SEO Trends in 2017: Your SEO Scorecard – How Does YOUR Site Fare?
Search engine optimization can be a fickle friend. On one hand, it can help tremendously with giving your site better exposure. On the other, the constant environment of flux and change can make it difficult to keep up with trends.
The good news is there will always be a constant no matter what fresh SEO trends show up. Therefore when changes come around, they aren’t significant enough to erase the gains and effort you put in. Today, we’d like to zero in on three key areas where you should focus your attention in the upcoming year. How does your site look in each of these areas?
#1 – Content Marketing
As mentioned, the way the major search platforms catalog and rank sites changes regularly, but if you commit to always being on top of your SEO game, the changes are typically easy to weather. That’s our aim here at Process; constantly research, study and give Google exactly what they want to achieve SEO greatness.
Content marketing is a good example of this. If you follow the current trends on social media, it’s easy to see how most successful marketers are playing the game. Optimized content treads the thin line between the need to deliver quality content and the need to successfully monetize that content for maximum ROI.
Great content marketing ultimately alters the behavior of the average site visitor. It is an ongoing process that works best when there is a steady flow of consistently good, valuable content. That accounts for written copy, visuals, video, and digital assets. The goal is to eliminate the hard sell approach and maintain open lines of communication between consumers and your brand.
People routinely look to others as experts and authorities. This is why the major search engines routinely report “how to” queries to be among the most searched subjects in any category. The reason this kind of content is so popular is simple: It has a high perceived value. Great content marketing eliminates the need to consult other sources. You are THE authority in your niche as long as your content keeps sending that message.
#2 – Mobile-Friendly Design
Part of the optimization process is developing a website that can be easily viewed and explored on any screen. That includes laptop and desktop computers as well as tablets, phones, and other mobile devices.
There are some really intuitive resources that you can use to gauge user experience on mobile platforms, and it is a great idea to test your site often whether you are making drastic changes or not. As consumer behavior shifts, so must your site design if you want to keep up.
DeviceAnywhere [keynotedeviceanywhere.com] is great for testing the mobile experience for your site across several different devices. You can also automate mobile tests with this tool.
eggPLANT is another solid mobile testing tool. Supports both iOS and Android.
Here are a few helpful tips to ensure that your site remains mobile friendly:
Responsiveness – This is the focal point of mobile-friendly website design. It is what determines how a page looks on multiple screens. Responsive sites adapt well to the way users interact with them and make the experience valuable on any platform.
Navigability – Each page of your site should be “tap friendly” with buttons and controls that are large enough to be seen and manipulated on smaller screens.
Theme – Choose a theme that reflects the values of your brand. Remember, a consistent brand message is key to building trust.
The best mobile themes are those that don’t necessitate zooming in to see or control things on the page. They also employ features like preferred widths and submit buttons that are always enabled. Make it easy to input data and retain the input even in the event of a network disruption. Use easy-to-read fonts and word wrap for longer strings.
#3 – Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP helps you speed up multiple types of mobile-based content. It accomplishes this by reconfiguring or even removing certain extraneous elements from a page. Webpages designed with AMP typically load four times faster on average than those without, creating a very impressive experience for the user. Keep in mind that load speed is a factor in page ranking so it is definitely something to consider when developing a mobile-friendly website.
Final Takeaway: Good SEO development is an ongoing process, and the rules do change from time to time. The right combination of quality content, site design, and user experience can help boost your ranking considerably, and keeping up with current trends can help you maintain those good rankings long term.