SEO Is Not Just About Keywords Anymore...?

Make no mistake about it: if anyone tells you that SEO in 2017 is still ONLY about "injecting as many keywords as possible into your Web copy," they're not just trying to sell you something - they're actively undermining your digital presence. Gone are the days where a high keyword volume guaranteed visibility on search engines like Google - in fact, that's actually something that can get you penalized these days. If you really want to make sure you're staying ahead of the SEO curve, you'll need to keep a few key things in mind.

Mobile Friendliness

In 2017, one of the biggest factors affecting your SEO actually has to do with how mobile friendly your website is. With a recent update to its powerful algorithm, Google fired a shot across the bow of all businesses who don't want to put time and effort into making sure their site is just as usable and enjoyable on a mobile phone or tablet as it is on a desktop. Google has indicated that not only will it rank mobile friendly websites HIGHER than those that aren't automatically, but that when given the option it will always serve users with the mobile friendly version of a site FIRST.

Go Local or Go Home

Google in particular has also placed a huge emphasis on local content, thanks largely to the fact that A) so many users are performing Google searches on smartphones, and B) those smartphones have GPS and location services built right in. To help take advantage of this, your website needs to have as much local information as it can get - including your address, your operating hours, contact information and more.

Machine Learning is Here to Stay

In an interesting development, Google announced last year that machine learning would be a part of its algorithm moving forward. This essentially means that it's going to use artificial intelligence to help provide better, more relevant content to its users - which is important as the definition of "relevant" might change depending on the person, even if they're searching for the same term.

What this means is that from this point forward, quality, helpful content is THE most important thing to focus on in terms of SEO. Your content needs to feel like it was written by a human, needs to be thoughtful and must deliver SOME value to SOMEONE. If Google can be taken at its word, the machine learning is then designed to take care of the rest.

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