SEO in 2017, What You’re Doing Wrong

SEO today is not the same as a decade ago. User behaviors continue to evolve and Google is always sure to keep track, making changes according to the trends. To help you stay at the top of your SEO game in 2017, we’ve put together a list of four things you could be doing wrong.

  1. You are not paying attention to technical SEO 

    Technical SEO is that basic SEO you do apart from whipping up quality content. It strengthens your keywords, helping you rank higher in Google. With so much information out there and lots of competition, it’s no longer enough to simply have great content. These technical SEO could make all difference between being invisible and getting better search rankings:

  • Mobile responsiveness means your site will be automatically be adjusted to fit any size or type of mobile device. This ensures maximum user experience at all times, and of course, better rankings.
  • You don’t want to have committed so much effort into getting visitors to open your site only for them to click the back button when your page hasn’t loaded by the 3-second Speed is the core of great user experience. If your site is not fast enough, you’ll lose customers to more SEO-savvy competitors.
  • Broken links and poor server uptime are two of the worst things that could happen to you. It’s annoying and could render all your efforts useless in a second. To avoid perpetual server uptime issues, use a trusted web host, and always get rid of broken links once you find them. Depending on your CMS, you may be able to install a broken link checker plugin to continually scan your site for broken links and alert you when there are any.
  1. You’re doing nothing for mobile SEO 

    Really, it’s 2017 and you’re not putting mobile first? With more people using mobile phones for search and Google making mobile-friendly updates, your biggest mistake this year could be not optimising your site for mobile.To find out whether your website is optimised for mobile, go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, input your site URL. If it’s not mobile-friendly, consider doing these:

  • Ensure text is legible
  • Use compression tools
  • Configure viewport to make sure content fits
  • Don’t make tap targets too small
  • Optimise images
  • Get rid of unnecessary plugins

Find more here.

  1. Stuffing too many keywords 

    Back when keywords were the new kid on the block, everyone wanted a piece. That was a long time ago, Google has moved on, and so have your competitors. In fact, if you think stuffing keywords in your content is the way to SEO heaven, kindly take a time machine back to ‘whenever’ you came from!Inserting too many keywords in your content unnaturally is a sure way to have your content penalised. See this example:

    “This lovely barber shop in Louisiana is Louisiana’s loveliest barber shop where you’ll be sure to have a lovely haircut in a lovely barber shop in Louisiana.”

    The above example is probably extreme, but the point is you absolutely cannot throw keywords around with impunity. There is no set formula to using keywords, but you should consider doing these:

  • Use keywords sparingly and in the most natural way, like you weren’t even paying attention to the keywords in the first place.
  • Use long tail keywords for precision. As the name implies, long tail keywords are longer keyword phrases that provide more specific information. For example, let’s say you’re a barber shop with a focus on kids, instead of targeting ‘barber shop’, you could target ‘barber shop to cut kids’ hair‘. The trick here is knowing how to use them, but of course, you’ll learn.
  • Use different variations and synonyms of the keyword, but again, use them naturally.
  • Use Keyword Planner to see how certain keywords could perform.
  1. You’re not https yet 

    Have you noticed that most sites you visit these days have a green padlock before the URL in the navigation bar? If it’s not the padlock alone, it’s the padlock and ‘secure’, or ‘https’. What this means is these websites have SSL, and what SSL does is protect sensitive information such as credit card details by encrypting it. No third party would be able to intercept the information as it is transferred from the user’s browser to the server. Currently, if you don’t have SSL and your website collects sensitive information such as customers’ bank details, you’ll be hurting your search rankings. Google could extend this to all websites eventually. Read more here.

  1. Your Site is Too Slow 

    2017 is the year of speed. With the emergence and widespread adoption of fibre and 4G mobile broadband people expect to be viewing online content faster. This mean light, responsive sites. It means great hosting from providers like Free Parking. Bounce rates are affecting rankings, as is time on site. Think about the speed of your site and think about engaging everyone the enters. Targeted content and a quality user experience will win in 2017.SEO is not a one-off, it’s continuously evolving and you have to ensure that you are on top of the trends at all times. If you make any of the mistakes above, correct them, move forward, and keep learning.

Mars Cureg

Web designer by profession, photography hobbyist, T-shirt lover, design blog founder, gamer. Socially and physically awkward, lack of social skills, struggles to communicate with anyone who doesn't have a keyboard. Willing to walk to get to the promised land. Photo and video freelancer, SEO. Check out more on my Google+

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