SEO in 2017 – How to stay relevant in an ever changing landscape
Over the past few years internet marketing has really changed. The old approach to SEO has been left behind and replaced by a more ethical and modern approach. Google itself is changing and this has meant those working in internet marketing have had to change their strategy. Gone are the days where SEO specialists would be linking to their clients websites from any site possible, instead wider marketing strategies are being implemented to ensure that their brand is visible on the web.
Now we’ve left behind aggressive link building strategies and are no longer paying out for listings. How can you be a credible SEO specialist in 2017?
Content is key – So have a clear plan
Google treats content like gold now and therefore good quality content on your website is an absolute must in 2017. Your website will have a theme, you should create a clear plan of how you can continue to write high quality content around this theme. Content is created best via a blog or information pages about the product or service the company provides. For example, when working with a restaurant website, a menu page could be created with sub pages about each dish to provide information about the ingredients and where they are sourced. Ensure you keep all pages separate and implement a good navigation. Having useful information that’s easy to access is very much favoured by Google.
By creating a high level of quality content you are giving users the maximum amount of information that’s relevant to your brand, when it comes to the search results Google will reward you for this.
Your website content should be:
- Relevant to the topic or theme of your site
- Kept up to date, write a regular blog if necessary
- High in quality, easy to read and informative
- Localised where possible (especially if you only serve customers in certain areas)
Link earning, not link building
There is no doubt that Links are still an important ranking factor to Google, you must however be selective on the links point to your website and ensure they are natural. Link earning is where your content becomes key, when you produce useful content then naturally others will want to link to it. Create unique content and promote it through other marketing channels. If you produce something truely unique and useful then people will link to it.
Whilst paying for, or asking for, links is against Google’s guidelines, there is still flexibility of being shown in certain authoritative directories, citations of your brand become important, as well as mixing your link profile across different mediums. Ensure your anchor text is varied and not constantly using a keyword or brand name, where webmasters create natural links you may want to content them to ask if they will change the link text if it doesn’t correctly reflect the content they are linking to.
Location, Location, Location
Google’s location algorithm has really changed our approach to local SEO over the last few years. We used to see areas stuffed into meta tags across a site and the creation of 1000s of area specific landing pages. Many hoped by doing this their site would rank for all different areas (some not even nearby). Google Places now plays a big part in how businesses are ranked locally, favouring businesses nearer to the searcher. Google favouring localised results does however, create some difficulties managing expectations of clients who want their website to show in several different areas.
If a business has different branches, then create a page for each with the address microformated with schema address markup. If there are a large number of branches you can then create a ‘branch finder’ which will link to each of these. Try to be specific about each branch, giving information such as opening times, directions and anything unique about that branch. This combines quality content with localised information.
Stay up to date with the latest SEO advances
It’s important that when working in internet marketing to always keep up with the latest techniques. Follow the latest SEO and internet marketing blogs such as MOZ and Search Engine Roundtable, these will offer great advice and also monitoring the ever changing SEO landscape.