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The 11 best SEO practices for 2017

SEO (Seach Engine Optimization) is a tool many firms are neglecting.

People would say that SEO is dead and getting old-fashioned, Facebook and Google Ads are more than enough, right? Wrong.

One of the best SEO experts worldwide and CEO of Quicksprout, Neil Patel wrote that “SEO is not dead” and if there is someone you should listen to when it comes to marketing, an award-winning marketer is definitely a good person to get advice from.

Why SEO is more importat than ever?

Lots of marketers have ignored SEO and rely on ads – Facebook and Google e.t.c. So if you focus on your SEO – though it may take time, it’ll be worth every second.

In this post, I’ve put together 10 vital SEO tricks you should take advantage of in 2017.

1. Guest blogging

You probably don’t know the importance of guest blogging or have underestimated it. Here is a highly detailed post on guest blogging.

There are many benefits of guest blogging, namely:

  • Improved name authority: guest blogging increases the name recognition of your brand.
  • Exposure: in the advertising world, companies know that a potential customer must be exposed to an ad multiple times before they have a positive perception or subconscious recognition of the product or brand. In the same way, when readers see a lot of your articles, they become more familiar with your personal brand.
  • Inbound Links: getting inbound links is one of the main reasons people guest blog in the first place. Some websites allow writers to submit a bio and/or their social media profile URLs to be published at the end of the post. These links drive referral traffic and boost organic search rankings, resulting in better search visibility for the author’s website.

2. Link to authority sites

Google made an update to their Algorithm some years back called Hilltop.

Hilltop is essentially an on-page SEO signal that tells Google whether or not a page is a “hub” of information.

So: How does Google know which pages are hubs?

Hubs are determined by the quality and relevancy of that page’s outbound links.

This makes total sense if you think about it.

The pages you link out to tend to reflect the topic of your page.

And pages that link to helpful resources also tend to be higher-quality than pages that only link to their own stuff.

In other words, pages that link out to awesome resources establish themselves as hubs of helpful content in the eyes of Big G.

In fact, a recent industry study found a correlation between outbound links and Google rankings.

3. Write mini blog posts for YouTube videos

Youtube videos dominate Google’s first-page search results. And considering that Google owns the popular video site, it’s a trend that’s not likely to change anytime soon.

One way to rank well both in Youtube search results and Google is by using a 200+ words description.

Don’t make the mistake of just throwing in a bunch of words into the description box and publishing the video.

4. Check your internal link structure

Getting internal links to your website helps your SEO. However, keeping a neat internal link structure has it’s own SEO advantages.

Placing internal links is simply linking to other posts, pages or articles in your website.

5. Make sure you’re speaking Google’s language

Here’s a brief checklist to make sure all of your pages are Google-friendly.

1. Are your main headings in <H1> tags?
2. Are your subheadings in <H2> and <H3> tags?
3. Does the title of your page contain your keywords?
4. Does the main heading on the page contain your keywords?

6. Do a competitive research, and don’t be afraid to steal

Most business owners make one huge SEO mistake when they’re first starting out:

They try to do everything from scratch.

But why reinvent the wheel when you have an excellent model for how to rank highly in your niche: your top competitors.

Note: this tactic works well only for websites that are ranking poorly in search engines.

7. Keep the content up to date.

Visitors don’t like outdated content. Updating the content frequently also attracts the Search engines spiders to index the web pages frequently.

Have a time table of when you would create new content. Don’t make the mistake of creating new content only when you feel like doing so. Have a dedicated and consistent way of doing it.

8. Forum participation

Forum posting is a good start for any campaign, especially if you choose to participate on high PR and high traffic forum sites.

The best way to benefit from this method is to establish an expert or knowledgeable image through this channel, and not just focusing on building links through your signature.

Establishing yourself through forum sites and being genuinely active in participating in the community can bring you targeted visitors and interested clients within a month.

This way, spending 30 minutes a day on 1 or 2 authority forums around your site’s industry is certainly worth it.

9. Target easy-to-rank long-tail keywords through blog posts

If your site does not have a blog section yet, then you better start including one. Blogs can benefit your business in so many ways, and consistently driving traffic to your site is one of them.

Using long-tail keywords in your blog posts’ titles (eg. How to learn SEO), can help your site’s performance in terms of traffic generation.

This strategy can very much take your blog posts on top of SERPs without further improving them through off-page optimization or link building.

Blog posts can naturally rank on their own basing on its topical relevance as seen by search engines, and taking advantage of low competition keywords will make your pages rank on the top page of SERPs in no time, which means more organic traffic to your site.

10. Speed up your website

A slow website is very bad for SEO and provides poor user experience. If people visit your website and it takes more than 5 seconds to load, they’ll go away and find another source.

A slow website will increase your bounce back rate which demotes you in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). There are many ways to speed up a website. This post here explains in detail how to speed up your website forever.

11.  Use a sitemap

A sitemap is a file where you can list the web pages of your site to tell Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content.

Search engine web crawlers like Googlebot read this file to more intelligently crawl your site. Create a sitemap and upload it to Google webmaster console.

This Wikipedia article explains everything you’ll need to know about Sitemaps.

Which of these practices would you be implementing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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