We all know that digital marketing is in a constant state of flux – this is especially true in the case of search marketing. The engines are constantly fine-tuning to give their users a better experience (and hopefully thereby yield more advertising dollars for their shareholders).
For marketers, this means that we have to be on top of our technology platforms and the strategic approach of how we deliver content. To that end, we’ve gathered a list of the most crucial SEO tactics to have covered this year:
1 – Minimize Infrastructure Errors
These are the achilles heel for SEO, and are often overlooked in new site designs or site redevelopment projects. Bad domain management, 404 errors, and multi-language fo-pauxs are the stuff of SEO nightmares. Thankfully, you can protect yourself using tools like the Google Search Console (formerly called Google Webmaster Tools). Also, read this blog on 3 costly SEO mistakes you can make with your domain.
2 – Get Your Mobile House in Order
Mobile search is now more prevalent than desktop search, and the search engines know it. That’s why they’ve made moves to better the mobile experience for searchers, and have provided tools like the mobile readiness tool to see if your site is up to snuff? Want to do one better? Make sure your publishing platform is Google AMP ready.
3 – Build for Speed
On the heels of the Google AMP recommendation – mobile devices aren’t as quick at loading web pages, which means the web has to be faster, more slimmed down. Get rid of your clunky images and huge, locally hosted video files and streamline the experience. Want to know which pages are your worst offenders at load time? Check out the site speed report in Google Analytics.
4 – Use HTTPS
Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS would be a “ranking signal” for web sites, and it makes sense. We want consumers to have a safe experience online, and encrypting web data makes that job easier. Talk to your web host about getting the appropriate SSL certificates.
5 – Know Your Audience, and Write for Them
It used to be that being search optimized was about code and keywords – this is no longer true. Search engines have a host of measures for judging the popularity and authority of your content. The key to any content strategy is understanding who your core audience is, and delighting them. Get this Content Marketing Institute Guide on creating marketing personas.
6 – Be a Journalist’s Best Friend
Links still matter for SEO. A lot. One of the most direct ways to acquire traffic and links to your web site is through a combined PR / content strategy. Journalists need to tell a story just like brand marketers do. Most brand marketers are in a position to be of value to journalists, they just don’t know it.
You can help a journalist do his/her job by giving them access to stories and information they can’t find anywhere else. By using byproduct data of how your business operates, and by conducting your own research and investigation, you can tell stories that are relevant to a wider news audience, as well as your own. Want to dial up your link strategy? Check out this handy guide from Moz.
Looking for more advice on your 2017 plans? Download ‘Digital Priorities for 2017’ which includes these and other recommendations to fuel your digital strategy this year: