Let’s face it – there is endless discussion about SEO in the digital marketing world recently. There are tons of people who think that SEO is dead in 2017, and many who are still relying on the SEO basics to make their websites as user-friendly as possible and rank higher in the search results.
So, who is right? Is SEO really dead or is it changing?
The short answer is….
SEO has been and always been important, relevant and necessary. However, it has evolved a lot over the years, which is why you must understand it in depth in order to rank higher. To help you with that, we are listing all of its (changed) aspects below.
Mobile Web Optimization
Nowadays, SEO is all about giving the user the best possible experience. Essentially, this focuses a lot on mobile users and their growth over the years. That is why mobile website optimization is a crucial part of SEO nowadays.
In other words, if your website is not optimized for mobile use, you are missing out on a lot of the benefits of SEO. The fact that more than 50% of your audience is mobile is pretty shocking at this point – making most of the website owners to play by the rules of modern SEO.
A lot of experts agree that with these practices, Google is steadily moving to a mobile-only world, where mobile devices are the focal points of the user experience. The more adaptable your website is to them – the higher you will rank.
Title Tags And Meta Descriptions
As you probably know, title tags and meta descriptions were once what SEO was all about. Today, they are still a relevant part of SEO and one that appears on Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs).
So, optimizing your title tags and meta descriptions is definitely relevant and necessary for good SEO in 2017. Speaking of which, this information is very important and the one that tells Google’s search engine spiders that your content is relevant and valuable.
So, you should make sure to use engaging title tags meta descriptions that are between 50-60 characters (titles) and 140-160 characters (descriptions) in length, including the keywords and location if you are a local business targeting a specific area.
On-site Copy Optimization
Another thing that is very important nowadays for good SEO – is the on-page copy that should be aligned with your user’s needs. Moreover, you should avoid ‘hard selling’ your product or service to your visitors – and focus on accenting its value and describing the benefits that it provides – as much as possible.
This is often referred to as the art of ‘direct sales copywriting’, a way of showing your website visitors that you are informative, relevant and providing valuable information as opposed to the untrustworthy sales pitches found on many sites nowadays.
So, aside from the technical part of SEO, what truly matters for everyone is to build a stable voice that is authentic and unique. In other words, users now appreciate the human approach and react to it in the best way possible.
Diversity Of Content
If text was the only way to optimize a website before, now that is not the case. As we said earlier, the SEO rules have changed – but SEO is still necessary in 2017 – if you know how to play the game and optimize your site well.
So, when it comes to content and text, it is safe to say that ranking higher means including a lot of different content formats in your posts and on your website in general. For example, an article or review that is accompanied by an infographic, data chart, a podcast, ebook or video is definitely an article that is more informative and relevant to the user. Hence, Google will acknowledge it as more SEO-friendly and give you favor over the other search results.
The point here is simple – quality content comes in many different forms. Plus, with diversity, you are being shared, followed and linked to on a variety of sites. This is very important to Google when determining the relevance of your website to the search queries.
Page Loading Speed
As eccentric as it may sound, users don’t want to wait anymore nowadays. They want to open sites that load instantly – instead of ones that take ages to open. This is why a couple of years ago, Google also started favoring websites with higher page loading speed as a direct factor to the user experience level.
For example, if your website loads quicker than your competitor’s, you will probably see better results, user engagement and conversion rates from your audience. Google will see this and also rank you higher because of this performance – both on desktop and mobile devices.
Last but not the least is the factor that many people forget – the personalized approach to users.
In 2017, there are so many different groups of users – even ones that are your potential visitors or customers. That being said, building different pages, experiences and funnels for them means listening to their needs – and ranking higher because of that.
However, the key point here is that the more personalized your website is to your different audiences, the greater results you will get from their presence.
A Final Word
The bottom line is simple – content will never be successful without SEO. Therefore, high quality content takes hours, days or even weeks to build. However, it is definitely worth it, as long as it is unique and relevant to the needs of your audiences.
So, it doesn’t hurt to still play by the rules of SEO and adapt to its new trends. Only that way, you will give your users what they want and Google will notice your good efforts and reward you for that.