With over 200 SEO best practices to rank higher on Google Search, you’re probably wondering: “Where do I begin?” Fair enough. Time is money and you deserve to spend it wisely. That’s why I selected the Top 5 SEO Tips for 2017. Follow these steps and you’ll increase website speed and improve user experience, CTR, and CRO. Without breaking the bank. Let’s get started.
How does one predict which SEO strategies are the best? Through long-term trend analysis. The master of that is none other than David Mihm, previous Director of Moz’s Local Search Strategy. Aside from agreeing that SSL is good ROI, here’s what he and other experts say will improve your Google Search ranking…
Step #5: Content is King, right? Right?!
If you’re like me, the phrase “Content is King” is starting to wear thin.
That’s because most content just doesn’t show up on Google Search. Why not? What’s missing?
Just as Fake News has come under scrutiny, generic or unhelpful content makes site visitors wary.
According to Mihm, projecting your brand’s authority is the remedy. This gives you the “underlying algorithmic logic” needed to rank higher with Google (and your readers). Here’s how to do it:
- Write informative and concise content.
- Research and use relative keywords.
- Give your images alt attributes.
- Punctuate the copy with informative headings.
- Use the free plugin, Yoast SEO, and check for readability.
If you fail to do these basic things, all the Google, Instagram, and Facebook ads in the World Wide Web can’t help you. Because, while your content may be found, your Call to Action will only yield…
Sound familiar? Don’t worry. If youth-centered social media isn’t sending readers to your website, try something more serious. Consider LinkedIn.
While it’s true that years ago LinkedIn was seen as a virtual Rolodex, today it’s a major source for authoritative articles. In fact, some of world’s finest influencers post there: John C Abell, Neil Patel, and Pam Moore, to name a few.
By posting informative business related content there, you’ll fit right in. Just be sure to follow these online marketing tips:
- Comment on posts by followers and influencers alike.
- Share business related news only, not recipes or cute memes.
- Announce exciting business updates, launches, publications, etc.
- Cross-pollinate: Mention non-competitive businesses in your articles, so they’ll link to your profile.
- Create an original profile banner; put your website url on it.
- Write articles that relate to your business, but don’t mention it directly.
Point #6 is very important. These days, anything that appears “advertorial” is considered spam. Save your business info for the “About the author” segment at the bottom of your articles. If you write useful content with reputable links and authority, you’ll gain followers and clients.
Cost: Free if you DIY; $50-$150 for a professional.
Pro-tip: Hire a professional proofreader or try an app like Grammarly. Then follow this step-by-step Guide to Publishing on LinkedIn.
Step #4: Engagement Leads to Commitment
Another one of Google’s Top Ranking Factors is Dwell Time. What’s that?
Think of it this way: Just like real life, your website must not only attract a reader, but also keep them around. That’s why, as with all relationships, remember that…
Nothing pushes people away faster than trickery.
So it should come as no surprise that SEO trickery is something Google is penalizing.
If you’re suddenly feeling guilty, fear not. Here, along with a list of the worst offenses, are easy ways to correct them. Let’s get started…
- Keyword stuffing: Don’t. Just don’t. Choose just a few words for any given subject. Here’s a free keyword search site to help you do just that. (For more info on relative keywords, see Step #3.)
- Ad-centric, affiliate-centric sites with duplicate or computer generated content. If you’re monetizing your site with random or hidden affiliates and your ads are “above the fold”, go back to Step #5. Your brand should always provide helpful, relevant content, first and foremost.
- EMD or Exact Match Domains: This has always appeared cheesy, but until now, people loved this fast and dirty trick. Today, think twice about a domain name like “BestWebsites4Cheap.com”, okay? Here’s a site that lists EMD Best Practices.
Step #3: Subscribe Forms
Are you using a pop-up subscribe form? If so, keep this in mind:
50% of pop-up ads are closed before anyone reads them. To top it off, many folks have installed pop-up blockers, or simply freak out when they appear on the screen. They worry about malware, or may simply hate “hard sells”. So they close your site and never return.
