Business owners, marketers and SEO professionals will soon be launching bold, new initiatives for 2017 and this is the perfect time to review your strategy. Competition for local, organic traffic and improved ranking through social media channels will be major priorities as Google continues to refine its local SERP results for more relevant, informative, and substantial content.
Don’t get left behind before the race even begins. Consider these 5 tips to prepare your SEO campaign in 2017:
User –centric Focus
Websites that can generate qualified user feedback through reviews, testimonials, comments and forums, will be favourably positioned to outrank competitors and attract search engines seeking relevant content to index. User engagement is a signal to search engines that people are engaging with your business because it is legitimate. Devaluing content that fails to engage users is one of the major updates recently made to Google’s Penguin 4.0, an algorithm update that functions from within the core algorithm. Register a physical address for your business with local search indexes (Google My Business, Bing, Yelp) and consider ways to generate reviews and testimonials from actual people who have interacted with your business to make the most of your SEO efforts in 2017
Unique, Relevant Content
The keyword-centric focus of previous SEO marketing strategies have given way to a new demand for quality content that is comprehensive, relevant and well-thought out. Copy should read with a natural tone and phrasing. Refreshed, up-to-date content that addresses a local, target audience will place higher on SERP’s because search engines like Google want to provide users with the most informative, relevant pages. If a customer looking for dress shoes in Toronto finds your online boutique, for example, compelling copy, quality photos with multiple angles, clear descriptions with SEO-friendly tags and captions, they’ll be more likely to share the content they find, which will improve your website ranking. Consider working with a content manager or SEO Content Writer to schedule a series of informative, customer-oriented articles, relevant to your industry, and publish them strategically to build an online presence as a local authority in your niche for 2017.
Social Media Marketing
If your restaurant regularly posts appetizing, high resolution images of dinner specials, drinks and events at your location, complete with engaging captions that you can twitter or post to Facebook, you’ve got a great head start over many of your local competitors. Search engines review a user’s search history, email account, Google profile, and instant messaging to determine a user’s intent and guide them to the appropriate content. A consumer who searches on Craig’s List for a guitar, posts an image of a guitar on her Facebook page, and email-subscribes to a Guitar magazine is probably looking to purchase a guitar soon, in contrast to someone who conducts the same search but has no other relevant indicators, which might suggest a more casual interest. Google can use contextual information to determine whether or not the user is interested in guitars for sale or merely researching the subject. Relevant pages from your website stand a much better chance of ranking high on local SERP’s if you already have an active social media platform going already so get started!
Market research has proven again and again that today’s consumers will likely discover you online before they visit your physical business location. The popularity of mobile phones and apps has surpassed laptops as the primary communications tool and has become indispensable for business. GPS, wi-fi capabilities, mapping directions and real-time traffic updates make finding a local business on your phone easier than ever, and that’s where your consumers will likely discover you first. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and optimized for the fastest load time to avoid losing potential customers. Keeping your business listing prominently visible in the coveted top 3 positions of SERP’s will improve your chances of capturing new business from mobile phone searches, which feature smaller screens than a laptop.
There is no better way to generate relevant, organic traffic that will improve your ranking than a comprehensive strategy for link building. Establishing backlinks with credible experts in your industry, anchor text and feature links that add depth to your content, as well as internal links that lead web crawler’s deeper into your site’s architecture for archived content are all critical factors you’ll need to consider as you review your SEO strategy for 2017.
With over ten years of in-depth SEO experience in link building, Paul Teitelman is one of Toronto’s foremost experts. Visit www.paulteitelman.com for more interesting tips on SEO for 2017 and start your new year with an advantage.