5 SEO Search Engine Optimization Tactics Your 2017 Strategy Should Have
Have you been engaged in search engine optimization for a long time? If so, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the SEO landscape evolves non-stop. This changes because search engines like Google and Bing continually optimize their algorithms to provide the best results to users. This entails keeping up with all the updates. Otherwise, you risk falling behind the competition. This new year, make sure to consider these 5 SEO techniques when adjusting your strategy.
Leverage Accelerated Mobile Pages
In early 2016, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages Project. The AMP project is a huge step toward providing a better user experience for mobile searchers. AMP pages load lightning fast. Indeed, it seems as if these pages load instantaneously on mobile devices. Compared to their non-AMP counterparts, AMP content requires significantly fewer data without compromising design and function.
It’s worth noting that AMP is an open source protocol. Anybody can create AMP content. So if you haven’t considered leveraging the power of Accelerated Mobile Pages, now is the best time to do so. This can have a huge impact on how you render content in front of your mobile audience.
Boost User Experience
For many years, online marketers have been debating about the importance of user experience regarding helping webpages rank better. Now, it is becoming clear that more and more websites focus on delivering user-friendly platforms. And what’s great is that Google seems to take note. After all, it only makes sense to give websites a ranking boost if they have low bounce rates, more time on page, and more pages per visit.
A website that offers excellent user experience is exactly the kind of website Google wants to display in their search results. Bear in mind that user experience covers several different factors including the accessibility and functionality of your website. You will do yourself a favor by improving page load speed, optimizing navigation process, boosting click through rates, and increasing engagement.
Of course, this must be paired with providing high-quality content including user-friendly landing pages and easy to digest infographics. Don’t forget that your content marketing strategy should work in cohesion with your SEO plan.
Consider The Google RankBrain
Nobody can deny that Google search algorithms have become very good at their primary function, which is to deliver the most relevant results to user queries. And before 2016 ended, they received a further boost in the form of the Google RankBrain.
Rankbrain is a machine learning system integrated into Google’s search algorithms. The goal is to make them even smarter. Interestingly, Google explained that RankBrain is now one of their top three ranking factors, with the other two being content and links. But what makes it particularly interesting is the fact that there seems to be no way to optimize for it. Unlike links and content which you can control, nobody can say for certain how RankBrain works.
It’s clear, however, that RankBrain can be a step toward placing more emphasis on other essential ranking signals. In particular, your content must be not only well optimized for search engines but also provide real value to readers. Eventually, RankBrain could even mean Google relying less on backlinks so as to prevent websites that engage in shady link building techniques from showing up in the SERP.
Build Your Brand
If you use search engines several times each day, you probably notice that huge brands dominate the search results. This doesn’t mean smaller websites do not have a chance at ranking on the first page. The takeaway here is to start building your brand. Instead of simply focusing on keywords, you must boost brand authority by creating a high-quality website and the follow through with excellent content.
Relying on exact match domains won’t do you any favors. Instead, build a brand revolving around a central topic. And when it comes to links, you don’t want your anchor text to contain your target keyword all the time. It looks very unnatural, potentially opening the doors to a Google penalty.
Use Short Branded Links
When planning your link building strategy, it’s important that you diversify your link profile as much as you can. Aside from building backlinks from a multitude of different domains and online platforms, you also want to make sure that your anchor text profile has a healthy mix of keywords, generic anchor text, and branded the links.
One of the latest trends is the use of short branded links. This is similar to the kind of links generated by URL shorteners. But instead of getting a short link that contains a random mix of letters and numbers, a short branded link gives a clearer signal of what your brand is. For example, Pepsi uses “pep.si” and NY Times uses “nyti.ms.” As you can see, these links are instantly recognizable, enticing users to share them more often.
You may notice that these SEO strategies place a large amount of importance in improving the user experience. From speeding up your website and delivering high-quality posts to building authority in your industry and making it easier for prospects to identify branded links – your 2017 SEO plan must revolve around offering real value to your target customers.