Trending: Top 3 SEO Need-to-Knows for 2017

We’re only into the second month of 2017, but SEO moves fast, so two months is more than enough time to see some SEO trends developing. Here’s what isunfolding in SEO to date:

Ranking Signals

Google has not made any major changes to its search algorithm, so most of the ranking factors are known. However, some of them are only going to increase in importance. Among them:

  • Security—offering your viewers secure access to their site through HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) is going to be rewarded not only by search engines, but also by savvy internet searchers who want to keep their information protected.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)—creating static content pages that load lightning-fast on mobile devices provides a better user experience, and that is what Google is really trying to provide for its customers regardless of device used for search.

These ranking signals are part of the architecture of your (mobile) site. It’s not something you can just layer on top of your existing online properties. If you have an online shopping cart, chances are, your site is already secured via HTTPS. If not, but you want it to be, contact

Organic Link Building

Links, particularly links leading to your site, have always been a ranking signal, and that’s not changed. What has changed is Google’s ability to sniff out spammy links. So how links to your site are acquired is important. You want quality organic links, and you get them by offering quality content. Here’s what tends to get the most links, shares and mentions:

  • Infographics—the incorporation of images into your data presentation or presentation of data as an image makes your information more visually appealing and digestible at a glance. People like it…then they pass it on.
  • Case studies—studies of an example population, phenomenon, strategy, etc. give people a better idea of what’s been done, how it works and how it may work for them. It may be text-heavy, but it’s a worthy read if it can shortcut the trial-and-error process.
  • Reports—the short-story version of the long story is almost always preferable. Reports deliver the most vital information quickly, and web viewers appreciate that you value their time.

While link-bait content tends to be short and sweet, you can also capitalize on the ranking potential of long-form content when your message just cannot be abbreviated.

User Experience Matters

Google’s #1 priority is to deliver the best user search experience possible. The quality results that Google’s algorithm delivers need to be more than relevant—they need to lead to sites that viewers actually enjoy being on. So while there are no hard and fast criteria for what makes a user friendly site that will rank well, you will benefit from a site that offers viewers:

  • Easy, intuitive navigation
  • Attractive design, images, graphics and videos
  • Functionality (think tap-to-dial or tap-to-email hyperlinks, interactive maps, user-created products like forms, calculations, etc.)
  • Fresh content (think blogs, not frequent home page revisions)

Of course, since most viewers are finding and accessing sites from mobile devices, building your website for mobile presentation will help ensure a positive user experience.