SEO in 2017

Once you create great content, you need to drive traffic to it in a variety of ways. With a sound Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, you can increase your organic leads, search engine rankings, and, ultimately, drive more revenue for your business.

Getting the most out of your SEO, however, involves knowing and using all of the right tools. While it can feel overwhelming if you’re new to it all, today’s tools are much more user-friendly and still improving. With that in mind, let’s review how you can best leverage your website content and SEO efforts, while showcasing some tools that will help you make the most out of your SEO strategy.

While Google is clearly the biggest name in search engines, you may not be aware of how much traffic Bing actually handles. As of June 2017, Bing powers 34.8% of desktop search traffic, according to ComScore. While Google’s lead in mobile market share is much greater, the desktop users alone are substantial and should not be discounted. Bing’s search engine powers both Bing and Yahoo searches and utilizes it’s own unique algorithm and analytics. Both search engines, meanwhile, are getting smarter every day, which makes a SEO strategy that can adapt with them invaluable.

When it comes to tracking your SEO, you need to implement the right tools to capture your analytics and determine what’s working and what’s not on your website. For Google, you can start with Google Webmaster tools and Google Analytics, while Bing has their Bing Webmaster tools and built-in analytics. Make sure you’re capturing and scrutinizing your important data and using it to make informed adjustments. As you progress, there are a variety of additional tools available to dive into an even deeper analysis.

Local search and listings are another key component for local businesses, with search engines now delivering tailored results to users based upon their location. While you may rank highly for certain long-tail keywords, you need to keep your business profile up-to-date and optimized on both Google and Bing to maintain or improve those results in local rankings. Although SEO results, and the effort needed to attain them, can vary by your locale and industry, staying up-to-date is always a best practice.

One of the biggest changes in SEO in recent years is the ability of search engines to focus more on quality then quantity. Gone are the days of pushing out a ton of basic content, stuffing them with keywords, and fooling the engines into rising to the top of Page 1. Search engines are getting smarter by the day and can now tell the difference between quality content that users frequently read, engage with, and share, versus a page with 10 keyword mentions that barely applies to the topic.

Instead of structuring your content solely for gaining SEO points, build content that is going to help your prospects and deliver value for them. With that in mind, another common misconception is that in order to be successful, you need as many visitors as possible. Just as it is with keywords, the quality of your visitors is much more important than the quantity. Driving 5,000 visitors to your site, when only 50 of those visitors can be converted to leads, is far less valuable than 500 visitors drawn by targeted content that delivers 100 qualified leads

One final tip is the ideal marketing marriage between SEO and Social Media Marketing. These two items now go hand-in-hand. Social marketing engagement such as likes, posts, shares, and tweets are used by the major search engines as ranking signals for quality content. We live increasingly in a social platform world online, which means that building and maintaining your social presence and engagement is a must to build a valuable audience and increase brand awareness. Luckily, there are great tools available to schedule certain posts, engage directly with your audiences, and track analytics for your social media accounts. We recommend tools like Buffer or HootSuite to help you automate your social media as much as possible. Engaging with the right influencers and businesses on social can boost your rankings even further by opening your content to new audiences.

The more tailored and optimized your strategy is to your business and industry, the higher your results will be. However, it’s important to note that SEO changes won’t gain traction overnight, particularly for new websites. While SEO does take time and a detail-oriented approach, and in a world of instant gratification it can be very difficult to sit back and wait for results, you will not regret your efforts in the long run when your qualified, organic leads start rolling in.

Whatever the SEO strategy for your business, remember – always measure what you treasure for your business by collecting all the right data, and be willing to adapt your website and content to your analytics.

We hope this blog post is helpful and gives you a better understanding of SEO in 2017. It may seem daunting at first, but implementing a profitable SEO strategy has never been easier with the right knowledge.

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