With a growing realization of the lackluster results social media marketing offers, many website owners are returning to the proven power of SEO. From ecommerce merchants to small business owners, webmasters are realizing there is no brand-building initiative as effective as enhanced search engine optimization. Social media spikes in traffic come and go (if you get any spikes at all), but an optimized website drives traffic forever. If you have decided this is the year you revitalize your website optimization strategy, following are five factors you should be paying attention to in 2017.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
If you’re not using AMP (accelerated mobile pages) for faster load times, you are going to lose out to competitors who are. Using AMP can significantly increase how quickly your site loads, especially on smartphones. Slow-loading sites can be ranked lower by search engines like Google. Dive into the AMP Project (ampproject.org/learn/overview) to understand how your website can benefit.
The quality of your outbound and inbound links has a huge impact on your search engine placement. From broken links on your website to linking out to low caliber domains, understanding how crucial links are to your SEO if vital if you hope to improve your search engine rankings this year. Use a link-checking tool (smallseotools.com/backlink-checker) to dive into the details on your site and get a clearer picture of where you might be able to make improvements.
The code on your website can also influence your site speed. If you have used a free template or added multiple plugins to your site, you should consider investigating your code for improvement opportunities. A top-notch programmer can review your code or you can use a tool like Codacy (codacy.com) to investigate your code quality. Small tweaks to your site’s code (like removing unnecessary code snippets) can help your site load faster, thereby potentially improving your SEO.
Your bounce rate can influence your search engine placement too. If your website offers quality content with helpful internal links, visitors will tend to visit multiple pages and stay on your site longer. If you are using thin (or spun) content, you will have a high bounce rate. Search engines crawlers use bounce rate as a factor in determining overall site quality. If you do only one thing to improve your SEO in 2017, upgrade the quality of the content you post.
Readability and Relevance
The readability and relevance of your content can also influence your SERP score. Your content needs to be relevant to your site; don’t purchase articles that have nothing to do with your site. Stay on point and offer content that is easily read by mainstream audiences. You don’t want preschool-level content (unless they’re your target audience), but you also don’t want scholarly articles your audience won’t read.
SEO in 2017 is a matter of sticking to the basics while ensuring your content is mobile-ready. There are no shortcuts to improved search engine placement (like keyword stuffing); simply focus on quality content and fast load times and you can’t go wrong. Will you be tweaking your search engine optimization strategy this year?