2017 is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your SEO strategy and to identify some opportunities for improvement.
With the right tweaks to your strategy, you can start getting the results you want without as much effort or as much investment.
Many things are changing over this year with SEO, while some things are just as important as ever. Here is an overview of the top 2017 SEO priorities you should have for your marketing strategy:
Review the Google Search Console
The Google Search Console provides important information about your website that can affect your SEO, but many people overlook it entirely.
Whether you’ve never looked at the Google Search Console or you review it regularly, now is a good time to take a look and see what it has to tell you about your site.
The Search Console will help you make sure that there are no errors in your site markup, will give you feedback about your site’s mobile usability, and will give you suggestions for HTML improvements, such as meta descriptions and page titles.
You will also get information about crawl errors, and you can use the console to make sure that no resources are blocked and preventing search engines from crawling your pages.
Taking care of any issues identified on the console will immediately improve your SEO efforts.
Search for Content Gaps
Are you creating content for all the search terms your target audience is using?
Have you written exhaustively on the topics you have covered?
Is there another angle you need to explore? Or do you need to provide more information or more concrete examples or solutions?
The answers to these questions will help you determine if you have any gaps in your content. Since content is king when it comes to your SEO, it is important that you have all the important content on your site.
Study your site and find the areas where you need to add to your content or beef it up.
Implement Google AMP
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, provides a way for you to get your articles in front of more mobile users.
The pages appear almost instantly on mobile devices, and they do not require users to click through on the headline to see the text. They capture more visitors because they are readily available and are attention-grabbing.
There is no direct ranking benefit from using AMP, but the other benefits do enhance SEO. For example, the additional visitors that the pages attract will improve your traffic numbers, which will improve your search rank.
AMP also improves user engagement, which increases sales and conversions. There is no down side to AMP – only positives.
Switch to HTTPS
Security has become a major concern for Google, and the search giant is making it an important part of ranking evaluations.
You can make your site more secure by switching it over to HTTPS. Not only will you make Google happy and be rewarded with better rankings, but you will also give your visitors confidence so that they will happily remain on your site and visit again.
Switching over to HTTPS is also a requirement for adopting HTTP2, which will help your site load faster and create a better user experience. Better site speeds will also keep people on your site longer, encourage increased traffic, and help you get better ranking in search.
Optimize for Mobile
The number of mobile users is only getting bigger, and Google is prioritizing mobile results in search. Now Google is implementing a mobile first index exclusively for mobile users.
You must create a dedicated mobile website that includes unique content and that is designed specifically with mobile users in mind. The content on the site should incorporate keywords that mobile visitors use, and it should provide immediate and concrete solutions to their problems or needs.
If you do not have the time or resources to create a dedicated mobile site, you can buy some time with a responsive website design. This won’t be a perfect fix, but it will give you some time until you can create the dedicated mobile site.
Make sure that your responsive site keeps the needs of mobile users in mind, such as being able to load quickly and not using large graphics or videos that won’t display correctly.
Use large links, easy navigation, bulleted lists that make content easier to read, and more.
You will likely have many more tasks to accomplish to boost your SEO, but these are the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your rankings this year. Making some of these changes will help you see immediate gains, including more traffic, more leads, and more sales. Start working on these priorities and move through them as quickly as possible to meet your goals in 2017.