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How to Approach SEO in 2017

This article was updated on August 6th, 2020 at 05:57 am

Every year the SEO game changes – what was relevant in 2016 may not be considered good practice in 2017, which can make optimising your website a nightmare.

For the everyday blogger with a basic understanding of how SEO works, searching for helpful tips on Google can be as daunting as moving to a country where you don’t know the language. In fact, in many ways, it is exactly the same.

SEO professionals are often found speaking in terms that only they know what they are talking about, leaving the casual user confused and apprehensive about delving further into the world of digital marketing.

E-commerce Websites

Owners of e-commerce websites will have a digital marketing strategy of some ilk; it is just a case as to whether that strategy is working. If so, is your plan designed to achieve results in the short or long term?

For example, an e-commerce website looking to achieve fast results will make use of PPC (Pay Per Click) targeting specific search phrases and/or competitors. Any SEO professional will tell you that while PPC is great for an initial boost, this should form part of a long-term strategy based on organic growth.

Growing Organically

There is no one size fits all strategy to guarantee your website hits page one. Obviously, there are guidelines that webmasters should follow; however, the type of market that you are competing in will play a role in how much ground can realistically be made.

Competitive markets with broad search terms are going to be a lot more difficult to climb the rankings than a niche market with precise keywords. Although these terms will not have as many searches as broad matches, they will produce a more targeted audience that are searching for exactly what the websites displayed offer. This is the type of traffic that you want.

Domain Authority

Building up the authority of your website’s domain name is central to organic growth. This can be done in a variety of ways. Incorporating high quality, relevant and unique content on your website is the best practice to getting your website indexed by Google, who want to display the best content possible to their users.

By publishing good content, this increases the chances of gaining backlinks pointing to your website. Assuming the websites that publish your links enjoy a good domain authority score, this will have a positive impact on your domain and, thus, pushing you further up search rankings.

On the face of it, this all seems rather simple, but it is not quite as straightforward as this. For years, many digital marketing professionals exploited this, which resulted in poor content (mostly guest posts) that was jammed with keywords and an irrelevant link. Google is privy to this and any content that incorporates an irrelevant link will result in bad news for both the publishing website and linked website (especially if it is obvious that the post has been paid for).

Social Media

In 2017, social media is hardly the mystery that it was 10 years ago. Anyone and everyone appears to have some kind of social media presence, and the same goes for websites – no matter how big or small.

For businesses, having a social media presence is essential to the image of the brand. An inactive Twitter and/or Facebook page is bad for business, as well as for SEO, as social media provides a great alternative platform to build an audience which you can convert into customers. This does not mean bombarding your social feed with link after link – consider the content that your audience wants on their screen, and provide them with it.

As SEO practices change, the best advice that any digital marketing professional can give is to focus on growing organically, rather than exploiting loopholes. The chances are that, sooner or later, what originally resulted in short term gains will result in long term losses.

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