As a small business owner, SEO probably isn’t something that gets you excited to drive to the office every morning. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If you want to remain competitive in 2017, it’s imperative that you focus on the basics.
Four SEO Concepts To Focus On
There’s a lot of noise in the SEO world right now. Everyone has their own opinions regarding what works. There are also plenty of predictions in regards to what will happen in the coming years and which practices will become obsolete.
SEO has always been a bit like the Wild West in that we’re still very much in the beginning stages of the industry. Plus, secret algorithms make it difficult for anyone to really know what the best strategy is.
“SEO can get technical, but it doesn’t have to be,” WPBeginner notes. However, “Just learning a few basic SEO tips to optimize your site can give you a noticeable boost in your website traffic.” Help your business move forward in 2017 by focusing on these foundational concepts:
1. White Hat Link Building
No matter what anyone tells you, link building is not dead. In fact, it’s hard to imagine an internet ecosystem where link building will ever be dead. So what is everyone crying about? In most cases, you’ll discover that the people complaining about the decay of link building are the same ones who were using black hat techniques to weave their webs of links.
While black hat link building is dead, white hat link building will remain important in 2017 and well beyond. You’d do well to pour even more energy into this area and really focus on link relevancy above all else.
If your website doesn’t already have a sitemap, now’s the time. By adding a sitemap – which is essentially a page listing that links to the other pages on your site – you make it easy and effortless for search engines to crawl your website. And, as you can guess, the fewer clicks needed to access a particular page, the better off you’ll be.
3. Keyword Research
“Only a few short years ago, all you needed to rank was to have some content on the page. It didn’t matter if the content read like it was written by a monkey playing Mad Libs, you were probably safe,” SEO expert Brock Murray admits.“That has slowly changed over the years as Google’s algorithms were adjusted to better account for the interests of searchers.”
Understanding this, it’s important that you don’t just perform basic-level keyword research and plug some high-ranking phrases into your website content. You need to conduct in-depth research and use semantic language that satisfies keyword requirements and keeps readers engaged when they’re on your site.
4. Satisfy User Intent
Contrary to popular belief, Google doesn’t just have one master algorithm. There are hundreds of individual algorithms in play and many are becoming increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence.
“So forget the algorithms,” says expert Tom Boland.“Stop trying to predict or understand the changes. Make content to satisfy user intent. Google is learning faster and faster how to determine exactly what your users are looking for. You should too.”
Build A Strong SEO Foundation
Before your business can worry about the intricacies of SEO or try newfangled strategies, you have to build a strong and stable foundation to fall back on. In 2017, make it a top priority to lay some sturdy cornerstones that will give you the strength needed to pursue other techniques down the road.
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