It’s nearly impossible to keep up with the ever-changing rules for search engine optimization, which is critical if you want your business to be easily found online with the appropriate searches. Companies are trying to figure out which methods work best at any given time and adapt accordingly. But, before you know it the search engines are, once again changing the game.
Since we’re now more than halfway though 2017, businesses are evaluating their results for this year so far. They are also looking at new trends and any changes that might be coming soon for the search engines. Those with experience in these matters happen to sit on the Forbes Agency Council and they have some good advice on how businesses can enhance the performance of their SEO efforts:
Change Over to HTTP/2
Page speed is extremely important to Google. If you’re going to be effective in your SEO efforts you must understand how networking affects page speed. If you are still using HTTP/1.1 start reading up on HTTP/2 and you will understand what a dramatic improvement this is over HTTP/1.1. By switching over to HTTP/2 you will substantially increase your page speed.
Have Fewer Derivations of Your Keywords Targeted
Research on keyword targeting is evolving very quickly. RankBrain is definitely having a huge affect on rankings. It understands and interprets plurals, acronyms, abbreviations, and synonyms as well as answers. What this means is that for SEO to be effective you do not need to target so many derivations of your keywords. If you want to stay ahead of the game, heed this advice.
Stick to Basic Consumer Behavior
In order for Google to remain relevant it must ensure that the most relevant web content appears for the search term or keywords entered.
Just keep up with consumer behavior and don’t worry about algorithms. Watching trends, we can see that consumers are much more likely to view images and short videos than read volumes of text.
Give them what they want and the search engines will take care of the rest.
Google Sets the Standard
Google leads the pack when it comes to SEO and that’s not likely to change in the foreseeable future. Stay on top of all Google updates, especially when it concerns mobile-first content. Now that searching is primarily focused on mobile, the content appearing on your mobile device takes priority in search engine crawling as well as rankings.
Improve Your User Experience (UX)
With help from RankBrain and its artificial intelligence (AI) capability, search engines are so much smarter now when figuring out what makes for the most relevant search result.
Keyword ranking are still important but search engines are giving priority to sites that provide visitors with a great experience including fast load times. The trend seems to be going in the direction of the search engines favoring great UX over sites that are over-optimized in terms of keywords.
Be Clear About Your Intent
It is no longer enough to just choose the right keywords for SEO. Your brand must now make sure that the content on your website reflects your intent and offers users exactly what they are seeking when they search your brand out. It is now more important than ever to implement cross-channel marketing strategies, as these will influence the viability of your web pages in terms of SEO.
Hire Only Ethical Experts in SEO
It no longer works to try your hand at gaming the system by cramming keywords into content and buying all kinds of links. Those days are over. Now that RankBrain and its brilliant machine-learning algorithm have been deployed, it is only getting better at identifying patterns. When people try to outsmart the system, Google penalizes them. It makes sense to hire the most ethical and talented SEO experts you can find.
Speed Your Site Up and Eliminate Errors
Site speed is continuing to be a big influence on SEO, but not in the ways you would imagine. When you develop a site in AMP, switch over to https:// and implement other changes technically, it can bring about server side issues like 404s, too many redirects and orphaned pages. These will cause the entire site to slow down and this destroys usability. You must ensure that your site functions at 100% once you’ve made all these changes. This has to be your top priority.
Prioritize Mobile First Indexing
Google now uses mobile-first indexing when it comes to mobile content and this applies to all search rankings. You should direct your SEO strategies more towards mobile and adjust your SEO priorities to measure the effect on mobile first indexing of algorithm updates. And don’t forget how important both mobile user experience and search intent continue to be.
Quality Backlinks are Key
One of the most important factors affecting ranking is backlinks. These are the links that point to your website coming from other sites. It used to be about quantity, now it’s about quality. Google can now tell a reliable link from one that’s questionable. Ensure that your backlinks are coming from top quality sources.
Build a Compelling Content Library
Google used to reward content production on the basis of recency, frequency and relevance. It no longer works that way. Search engines and users are looking for the most amazing content.
To qualify, it must be thoroughly researched, highly organized with multi-media features and above all, provide tremendous value to visitors. It’s time to stop just producing and instead try to build the best library so that you can draw in and retain loyal readers.