At the start of 2017, we decided to review what the priorities were last year, according to the pundits. We found that by and large, the predictions were good but the order and significance were wrong. Here’s what our SEO priorities are now:
|1||1||N/A||Give the customer what they want
Always our first priority. Make sure you deliver to the customer just what they are looking for. Web site, social media, paid advertising and email advertising all have to deliver a message that is cohesive, coherent and direct.
Quality is Job#1! It pleases the customer, it pleases Google and it saves you money on wasted expenditure and wasted effort.
In 2016, Google moved to prioritise mobile results, ahead of ‘desktop’. This was because more people are searching on mobile phones now. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly site then people won’t look at it and Google will penalise you.
Video is now the biggest opportunity for 2017. It’s a great way to get your message across, not only on your web site but especially in social media and YouTube. Facebook is a great place to post informative videos.
|4||5||-1||Moving beyond keywords
We still come across dinosaurs who believe that search success is found through specialised keywords. It is not.SEO success is found by delivering valuable content about your key topic areas. Search engine robots will look for related content and related phrases in your copy.
|5||6||-1||Content creation and branding
We need to create a stream of valuable content across your web site and social media, that is easy-to-read, helpful and leads to a call-to-action. Visual media, videos, infograms and diagrams as well as text.
|6||3||-3||Speed of communications and security
Really important but it should have been taken care of by now. Web site speed has been a criterion for Google for a while, requiring fast servers, fast communications and awesome page design. There are many coding techniques that will speed up delivery of your page content
This is really part of the first priority mentioned. Give customers the best experience so they like your site and they click through to find your products or services. If they can’t see what they want pretty quickly, they will be gone. If you have a high bounce rate, let’s say 60% or so, then your site is not being successful.
Links and domain authority are still important to Google’s search engine rankings. Links may be slightly less important than 2016. Google has incorporated it’s Panda and Penguin update into its regular algorithm and will downgrade if you have bad links from spammy sites.
The next big opportunity. As Google focuses more on mobile results, it will focus on location as well. When you search on your phone or tablet, you will get results in your local area. As web designers, we have to cover as many locations as we can with relevant information and case studies. Making sure you have a strong Google Places entry, with good references, is very important.
Tools for social media automation have been around for a few years. They are continually changing. Enhanced analytics are continually coming from Google, MOZ, Semrush and others; this gives you better feedback on web site performance and link integrity. It’s a competitive issue, you need to have the best tools to do the best job.
Potential new entry – new social media
Social media changes all the time. It’s the nature of the beast as they are driven by young people who find new and better ways to communicate. Keeping on top of this is important as new media may offer a better way to get to your current and prospective clients. In 2016 Instagram and Snapchat were really useful as they introduced sponsored adverts for businesses. Keeping up to date on new social media and current social media development should be an essential part of your digital marketing plan for 2017.
Please get in touch if you need any help with web site SEO.