What Have We Learned About SEO in 2017?

The team at Hozio takes a great deal of pride in getting our clients widely recognized on the web. In fact, we have professionals with the SEO tools that are guaranteed to get your company to appear on the very first page of Google. However, like all things internet, our skilled team members have to be up to date on the fluctuation of changes that regularly take place in the world of Search Engine Optimization. Every year the world of SEO sees a multitude of changes, accompanied by some steadfast techniques that guarantee our success. 2017 was no exception, so in the interest of the year in review, have a read of some of the things we have learned about SEO practices in 2017.

Everyone Is AMP’ing it UP!

One of the most radical changes the world of SEO saw was the introduction of Google AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages. AMP introduced a new standard for the mobile searcher, allowing mobile devices to load sites more quickly and seamlessly. Although AMP launched in February 2016, this year saw some steady applications of the more user-friendly and simpler HTML. Is AMP here to stay? That’s the question that many webmasters have been asking this year. 2017 showed proof that many designers are designing with AMP strategies in mind for some of the following reasons:

  • Addressing the Need. The Need. For Speed
    Since AMP utilizes more direct and easier versions of HTML and CSS, these pages load way faster than your average site. This fact, coupled with the feature of AMP content being cached in the cloud hosted by Google, has shown a serious decline in bounce rates of these speedy sites. We all know that your average internet nerd is going to bounce after about 3 seconds, so if your site isn’t designed with AMP, you may want to get to retooling your code. Your company’s website is bound to get more hits with a load time of 0.7 seconds as opposed to the non-AMP bounce worthy 22 seconds it may take for a non-AMP page.
  • Pulling Rank
    This past year, pages designed with AMP have proven to show up better in search engine rankings. Although that’s good news, it is important to remember that it is still taking time for many sites’ rankings to increase. The majority of websites out there are still designed with non-AMP code, and while the switch is paying off, it is important to remember that slow and steady is still sure to win the race.
  • Takin’ It Easy
    By now you probably recognize AMP as one of the biggest trends in SEO in the past year. If you are ready to see how it all works, the easiest way for you to AMP up is to install the official AMP WordPress plugin on your website. If you activate the plugin, all of your new content will be AMPed up for you, and you can see the results for yourself. Isn’t nice to keep things simple and effective? Do keep in mind, however, that AMP is a format that is strictly validated, and the elements on your page have to pass the Google AMP validation. Don’t worry, Google still makes even that easy for you by providing a built-in application in Chrome.

It is clear that Accelerated Mobile Pages is one of the top exciting features of SEO to gain footing this year. But that’s not all we had to keep in mind. Here’s what else we have learned.

Link by Link by Link
This is not exactly a new trend, but it is one that you absolutely have to continue to keep in mind if you are interested in improving your search rankings. That’s right! It’s time to talk backlinks. Sometimes it is wise to get back to the basics of backlinking by keeping things rather traditional. Keep getting local links as opposed to those high authority site links. Local relevancy will provide more success to your SEO than links that have a higher authority. Have you questioned how you can score some strong locally relevant links? Maybe you should consider researching some of what your competitors have done. Using domain comparison features in software like SpyGlass is a great way to go.

The Right Ranks, The Right Way
Most of the time, local rankings are gathered on a web surfer’s individual IP. With that in mind, when gathering data for your rankings, it is wise to go about setting a specific geolocation to monitor your rankings. Utilizing features such as the one available in Rank Tracker is a smart way to find out where you stand with your local search engine rankings. Customizing your site for your preferred search engine is also a feature that has been made available on most, if not all design platforms this year. In short, finding out where you rank with local competitors proved to be a sharp focus for SEO in 2017, and with many features to help accomplish it.

You Let Your Voice be Heard in 2017
One of the many features that saw a rise in popularity in 2017 was that of voice search on mobile devices. Not only that but in-home devices such as Alexa have become a practical staple in automated homes across the country. Did you take into consideration that your site needs to be properly optimized for voice search? If you did, you are ahead of the game, because 2018 will only see a greater rise in its popularity. If you are still lagging behind, then you should make sure that your content is optimized for featured answers or snippets that will be provided by voice search platforms. Doing so will drastically increase rankings for your company or brand. But how? Here are some quick suggestions to help you stay focused on moving your voice, and your brand, forward.

  1. Identify the commonly searched questions that are relevant to your brand. Long tail keyword research will come in handy.
  2. Write content that will specifically answer the questions that are relevant to your company. Fresh content is king, and the more you have, the better your rankings are likely to be.
  3. Be sure that your article is truly relevant and helpful to what your potential voice search questions might be. Having researched, detailed, and specific content will only drive your search engine rankings forward.

In conclusion, the Hozio team wants you to know that your company’s search engine optimization is important to us. When you see results, we see results ourselves. Not just in the form of success, but company morale, and the satisfaction of our clients. Remember that Hozio is here to help you become the most recognized company or brand in your field, across Long Island and the great wide internet.

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