Bloggers are usually not bothered when it comes to SEO and all things ‘Google‘. But what if I told you that improving your blog in terms of search engine optimisation meant working with brands and earning some extra dollar? Because if there’s one thing that brands & agencies (read: your potential clients) will start looking at in this incredibly competitive blogging world it won’t be the amount of your followers – it will be;
the quality of your content,the quality of your engagement,the quality of your website authority.
Internet is a whimsy place and everything changes from day to day. What you did yesterday and worked might not work tomorrow. But there’s a lot you can learn from expert predictions and you know, common sense.
? How to keep on top of the blog game in 2017?
There’s no magical formula for success (as you’ve probably figured out by now) but there’s a lot you can do to climb up that ladder a lot quicker than the rest of us. The things that won’t change and that you need to be aware of are:
High quality content is and will be the most important thing for bloggers
Your blog needs to look good – it needs to be easy to read, easy to navigate and pleasing to the eye
You want to be found – sort out those header tags, stop titling your blog posts with song lyrics (that’s so 2012) & start naming your images properly before uploading them
Make people stay & read as much as they possibly can!
? Top 5 SEO trends for 2017
There’s also a lot of things in the blogging world that will change (I’m talking in terms of SEO here but I’m pretty sure A LOT will be changing on other fronts too). Here’s 5 SEO predictions which, I believe, will have impact on the blogging world in 2017.
? Topic search
If you’ve read my post SEO basics for bloggers: Interview with an SEO expert then you know how incredibly important it is to keep an eye on keyword search. Keyword search has been with us since the beginning of Google really – that’s how the search engine matches what people search for and the best possible answers. This will be changing – slightly. Stuffing keywords (repeating the same keyword over and over again) won’t help you anymore, in fact it might result in your blog dropping down from the top Google search results.
The new algorithm is expected to pick up on vocabulary rather than words. This is a huge advantage for bloggers in a way because we really know what we’re talking about. We use jargon, we use niche vocabulary and phrases that closely relate to what we’re talking about – because we’re so damn passionate about the subject! And that’s what Google will start picking up on. Instead of simply scanning for keywords it will scan for a set of words relevant to the topic.
When you type your question into Google you’re not looking for 247329831 pages of romance that will eventually tell you (probably on the very last page) that cooking a hard boiled egg takes 10 minutes. Although Google used to favour long blog posts it will now differentiate between ramblings and facts. Boosting your posts with information without getting side tracked by yesterday’s lunch is the way to go!
? Bounce rate
More than ever before bounce rate will become a measure of success in 2017. Creating a quality content which makes people want to browse your archives (series are a good way of keeping people on your blog!) is the ultimate key to a lower bounce rate (which is what you want). Google will be looking at how long people spend on your page. And also how quickly they click away from it which ultimately results in your blog being pushed down from the top results.
? Mobile device responsiveness
Well over 50% of all Google searches are done via mobile devices today. That also means that chances are a good chunk of your audience will be reading your blog off their phone. How ironic that we always design our blogs for desktop and then ‘optimise‘ them for mobile devices? Double check that your template is responsive (and bloody well responsive!) on a tablet and a phone ideally before committing to that particular template. Once it’s been installed go over all buttons and click throughs just so you’re 100% positive it all works fine. There’s nothing more annoying that going on someone’s blog on my phone. Nnd not being able to find things (or not being able to scroll at all). And you’re back to a crappy bounce rate again. Sigh.
? Internal links
Another website factor that will become a priority to Google is internal links. One that’s completely in your own control and very easy to get right. Your blog is your world (rather than a filing cabinet). So it’s only logical that you can go flawlessly from one blog post to another. Create these linkages – ideally by linking to relevant phrases or full names of the previous posts with do follow attributes to tell Google that your whole domain is full of useful relevant information. Not just that one page the visitor has landed on.
Please keep in mind that these are trends & predictions. We won’t know what Google’s up to until the release of the new algorithm or a Panda update. But all these trends I have mentioned have been shared by various SEO experts from ProBlogger to Social Media Examiner. I’ve just applied them to the blogging community I know & love.