The ultimate goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to drive traffic from search engines to webpages. In the beginning of SEO, this was often done utilizing shady tactics, such as keyword stuffing. Over the last 10 years, however, the focus has shifted to working with search engines instead of attempting to outsmart them. Because of this, SEO is a unique practice that is continually evolving and adapting in efforts to remain compliant with changes set forth by popular search engines. In 2017, the goal is to provide users with quick, relevant and accurate results. The top 5 SEO Practices in 2017 keep this goal in mind to generate these results:
1. Quality Content
In the past, keywords were the most important factor in search engine optimization. Web content or blog posts lacked real substance and instead catered to the inclusion of keywords. This often resulted in content that provided no value to readers, as it was overstuffed with keywords. Over the last few years, the concentration has switched and high quality content began to reign supreme. Most in the field now agree that “content is king.” Well-written, accurate content will continue to remain one of the most important aspects of SEO in 2017.
2. Topic vs. Keyword
While keywords are still crucial to successful search engine optimization, this year many are thinking beyond them. Since the beginning of SEO’s development, experts have researched popular search engine queries and formed keywords to work into their content. These days, however, SEO professionals are realizing that they should be equally concerned with providing answers to these queries through content with related topics.
3. Local SEO
For those with brick-and-mortar businesses, local SEO is vital in 2017. With local SEO, users are able to receive a list of nearby businesses that relate to the terms entered into a search engine. This is especially effective in drawing in new customers.
4. Mobile-Friendly Sites
It is difficult to imagine a website that is not mobile friendly in 2017 but shockingly, there are numerous ones still in existence. Not only does a mobile-friendly website grant access to the 77 percent of Americans with smartphones, it also improves SERP rankings. The more mobile-friendly a website is in 2017, the better its search engine optimization results will be.
5. Backlinks with Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers and influencer marketing became all the rage in 2016 and this trend in SEO will carry on well past 2017. This is partially because it gets people talking but, as far as search engine optimization is concerned, influencer marketing works because of the backlinks. This, in turn, improves rankings and ranks a website higher on the SERP.