What is an Effective SEO Strategy For 2017

[vc_row type=”vc_default”][vc_column][vc_column_text]It amazes me how often I hear many Digital Marketers saying “SEO is Dead”. Sure Google may have updated its algorithm, but they didn’t do it to make my job harder, its done to improve user experience to give you the results you want on your first search. [dt_quote type=”pullquote” layout=”right” font_size=”h5″ animation=”none” size=”2″]The reason so many think SEO is dead is because they don’t have their main focus on the basics[/dt_quote]The reason so many think SEO is dead is because they don’t have their main focus on the basics of SEO so they can’t evolve with the times or the latest technologies. (Without having to start over)

If those naysayers were to follow the SEO optimization fundamentals clearly defined in the Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, they would still be in line to implement the following SEO Strategies for 2017:

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Optimize Website For Mobile

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In January of 2014 the amount of internet traffic from mobile devices and tablets exceeded the desktop. Consumers are using their mobile devices more and more to:

  • Access the internet
  • Check email
  • Access personal information
  • Download and use apps
  • Shop online

If have not done so by this point, the time has come to seriously consider upgrading your website to a mobile friendly version. Not just because Google favors mobile-friendly websites, but also because that’s how your potential customers will be looking for you! How do you know if your site is mobile friendly? Simply take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test. If for some reason your site is not mobile friendly, Google will offer suggestions on what you need to improve.

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Optimize For Voice Search

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[dt_quote type=”pullquote” layout=”right” font_size=”h5″ animation=”none” size=”2″]55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day.[/dt_quote]The way we search has evolved in recent years. According to Google, 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. Beyond a doubt optimizing for voice search will be a critical strategy for your SEO success for 2017 and beyond. The 4 major Digital Assistants in voice search you’ll need to optimize for are:

Why is this important? The way we search by voice is entirely different than the way we type. Your website should be setup to answer questions rather than focusing on specific keywords. Your content needs to be more in-depth and comprehensive in order to clearly answer the questions your potential customers may have.

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Optimize For Rich Answers

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Rich Answers are displayed for nearly 20% of all internet searches. What are “rich answers”? Rich answers are a way search engines provide direct information to the user for all types of commonly asked questions. Here are a few examples of Rich Answers:

  • Rich Snippets (sometimes called featured snippets)
  • Answers provided by Search Engines
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Sliders or Carousels
  • Maps
  • Forms

Optimizing for rich answers is important because you have the opportunity to be in the most visible spot in the search engine results even without having a #1 page ranking, your organic traffic will increase and you’ll have higher engagement from those who click through to your site.

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Local Optimization

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With the growth of mobile searches, Local SEO has become one of the most effective strategies for businesses to gain an edge over their local competitors. To begin with, you’ll need to make sure your NAP (Name Address Phone Number) are listed accurately throughout the web. Claim your business profile on relevant local directories and review sites.

Local Optimization Checklist:

  • Get listed in Local Directories (Name Address Phone)
  • Claim Business Profile on Google and Bing
  • Make sure there is content on your site that includes the name of your city or region.
  • Get Online Reviews
  • Use local structured data markup
  • Website URL should be listed as your homepage

Local search accounts for 50% of search queries on mobile phones and tablets so a local SEO strategy is crucial to your success.

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Improve User Experience

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You have about 8 seconds to answer 3 questions when a potential customer lands on your website to convince them to stay. Those 3 questions are:

  • Who are you and what do you do?
  • Why should I be interested in you over your competitors?
  • What do you want me to do next?

Can your website answer those 3 questions in 8 seconds or less? Here are just a few tips to improve your user experience.

  • Your Phone Number Should Be Displayed Prominently on the website.
  • Your website needs to be responsive and mobile friendly
  • Use simple contact forms – ease of use
  • Include a strong call to action

A strong focus on user experience is key for gaining customer loyalty and improving business performance.

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Use LSI Keywords In Your Content

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What are LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing)? These are keywords related to your main keyword. LSI keywords help search engines understand the meaning of the content to return better results in search. Gone are the days that you needed to focus on a single keyword. In today’s digital world you need to focus on the topic you want to rank for and thoroughly explain the topic.

[dt_quote type=”pullquote” layout=”right” font_size=”h5″ animation=”none” size=”2″]In today’s information world, you may need closer to 1500 or more words on a page.[/dt_quote]Success with the use of LSI Keywords is going to take more than the 200-300 word per page standard of years past. In today’s information world, you may need closer to 1500 or more words on a page.

In conclusion, if you stick to the basics of SEO and keep these 6 tips in mind as you move forward you should see an increase in not only traffic, but more importantly an increase in form fill outs and phone calls. If you have any questions about any of these ideas or would like to implement them in your marketing plan feel free to give us a call or simply fill out our contact form.