Search engine optimization is the chameleon of digital marketing; it’s constantly evolving to harmonize with its ever-changing background. Which means: the tools you used to boost your site’s ranking one year may send it crashing down the next. Here’s what you need to know for SEO in 2017:
1. How important is mobile?
Crucially so. Mobile Google searches now drive more traffic to websites than desktops (60% vs. 40% to be exact). Without a tablet-friendly version, you’re not at the back of the race; you’re not even on the track to begin with.
2. Is long-form content still king?
Once word got out about the benefits of high word count, landing pages started to read like Tolstoy novels, only with a whole lot of fluff. Bad content no longer helps you: in 2017, short and dense is the name of the game; quality over quantity.
3. What’s the “key” to keyword optimization?
One answer: Long-tail. Thoughtfully curated phrases help more than generic monosyllables stuffed throughout your pages, titles, metatags, and so on.
4. Does good really trump evil?
Yes. Cloaking, link farms, doorways, mirrors—the days of “black hat” tactics are over thanks to a slew of new-and-improved algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird) which block schemes and boost authenticity. Writes Forbes, these “changes occurred at the behest of some unscrupulous characters who were hellbent on gaming the system.”
5. What is the number one SEO trend of 2017?
Backlinks. Quality links from external websites that lead back to your site, support strong standings in the search engines. Backlinks are only valuable, however, when they’re from legitimate sites. Backlinks can including links from industry directories like Hg.org, business.com and AVVO.