By Becky Bicks, Contributor
Getting your business discovered on the internet isn’t simple. Learning search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t a science, but an art, since search engines use a complicated algorithm in order to rank web pages, and they change that algorithm constantly. If you want to ensure that your business’s website dominates search engine results in 2017, it’s important to keep the following rules in mind.
From 2010 to 2015, mobile internet usage spiked 600 percent. For that reason, in 2017, Google will give weight to companies whose sites work well on mobile devices. If you design your site responsively, you can ensure that it functions well and looks good when people access it on mobile devices — and that it has a better SEO score than non-responsive pages.
When other sites link to your web page, it signals that your page is authoritative. In 2017, Google will give even more weight to your authority profile — meaning it will count not only the number of links to your site, but also the quality and diversity of the pages that link to your site.
You usually optimize your site around a keyword. However, in 2017, it won’t be enough to simply optimize around a word or phrase. Instead, it will be important to keep user intent in mind when optimizing your site — that is, what specifically internet users are looking for when they visit your site. In order to optimize for intent, think about why users might be searching for your site, then ensure each page fulfills that need.
Mobile optimization is important for a great user experience (UX). However, Google will show favor to sites that create a great experience for users in other ways, too. Google will measure the quality of UX by things like bounce rates, average time spent, fast load times and more.
RankBrain is Google’s artificial intelligence system, and in 2017, it will be in charge of giving pages SEO scores. To ensure you appeal to RankBrain, you don’t only have to do keyword research but also craft high-quality, well-written, natural content around those keywords. RankBrain can tell what is well-written and what isn’t.
You can dominate search engine results for many related phrases in your field by optimizing for not just one main keyword, but multiple relevant keywords. Everyone searches differently, so by including several relevant keywords, you can make sure you appear in the search results of everyone searching for content that is related to yours.