Here is the second 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.
6) Switch to SSL ASAP!
If you haven’t already switched to SSL (i.e. having the HTTPS instead of HTTP in front of your site’s url), doing so will improve your search rankings. Search engines want to make sure that the sites they link to are secure for their users. SSL encrypts data, making your site more secure to use, which is why sites using it are preferred by search engines.
As well as looking great on your site, and providing more interactivity for your users, videos are great for improving SEO rankings. Bite-sized videos (no more than a few minutes) that have been posted on your YouTube channel and then embedded on your site are best, but don’t leave it there. You can push a link to the video on your site out to your other social media feeds, use it in your advertising, online PR, email newsletters and even write a blog article about the video with highlights and comments from the transcript.
8) Backlinks are still important
Although not as important as they used to be, a good backlink profile still helps. Make sure you regularly review your backlinks, remove/disavow bad ones, and take a strategic approach to building new ones. Build your backlinks manually by engaging with trustworthy websites, sharing content, guest blogging and requesting backlinks wherever you’re mentioned.
9) Be clear on which keywords you want to rank for
You probably have a good idea which keyword phrases you want to rank for, but it’s important to know exactly what your target audience are actually searching for – there may be differences in how you refer to your products/services, compared to what users are actually typing into search engines. It’s also important not to try to rank for too many keywords, as doing so may impede your rankings for each one – try to keep your keyword focus list to no more that 5-10 phrases. Regular keyword reviews and thorough keyword research will help you identify opportunities, such as high-volume/low-competition phrases that you might not have considered, as well as changes in search trends.
10) Voice search
With the popularity of smart phones, a wide variety of voice search apps, and the more recent developments in smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search is set to change the future of SEO. Whether you use Siri, Cortana or Alexa, voice search is more natural and conversational in tone. As your device usually knows where you are, it’s also more mobile and localised, with phrases tending to be longer and contain more questions. To optimise your site for voice search, you’ll need to start thinking about how people actually speak and how your customer phrase specific questions about your products or services. A good place to start is your most frequently asked questions.
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