As a business owner, you want to make sure that you’re always top dog in search engine results. Unfortunately, you’re way too busy and are focused on too many other things to be able to dedicate any time to monitoring the latest Search Engine Optimization strategies and trends.
Because you’re still deploying decade-old SEO tactics, you’re starting to see fewer results and a significantly reduced return on your investment. Does this mean that you need t to ditch all of your old SEO plans and start from scratch? The good news is that SEO strategies are still relevant and useful in 2017, but you will need to make a few updates in order to be successful. Here’s a look at what’s still good this year, and how to get the most benefit from deploying these strategies.
Back when businesses were first discovering SEO, it was pretty easy to stuff web pages, blogs, and other web content full of keywords and obtain successful results. Today, however, taking this approach will absolutely kill your rankings - and could even get you in trouble with Google. The concept of keyword stuffing is dead, but the creation of content lives on after evolving into something much better. By dedicating time to anticipating consumer interests and needs, you can develop high-quality content that will attract and engage your target audience. The more relevant, useful, and helpful content you put out into the world, the more you will be repaid in boosted search engine rankings.
Consumers frequently go online to search for local businesses that offer the goods and services that they need. It’s important, then, that your content be directed at people in your region, rather than those on the other side of the globe. In the dark ages of SEO, businesses would try to improve local search rankings by using the names of their city and/or state frequently throughout their content - another form of keyword stuffing! Today, there’s a better way. We recommend building up listings on sites like Google Business and Yelp. These are 100% free, will indicate where you are located, will boost local rankings, and will allow your customers to learn more about you. In addition, make sure that you always complete your location and/or contact pages in a way that is optimized for local search.
The buddy system has always been a part of SEO. Businesses have long been trying to boost SEO by ensuring that their content is linked to other websites and web pages. As Google bots and webcrawlers have grown smarter, though, they tend to recognize weak or bad links, and low-quality linking could actually get you penalized. This doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to get links from other websites, though. Instead, you simply need to dedicate the time to building positive, meaningful relationships with other businesses and brands in order to earn their “mentions,” links, and web placements.
The Bottom Line
Over the course of the past several years, SEO has quickly evolved from being a set of simple, technical rules to being a complex, living and breathing being. While much more thought and effort needs to be put into your search engine rank-boosting efforts, though, many of the core concepts remain the same. Understanding the building blocks of SEO and how to fine-tune them into a unique and modern strategy is the key to surviving the digital age in 2017 and beyond.