5 ways to improve your SEO in 2017

2016 is over, and now it’s time to think about your SEO strategy for 2016. In the ever changing digital environment, there is always room for change and alterations to strategies.

These are some things you need to ensure are included in your SEO strategy in 2017:

1. Increased Content

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Content is and will continue to be an important factor for businesses in 2017. However, the thing to avoid in 2017 is producing content that is similar to what everyone else is writing. Notice how when you search a certain topic, the results will show tonnes of results all with similar wording? Search engine’s algorithms aren’t impressed with the double up of work.

This is not meant to discourage businesses from producing content. In fact, the demand for content is expected to continue to increase. The challenge is to stand out from the competition and write an original piece that the readers will value. Businesses also have to avoid producing overly detailed long form content, which saw a rise in popularity in 2016.  

The solution is to produce content that the reader will actually value. Don’t focus on producing 3000+ word pieces that are meaningless. Sometimes shorter articles will be more valuable.

2. Accelerated Mobile Pages

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It is well known that a slow responding website will impact your SEO. You will have a high bounce rate, and visitors will simply visit another website instead of waiting for a slow website to load. If there was an easy way to ensure you could make your website load four times faster, you’d do it, right?

In February 2016, Google introduced AMP listings to its mobile search results. As defined by the AMP Project’s, “AMP is a way to build web pages for static content that render fast.” By using eight times less data, your website can load faster. Google already favours websites that have switched to AMP. It gives these websites increased visibility by placing them on a carousel on top of the search results. A lightning bolt indicates the posts AMP status.

2017 can expect to see more businesses taking advantage of this in order to improve their SEO.

3. Personal branding

Personal branding is another approach businesses can take to improve their SEO in 2017.

What exactly is personal branding? Similarly to corporate branding, personal branding will set personality and image standards and mould marketing strategies around this. However, the key difference is the fact it applies to an individual, rather than the business as a whole.  

Why should you even bother with personal branding? There are many advantages, including:

  • Authorship: instead of content being produced by a corporate brand, it can be produced by an individual. This will make the content more appealing and relatable. If publishing guest posts are a part of your SEO strategy, it’s also important to have individual authors rather than the company.
  • Increased trust: people are more likely to trust a person rather than a corporate company. A personal brand will have different personality traits than a large corporation, which you can use to build a following, which could lead to increased sales.
  • Easy to establish: it can take a while to establish a corporation in the digital environment and make it stand out from the competition. This isn’t the case with personal brands. They are very easy to introduce from scratch. All you need to do is produce regular content, and simply act like yourself, rather than like the business.
  • Changing algorithms: websites are always changing and updating their algorithms, with Facebook being no exception. The social media platform has updated its algorithm to favour individual posts over branded posts. Businesses are sure to take advantage of personal branding to ensure their content gets the maximum exposure.   

The important takeaway is that if you’re going to embark on personal branding, remember to be yourself. You’re already unique, and that will help to make you stand out from the competition. With the continual rise of content marketing and the increased competition, it can be expected that personal branding will also become more commonplace in 2017.  

4. User Experience Optimisation

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User experience is the accumulation of feelings and emotions you generate while consuming a product or service. This is important for your website, as you’re not going to gain a customer who is unsatisfied with your website.

This has already been an important factor in SEO, with search engines favouring websites that are responsive and are user friendly. As already stated, having a mobile user friendly website will be increasingly important. After all, October 2016 saw mobile browsing overtake desktop browsing for the first time ever. It’s vital that your website is optimised for mobile traffic. If it’s not, expect to see very little improvement in your SEO.  

Ensure every interaction a user has with your website is a positive experience, and they will therefore also start to have a positive association with your brand. Pay attention to your metrics and track interactions on your website to know areas where you can improve. To maintain a high search engine ranking in 2017, you will need to invest in user experience optimisation, before you get overtaken by the competition.  

5. Schema

Schema is a markup vocabulary for structured data, or information that can be universally understood. The program has the goal to make a structured data markup that all search engines are able to understand. Schema makes it easier for search engines to understand your website.

This is particularly useful for getting your content displayed on Quick Answers or a Rich Card. Quick Answers have been gaining traction, with the number of results going from 20% in December 2014 to more than 30% in May 2016. With more answers appearing, businesses that are displayed can expect a higher click-through rate. Thanks to programs such as Schema, it can be expected that Quick Answers will continue to grow and more businesses will take advantage of it.

By taking these factors into account in 2017, businesses can expect to stand out from the competition and see their SEO improve.

Think we missed something? Let us know in the comments.