SEO (Search engine optimization ) is constantly changing. Many people see it as mysterious, and more often than not very frustrating for local business owners. Even if you have perfected your website, adjusting the content and its functionality can help you climb past your competition to reach those coveted top 3 spots on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
Search engines like Google are consistently changing their algorithms that decide how websites like yours rank. It’s a good idea to frequently reset and refresh your SEO tactics. Let’s look at some of the latest and greatest SEO techniques that changed the game in 2017, and will continue to be crucial in 2018.
Here’s Everything You Need To Know About SEO In 2017.
AMP Pages Are Here to Stay.
Ever click on a result from google search only to be met with a ugly white page taking forever to load? I bet you didn’t wait very long before hitting the back arrow. Unless you were graced with more patience than the average web user, you probably didn’t wait more than a few seconds before bouncing off of the page, and testing the next result. Search data tells us that up to 40% of visitors will leave a web page if it fails to load in over 3 seconds.
Google knows this, and they penalize sites with slow load times and high bounce rate. They also punish site rankings for web pages that aren’t responsive, or don’t adapt for user friendly viewing on a mobile device. Mobile devices overtook computers as the number one way used to access websites last year, this mobile trend will only increase in 2018.
Don’t worry, there is good news. In 2016, Google began the AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project. This project was designed to be a new standard for building web content tailored to the mobile user. The goal of the project is to help website owners adapt their web code to lighter versions of their desktop pages that load About 30% faster according to SearchEngineLand.
Local SEO Is Important!
You love the term “local” because you’re a local business owner! Local SEO is the most important form of SEO for many small businesses. The best way to rise in the ranks is by building high authority backlinks pointing to your website from other websites. High authority links work great, but linking your pages to other local sites that are relevant to users in your area could help give you a boost too.
Here are some tips for your local rankings:
- Look at your competitor’s sites, where are their links coming from?
- Use your network. See if some of your local business friends are willing to trade links.
- Get your name out there. If you sponsor local clubs or support a local charity, let your customers know with links to these organizations.
Voice Search The Future.
“Siri, where is the closest salon & spa near me?” seem like a normal voice search? You have probably even made a voice search like this yourself. With the growing popularity of Amazon’s Aelxa and Google’s Home these types of searches are happening all the time. Guess what, your customers are voice searching too. They’re looking for restaurants, doctors, dentists, salon owners, accountants – businesses like yours – right now – via voice search.
So how do we cater to this type of searcher? Google’s featured snippets are the ultimate tool to recommended answer to a searcher’s question. And, these results actually appear before the normal search results.
Here’s How You Can Stay On-Top of Voice Search:
- Be strategic with your keywords. Think about the actual phrases your customers would search to find your business online, and incorporate these into your websites SEO strategy. You can also use tools such as SEM Rush to do in-depth research on your keywords.
- Produce new useful content on your site regularly. Whether in the form of blog posts or via a helpful new pages, think of the questions your customers may have about you, and offer them free answers. Doing this will help them find your website faster, and help establish you as an authority in your industry.
Avoid SEO Shortcuts.
Many “gurus” and business owners have tried to beat the system with SEO shortcuts and gimmicks like keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is when you place as many keywords throughout your copy as possible, without regard to the actual value the copy will bring to your audience. Googles robots and algorithms have gotten extremely smart over the years, and they see right past any “black hat” SEO trickery. In many cases Google will event penalize sites its notices are taking part in these shortcuts with a manual action against their search rankings.
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SEO is one of the most important, but most complex parts of every business marketing strategy. Luckily, Bryant Digital makes first page rankings super easy.