Basics of SEO 2017
The Searchmetrics Ranking Factors 2015 report provides valuable insights into how things can shape up in 2017.
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Here are some search engine optimization tips you can start using to help make your website stand out more in 2017:
We have identified some of the tactics that will be essential this year:
Though there have been plenty of changes in SEO through the years, keyword research and analysis has always been necessary. That isn’t likely to change much today as well. It is always important to discover words and phrases used by potential patients when they’re looking for some treatment or an answer to some health condition. This research requires a few steps such as:
Researching the top ranking pages of your competitors to figure out the keywords they have used.
Making use of Searchmetrics Keyword Analysis, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends and other such keyword research tools to discover relevant keywords – keywords people use as search terms but are also without too much competition.
Checking your website to find out the keywords you use that generate traffic and conversions the most, and using these or related keywords.
Being attentive to long-tail keywords since they cover much of what the user searches for, with natural language search getting more popular.
Keyword research and selection must get more innovative, for the simple reason that Google’s algorithms have become more capable of analyzing user intent behind search queries. Identifying relevant keywords isn’t the only objective, but also researching topics and themes based on which you can get your content organized.
Get Modern Design
Maybe cousin Rob built it for a case of beer one weekend in July, or maybe you did it yourself. Whatever the reason, stop. A website can and should have numerous overhauls throughout the course of it’s life. In the end, it is all about conversions, and if your site is so outdated, it just won’t convert like a more modern designed site will.
Proof Terms and Relevant Terms
Terms supporting your content’s main topic are called “proof terms.” These terms are clearly relevant to the topic you’re dealing with.
Example: If your topic is “hematology,” “blood” is a proof term. Such proof terms are essential to indicate to Google that you are dealing with the topic in-depth. “Relevant terms” are also important. These are words used alongside the primary keyword of the respective topic indicating that you are holistically covering the topic.
Example: If your topic is “arthritis,” “immune system” is one of the relevant words.
If you are not utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube you should consider starting right away. Setting up profiles on these sites helps you to secure your brand, and gives you a nice backlink from a high DA (Domain Authority) site. Share your links on Tweets, posts, and videos as often as possible. This tips will help your site get more visibility and traffic, which is a big part of the game.
Optimization of All On-Site Elements
With Google’s algorithms emphasizing user-friendliness more and more, every aspect of your website must be optimized. Two of the aspects you need to particularly focus on are the mobile-friendliness and quick loading of the site.
Header and Meta-tags
99% of the pages in the top 10, as per the Searchmetrics report, featured a meta-description while 80% featured an H1 tag. It is important that your H1 tags accurately and uniquely describe your page’s main topic.
If your site does not clearly tell Google what you do and where you do it, they will have a hard time rewarding you with good rankings because they just won’t know! Google reads what you provide them with, so use that as an opportunity to do some basic on-site optimization. If you are a dentist in Fresno, make sure you include that information in important places, like your URL or site title. If you don’t have them there, be sure you have that in your content somewhere!
High-ranking pages have had an increased number of internal links since 2014. Optimizing the overall link structure of the page is more important than the number of links present in your content. Optimized page information and internal structure ensure that the search engine and the user are guided optimally through the content. This ensures user satisfaction and also that the reader stays on your page.
The Searchmetrics report also reveals that longer content, or content with more words, is preferred by Google. The report states that top-ranking content contains an average word count of 1,140 to 1,285 words, which is an increase from the 902 words prevalent in 2014. Content in your articles and blogs must not only be relevant but provide comprehensive coverage of the topic. Only that would benefit people seeking treatment or health information, particularly when they use conversational search terms.
As we mentioned above, website loading is important. The Searchmetrics report indicates that the pages ranking at the top for a given topic had an average loading speed of 1.10 seconds and 1.16 seconds for mobile and desktop searches respectively. To know how fast your site loads, tools such as the PageSpeed Insights Tool by Google can help.
Keywords still need to be incorporated into the content, particularly in the heading, subheading, title, and introduction and concluding paragraphs. Searchmetrics reveals that the pages ranked at the top, but not necessarily the highest or topmost, featured an increase in the keywords used in the text body.
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
In late 2015, Google unleashed Mobilegeddon. If your site was/is not mobile friendly; chances are good that it will not rank on mobile searches. This is a biggie, because over 70% of all searches now take place on mobile devices. We all do it, just grab a phone or tablet and Google search something. It’s fast and easy, and that trend will only continue to grow. A responsive website design ensures your website loads and performs well on a variety of screen resolutions including those of mobile devices. It also ensures that users would not have to scroll, pinch or zoom frequently to experience the contents of your site.
These simple to follow tips can help your website perform better for you in 2017. The question is, will you take and use the advice, or sit on your hands?