Here is the first of this 2-part series on top SEO tips for 2017 to help improve your site’s search engine optimisation, natural search rankings and attract more visitors.

 

1) Content, content and more content?

Content is still the most important factor in search engine rankings, so there’s no such thing as too much content – providing of course that it’s done properly! Search engines are constantly striving to provide the best quality, relevant results for their users. So, to rank well, your content needs to adhere to all the latest SEO best practices when it comes to structure, tags, length, links, keyword density etc etc. And don’t forget, content can be videos, images and infographics as well as new pages and blog articles.

 

2) Local search

There are a number of things you can do on-site to improve your rankings for location-specific search phrases, such as making sure you have your address and a Google map in your footer. Off-site, you need to make sure you have up-to-date and complete listing on Google, Yahoo and Bing business pages, as well as creating/claiming business listings on other online business directories. You also need to have consistent information on all your of your business listings. Reviews are also great for local search engine optimisation, as long as they are genuine – ask your customers to post reviews on Google and/or other relevant review sites like TrustPilot or Trip Adviser.

 

3) Load times

If your pages take ages to load, you’ll put off visitors and search bots alike. You can speed up your pages by compressing files, reducing images sizes, minifying CSS, HTML & JavaScript and removing redundant resources that have to be loaded before your above-the-fold content.

 

4) Site structure

Search Engine Optimisation requires that your site employs the basic best practice use of meta tags, header tags, alt tags, page structure, internal link structure and usability. It’s also a good idea to use a cornerstone content structure. Cornerstone pages are those that are most important for your business to rank for. So if your business has 4 main product/service types, you would have your homepage linking to 4 cornerstone pages, one for each product/service, and then most of the other pages on the site linking back to the relevant cornerstone page. Organising your content in this way allows your site’s PageRank to be channelled through the cornerstone pages, giving them the best possible chance of ranking well for your most important keyword searches.

 

5) Sliders are BAD!

Designers love sliders as they look great, but there are loads of reasons why they should be avoided at all costs, including the negative impact they have on SEO. Content in sliders is often overlooked and not always indexed by search engines. They take ages to load and push the rest of the content down below the fold, reducing its effectiveness, increasing bounce rates and reducing conversion rates. Sliders can be replaced by a background image with a block of content overlaid.

 

Click here for the 2nd article in the series and another 5 top tips…

 

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