts of white hat SEO – it relies simply on offering drastically more and better content than anyone else.
Target the local audience
The desired outcome of every visit to your website is to increase your conversion rates. There is no better way to achieve this than to tailor your SEO specifically for the local audience. Although the world has become a global village, purchases and subscriptions are still most likely if you target your audience geographically. Geo-targeted keywords can often help you bypass huge international players, and bring a huge increase in visits, conversions, and finally ‒ revenue.
Find your way into Rich Answers
Google’s Rich Answers are rapidly changing the face of browsing. You might not be aware of what they’re called, but you’ve certainly seen them. Every time Google gives you a direct answer to the question from your search – those are Rich Answers. Of course, Google has to draw each answer from a relevant website, and your aim should be to be that website. Because the gain from being featured is potentially huge, Rich Answers will be one of the focal points for SEO strategy in 2017.
Speed is always a major draw
Optimization for speed is one of the main steps in making your website attractive to users. Users can’t be credited with too much patience – they want great quality, and they want it fast, preferably in a pretty package. It is only logical that no one will stick around and plod their way through a website that takes ages to load. That is why, when I’m working on a website, I make sure to optimize every aspect including videos and images. I also compare internet providers near me to ensure I get the most bang for my buck.
Although chasing Google and constantly keeping up with its changes and modifications might seem exhausting, it is, nevertheless, necessary if you want the benefits of a well ranked website. In this day and age, users have become spoiled for choice. There is so much easily accessible, quality content, that today more than ever, they are highly unlikely to dig deep and go past the first page of their search results. If you wish to have a good online presence that you can benefit from, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with SEO trends and tricks.