2016 saw SEO evolve at a faster rate than any other year, largely due to Google’s Penguin 4.0 update and the increasing promotional possibilities provided by social media.
There are, however, a number of tactics that are vital for avoiding Google sensors and practicing ethical SEO. Company experiences of our own have helped us create strategies essential for maintaining an honest approach to all SEO campaigns in 2017.
The dominance of mobile for search purposes has altered the SEO landscape immeasurably over the past year and will certainly continue to do so.
In May 2015 Google announced that traffic levels for mobile searches are well above those of desktop. Not having a mobile-friendly site increasingly marginalises any SEO campaign you undertake. Google is now even planning to prioritise mobile results when indexing sites for the SERPs. If your site is not mobile ready, correct this as soon as possible.
Content needs optimization
Google Panda demands that websites contain strong, well-written content that gives users informative insight into their search query. However, no matter how high the quality of the content you write, there is still a need to promote it effectively. Simply creating good content is not a form of SEO in itself. As much as 90% of a site’s content will be neglected without correct optimisation of it.
Google will certainly take notice of any good site copy you provide, but marketing it through third party link-building and cross-channel marketing via your social media accounts is necessary to compete against competitor content. This will also establish you as a source of authority across your industry. Reliable, professional content will naturally be shared amongst your peers and followers; an attractive content marketing benefit and a clear form of ethical SEO.
Company backlinks should be no-follow
It’s important to remember that any link you have exchanged money for should be a no-follow link. Paying for links is, for the most part, an outdated approach to SEO but is not entirely against Google’s rules. Making sure the links you receive are no-follow is common sense for ensuring that blatant self-serving SEO, that will trigger Google’s sensors, is not passed back to your site.
Internal links are a great way to maintain user interaction on your website in a manner that establishes you as an authority on your industry while providing the user with an interactive experience that supports the nature of the search query further. This can work wonders for metrics like bounce rate and page views.
Link equality is also distributed more evenly across your site thanks to the use of internal linking. In order for this to work most effectively ensure that relevant internal pages are reached via natural anchor text rather than overly keyword focused terms.
As a general rule, three is the ideal number of links expected for each piece of content, although this can be increased depending upon the length of the copy being linked from.
Voice search for SEO
Voice search is becoming a major part of the user experience, far beyond the limitations of text enquires. This will expand in 2017 to incorporate voice recognition and understanding capabilities that cater to SEO criteria, including the use of spoken queries for keyword research purposes. Google Now, Siri and Cortana are among those providers leading the way in voice search.
Although the inclusion of direct keywords is still 100% vital to a well-optimised campaign of ethical SEO, company websites are increasingly focusing on fuller queries and long-tail phrases help cater to the expectations of customers by giving them exactly what they’re looking for.
Using site copy that includes longer phrasing is now ideal for catering to the expectations of consumers. If you’re not sure of the exact search terms bringing traffic to your site, simply review the search enquiries you’ve recently received by using data from Analytics.
Cross-channel marketing is a more comprehensive development that builds upon multi-channel marketing practices.
Whereas multi-channel is essentially marketing your brand on more than one platform, cross-channel marketing is the use of multiple channels to integrate the way you market your services.
This involves a number of creative crossing tactics, such as contacting users of your mobile app through social media and email marketing to promote products and services. This can increase conversions while generating a widely recognisable brand identity that is likely to establish customer loyalty.
The most strategic part of cross-channel marketing is knowing the most appropriate marketing platform to release a message from, along with what the most beneficial content will be for that particular channel.
The most important part of any SEO campaign is to undertake an approach that remains ethical. SEO company tactics should always respect Google’s algorithms which are in place for the benefit and safety of its users.
At Consult Believe we offer effective and ethical SEO practices that allow our client’s sites to rank naturally in Google and all other search engines. We create marketing plans using the most appropriate online platforms. Enquire now for more information on how we can help your business.