Effective Keyword ranking is a never-ending mystery and one that every SEO professional thrives on exploring. The technique of scratching through SERP evolves every year with Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Success over this depends on a rinse and repeat the formula that is slow, to begin with but pays off well in the long run. Stay strong on the fundamentals of SEO and focus on the changing scenarios and latest features that fetch you benefits on SERP results. Here is a list of on-page elements that every SEO professional would need to know in 2017 to leverage most out of SERP.
Speed is crucial for a website; better loading websites tend to have better engagement. Google also considers speed as a ranking signal and gives fast-loading websites high priority in ranking order. Apart from having a small ranking advantage over slower loading websites, speed also gives your user a pleasing experience that will lead to better conversion probabilities since every single factor is interrelated to each other. Fixing speed on your website is going to help you make your website more SEO friendly.
Google has introduced an “Accelerated Mobile Pages” feature which enables mobile optimized content load at lightning speeds. Google has not officially declared that AMP as a ranking factor but it clearly has an aesthetic advantage in ranking over pages which are not enabled with AMP.
The historic ranking data shows that content which is long tends to rank better on Google SERP. At an average, content which ranks on the first page have 1890 words. This correlation may be because long content tends to have greater user engagement and gets a lot of social shares as well. Another fact that supports the statement is that longer content has greater topical relevancy and enables Google to understand the content better. Here is an excellent article on ways to create content that is 10 times better than the rest, what is popularly known as 10x content.
Building trust with Google helps you achieve your goal of ranking higher on SERP. Enabling SSL certification on your website and shifting to HTTPS makes Google understand that your website is safe for transactions and highly secured. Thus, enabling SSL for your e-commerce site gives a slight advantage in ranking as Google always prefers to give its users a trustable and credible user-experience.
The traditional SEO formulae “Content is King” suggests Google still loves to rank good quality content that is very relevant. Creating highly relevant content to your topic is going to give you a slight advantage in rankings. Descriptive longer content with images gives you better user experience. Keeping strong focus on informative, quality content generation is going to give you the upper hand in Google's rankings.
Schema is a set of semantic codes that you put on your website enabling Google to fetch relevant information related to your content based on the user query.
This query has been put into a debate and is yet to arrive with a clear-cut conclusion. But data suggests that websites that have implemented Schema have ranked four positions better than ones without Schema. We cannot conclude that this advantage in ranking is just because of Schema, but there is a correlation found.
Research also suggests that websites that have implemented structured data using Schema have better click-through rates than ones without Schema. It is found that on only one-third of Google’s searches has been using Schema. Snow is going to be the right time to fetch benefits of Schema on your website even if it’s negligible.
Google loves fresh content and places trending topics on the top of its search. Your queries need to be fresh and concentrate on News, Blogs and Trending stories. For example, when there something happening in Chennai, the first news appears in 15 minutes, and the first query occurs in an average of 2 seconds. To yield the benefits of a query your SEO needs to focus on building content around trending topics and news. The faster you are, with more relevant, high-quality content, the faster you website gets.
With trends revolving around voice search in the US majorly and spreading across the rest of the world, Google has given preference to content that answers queries on SERP. Thus, building content based on questions that your user may ask also helps you get more website traction.
Heading tags are the basics of SEO, and it still has great priority in Googles list of ranking factors. Heading tags is assumed as the key for the content on your webpage, and it should have your target keyword for the particular URL. The heading tags are intended to distinguish headings and subheadings on your content and tags H1 to H6 go in the order of priority. Search Engines normally show H1 to H3 on your content.
Google’s Statistics reveal that 85% of total searches happen on mobile, so having a mobile responsive web design has become inevitable. When you don’t have a mobile responsive web design, you risk losing traffic. Google’s Ranking Algorithm has given high priority to website designs on SERP.
Google’s focus has also been on Accelerated Mobile Pages, which enables web pages to be super-fast on mobile devices. It’s a must for mobile first approach on search; the strategy is going to work for both the present and the near future of searches.
Optimizing the title on the Meta tags has been another factor around the fundamentals of SEO. Focusing your exact match keyword in the title gives you a moderate advantage in rankings on SERP. Thus having a clear cut hierarchy for your website content, and focusing on unique keywords for every relevant landing page, is going to help search algorithms identify the content they need to rank for a particular keyword.
The concept of interlinking is a strong tool to tell Google which content is critical. It also helps you to bridge the gap between your most authoritative content and your most valuable content. The key for interlinking is content; the more content you have the probability to interlink is more. Interlinking is going to give your user additional relevant information on a site and ultimately going to boost your engagement rate. Google also identifies the hierarchy of your content based on how it is interlinked; making it a ranking factor you need to add to your On Page Checklist for 2017.
The tools and trends of SEO will evolve and get better every year. 2017 holds promise for more refined SEO techniques, so sharpen up your skills and give your website a big ranking boost for the years to come. Do you know any other important on-page SEO element? Feel free to share in the comments below.