Search engine optimization (SEO) is what determines where your site or blog appears in search engine results. Taking Google as an example, their complex algorithm is an ever-evolving equation; in layman’s terms, it takes a series of factors, such as age, word count, keyword integration, and external links, considers them all, and determines the website’s search ranking accordingly.
Due to SEO’s constant evolution, it is easy to become jaded with the concept of optimizing your work for search engines. As the SEO landscape has shifted, it has become increasingly misunderstood by a large number of people who are looking to grow their audience. This frustration has led to a vocal minority claiming SEO is a relic of the past; however that is far from the case.
SEO in 2017 is arguably more important than ever. With the number of online sites and blogs growing exponentially each and every year, strategizing the best ways in which to reach an audience is essential. SEO is what assists Google in delivering the most useful, valuable, and relevant information to a target reader, so making your content just that is the fundamental art of effective search engine optimization.
Taking the initial deep dive into SEO strategy, more often than not starts with keyword research. While this certainly won’t be a revelation to anyone with a basic understanding of SEO, its importance is so much more than simply upping the odds on algorithm success. Information regarding the most effective keywords provides a blog writer insight into their ideal readership, to which a blog can then be tailored.
SEO research also allows further opportunities regarding your website’s potential competition. With an abundance of blogs and highly successful websites lining every inch of the web, there has never been more competition than in 2017. As such, SEO is vital; taking every avenue to improve your site’s online presence is a must if you’re to grow an audience in today’s online climate.
It is true though: SEO has changed. With the rise of social media, content of all varieties has had to adapt to survive. SEO is no longer purely a statistical tool, but a way in which to curate quality. Ambar Shrivastava, VP of product management for Tutor.com, states that “instead of focusing on keywords, focus on content […] you want to think about your audience and what’s important to them.” So while keyword strategy is still essential, the quality of the content itself is imperative to succeed.
Successful, quality content isn’t always about the finesse of one’s own writing, but its relevance to your desired reader. Developing your SEO strategy will allow you to construct the foundation for your website or blog. Priority keywords and messaging that reveals itself through SEO research will allow you to expand the themes and content of your site in light of your discoveries.
This importance of SEO in 2017 can be enveloped under the custom content umbrella. 93% of online activity starts with a search engine. This fact alone highlights the significance of SEO. Yet for it to be truly successful, the custom content side of SEO must be implemented. Having a fully-realized vision for your site is crucial, and writing quality content that’s designed specifically towards your audience is the basis of this, with 60% of consumers feeling more positive after reading custom content on a website.
Changes in Google’s algorithm have benefited talented content creators by rewarding high quality. Because of this, some digital marketers believe that as long as their content is of a certain standard, SEO doesn’t matter. Being of the belief that audience growth will take care of itself without SEO strategy is the difference between a site that no one sees, and one that gets shared countless times a day.
As Shrivastava expressed, quality content is highly influential in building an audience, but that content won’t be found by itself – especially in 2017 where more content than ever is being consumed. Think about when you last went on a website; chances are you Googled the name of the website for the link, even if you knew the exact URL to get there without doing.
With Google processing over 40,000 search queries every second, using any technique you can to get ahead of the pack is indispensable. So, regardless of how the SEO landscape has changed, ignoring the primary way people find information would be a careless oversight. Content visibility depends on SEO; with a great way to improve this being to include links from authority sites (websites with high levels of traffic which Google deems a valuable source of information).
Without utilizing effective SEO, you run the risk of losing potential visitors to your site or blog. Doing so will open the doors for competitors to swoop down and offer your readership content along the same lines as you. Simply put, if no one can find your site, your creative efforts will be wasted.
Your site’s search engine ranking is of great significance. SEO in 2017 is important; it’s the one-two punch, along with quality content, that will ultimately determine your website’s prolonged success.