Although there is a lot of ‘SEO is dead’ propaganda floating around in cyberspace, that is not true. More people are using Uber than rickshaws these days, but that doesn’t mean transportation is dead; rather it has evolved. Any online marketing consultant work their salt is going to keep on top of SEO trends, and that means know what works as well as what is no longer worth doing and what could actually decrease page rank.

Keeping up with SEO changes is very important and there is no point implementing SEO which no longer does much to bring your website into the limelight or attract customers. Even if you have great content, you will still want to consider SEO whether you are improving your own website or considering online marketing packages for small business. You can have the best content ever, but you will still want to have good SEO to get that content noticed in the first place.

Google search

Despite the fact that search engines aren’t candid about exact algorithm updates, you can still influence page rankings by getting a good feeling about what is true about SEO in 2017 and what is simply a myth. So let’s take a look at the 5 biggest SEO myths of the year and find out what you should and should not be doing for maximum success.

Myth #1: Links Don’t Really Help with SEO
Fact: Use the Right Kind of Links

One of the warnings webmasters hear over and over concerns links. It’s fair to say search engines don’t like links which seem to be there solely to manipulate page rank, or anything unnatural. However, links are still the strongest ranking signal search engines have. Quality over quantity is important here, and the more quality links your website has, the more Google is going to reward you for these link-building efforts. This in turn can increase page rank. Vast quantities of spammy links are going to get you banned but referrals from other quality websites in the form of links serve as ‘references’ to show the search engines your website is worth linking to.

Myth #2 Keywords aren’t Relevant Any More
Fact: Know How to Use Keywords in 2017

Although Penguin, Hummingbird and other Google updates made every online marketing consultant wonder whether topics and concepts were supposed to replace keywords, it’s not correct that keywords are no longer a factor in SEO. Autocomplete and voice recognition are widely used these days but searching is still a user-based experience however it is done. This means metadata and keyword usage still influence search engines. Good online marketing packages for small business will suggest an analysis of the keywords used by your audience in every stage of their purchasing process, and adapt your content accordingly. This means new ways to optimize not only your landing page but also your target content. Repeating a keyword phrase at precise intervals isn’t natural and is no longer recommended, but writing for the client (the opposite of keyword-stuffing) is important. Use keywords naturally and use different versions of the same phrase.

Myth #3 Mobile SEO is Optional
Fact: Mobile SEO has Never Been So Important

Once upon a time, Google search results simply noted whether or not a site was mobile-friendly, and that was that. Page rank wasn’t really influenced much. Starting this year though, the mobile versions of websites are given priority on Google’s algorithm, so if you don’t have one it will definitely affect page ranking. Give your site a dynamic design which uses the same markup and content for all devices. Even if you don’t think you get much website traffic, these numbers are increasing every year. Maybe the reason you don’t get much mobile content is because your website looks awkward or doesn’t function properly on mobile devices, and since 50% or more of potential visitors might be trying to visit you via mobile, this is huge. Even the search results for a desktop user are affected by whether or not your website is mobile-friendly, so online marketing packages for small business will definitely incorporate this crucial factor into any SEO campaign.

Myth #4 Images Don’t Need Optimization
Fact: Optimizing Images Helps with SEO in 2017

Just placing an image on your website is not enough. If you don’t use the ALT-text and image file name, search engines will be unable to detect or identify your images. To remedy this, ensure you rename all your images to something relevant and don’t forget to use the ALT-text to describe the image. Google can index JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, SVG and WebP image types. Someone searching by image rather than by keyword terms is far more likely to find your image and click through to your website. In addition, because there are so many mobile users in 2017, it is good practice to condense your images wherever possible. If a visitor has to wait more than a few seconds for an image to load on their device, they might leave your website to find a faster-loading alternative. If I want to advertise my business and gain visitors, sometimes the best way is making small, free changes such as optimizing my images. If you want to get ahead with yours, don’t forget the importance of well-named, sized-down images.

Myth #5 The Bigger Your Website the Better

Big site vs small sites

Fact: Focus Instead on Quality Content

There was a time when having a lot of webpages meant a better SERPs ranking. However, Google has been adjusting its algorithm to emphasize quality over quantity. Pages which offer the visitor useful information or add something positive to your website are worth having, but having hundreds of pages just for the sake of it is no longer the best practice in 2017. More pages do not equal more traffic. Search engines are much more influenced by what’s on your pages than how many of them there are. Search engine crawlers can tell if you are posting lots of low quality or irrelevant content and they will likely penalize you for it.

Keeping up with SEO changes in 2017 is crucial to success. Google is only one search engine, but it processes 40,000 search queries per second, averaging more than 3.5 billion searches every single day. At least a couple of those searches will relate to your company’s products or services. This means it pays to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of SEO in 2017 and implement the right changes to increase page rank and attract more visitors to your website.

Organic traffic is still one of the top web traffic sources for most businesses, so it’s important to stay abreast of what’s happening in the every-changing world of SEO. This is a dynamic field, which means it never stays the same for too long, but knowing what’s true and what’s a myth helps put you one step ahead of the competition.

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