How can you prevent this? It’s simple:
Present your visitor with helpful or cool information immediately. Keep them engaged until the end of your content. Never interrupt them with an annoying pop-up.
By now, you may be wondering: “When should I present the signup form?”
The answer: “Right after you’ve given your visitor exactly what you promised.”
This is called “the promise of the premise” in screenwriting.
It’s the part the audience has been waiting for. It’s the exciting scene from the movie poster or trailer that made you go to the cinema in the first place.
When the movie lacks the excitement of the poster or trailer, the viewer is disappointed. Similarly, when writing content, remember…
Don’t “Bait and Switch” your keywords.
If you’ve added: “Site Optimization” as a keyword phrase, be sure the content delivers on that promise. Provide a “how-to” video or easy-to-read informative list about the subject. Just make it helpful, useful, or cool. Only then will they feel comfortable giving you their personal information. Because they’ll have seen your brand’s value. And they’ll want more in exchange.
Pro-tip: The subscribe form needs a compelling CTA. Offer the subscriber something of value like VIP pre-sales, special deals, or an ebook. And finally, make the form easy to fill out…!
Still think pop-ups are the answer? Consider this:
- Ask yourself: Is it adding anything to the user experience? If not, visitors may see it as annoying or dangerous.
- If you must use a pop-up, make it visible only upon exit or at the bottom of the page.
- Disable subscribe pop-ups for existing subscribers.
- Google is penalizing sites with gratuitous pop-ups; you will rank better without them!
Cost: Find WordPress signup forms here; many are free.
In short, when it comes to site visitors, the sooner they get what they came for, the sooner you can win them over. Which leads us to…
Step #2: CTR & Conversion Rates
Ah, yes. The Unicorn of them all— conversion rates. What’s the biggest threat to this creature’s existence? The dreaded wall-of-text.
Think about it: To lure this beast into your garden, you must entice it. Speak its language. Impose no barriers. Yet, many try to say too much. And off it runs…
The solution? Hiring someone skilled at Web Copy.
Notice I did not say “a skilled copywriter”. That’s because Web Copy is very different from the copy you find elsewhere. By comparison, a skilled Website Copywriter will always:
- Research your audience, potential audience, and competitors.
- Adopt the appropriate tone for your brand, audience, and specific platform.
- Never use “click-bait” headlines like “But when this happened, you won’t believe…” These have fallen out of favour.
- Be concise, personable, and offer the unicorn valuable information.
- Write compelling yet brief Call to Action copy.
- Make sure your website is responsive.
Point 6 is crucial. If your website is not fully responsive, you are in the bottom 15% of website owners. Subsequently, Google will rank the other 85% above you. You’ll essentially disappear and so will your customers. Hence, if you haven’t converted your site to mobile, do this STAT. It’s not just an option anymore. It’s basically a requirement from Google.
Cost: If you’re a trained artist or designer, a responsive Page Builder costs around $90 for a DIY job. If you aren’t, hire a Web Designer.
Cost: Ditto for Web Copy. A professional generally charges $200 per page or more.
Step #1: Increase Website Speed
Because so many people browse and make purchases from their mobile phones, site speed is more important than ever.
Mobile websites should load in 2 seconds; desktops can get by with 3.
If you’ve never tested your site’s speed, try Google’s PageSpeed Tools. After your initial shock of a poor rating, read here how to change that.
Improving your site’s speed is not easy to do on your own. It involves minifying files, decreasing requests, a whole lot of other backend tweaking. I spent days of research, trial and error, and still wasn’t happy with the results.
Then I found a plugin that would do it all with a click of a few buttons: WP Rocket.
For an average of $1.30 a day, WP Rocket took me from a C rating to an A. Their support is great, too.
While this may seem like a biased opinion, it’s not. I bought WP Rocket after asking dozens of web builders what they use. And now, I’m sharing that info with you. No affiliation or kickbacks needed to recommend this awesome tool.
Cost: $39 per year.
There you have it: The Top SEO Tips for 2017 that will help you rank higher on Google Search.
Let me know if these tips helped your site. And be sure to share your top SEO tips with me, as well. Thanks for reading!