As the internet changes and evolves, so do the SEO strategies you need to be using to make your blog successful. SEO, or search engine optimisation, is how your site gets found on search engines, like Google. So, whether you run a student blog, cataloguing your experiences while studying an online MLIS degree, or a blog designed to drive traffic to your small business, here are the SEO tips you need in 2017.
It’s been suggested over the last few years that keywords no longer play a part in a site’s SEO and content is more important. While this for the most part is true, the way we search has changed, and there is so much information out there that your site being unique, informative and entertaining is by far the most important thing. But, that doesn’t mean keywords don’t matter at all. Be sure to use them in your titles, meta titles and descriptions, but also photograph titles and alt text (there’s another tip, use titles and alt text!). Use the Google keyword tool to help you find the right keywords for each topic. However, it’s equally important to use them sparingly; your content needs to be easy to read, not packed with keywords.
If you google a product, the top search result may show the shop details that sell it, the opening times, price details and stock levels, etc. Those are rich snippets. These are being used much more frequently and can easily be added to your HTML to get your page to the top of search results. You don’t need to do this for every page, but it’s a good idea in some cases. If you’re sharing a recipe, for example, make the ingredients a rich snippet.
Smartphones and tablets are being used more than ever to browse the internet. This makes it very important that your site is completely cross platform utilized. The best way to find out how well it works on different devices is to test it out, or ask friends to do it for you, but make sure they give you honest feedback. Whenever you add or change anything, check it.
Not long ago, internet videos were confined to sites such as YouTube. Now they are everywhere. Users almost expect to see a video to support information. Try to add videos to your site where you can or start a YouTube page with links back to your blog. If you feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, why not design some animations? Videos are great for sharing easy to understand information quickly, so use them to explain, entertain, or to teach. Experiment with some different styles of filming and presenting, and have fun.
It’s important to remember who you are writing for. If you are writing that student blog about an online MLIS program, are you writing for fellow students or data mining professional? Either way, it isn’t a search engine. Keep SEO in mind, but write for your readers, not for Google.