Deep in budget plans and marketing strategy drafts these days?
We so know the feeling and we're in the right position (since we're pretty much in the same situation ourselves, as well, here, at our Toronto web design company) to empathize with you!
But we'd like to go beyond (just) empathy! We'd like to help you in your online marketing efforts specific to this time of year!
In this respect, we've put together a list of 8 SEO resolutions that you should make and keep this year. Take them as some truly efficient little "adjustments", for they won't “shake” the foundation of your business plan, nor will they ruin your budget.
You should see our suggested SEO commitments, that you should make and stick to in 2017, rather as some mindsets that you should start adopting, as a marketer, or as different angles that you should start approaching SEO this year.

1. Create Mobile-First Experiences 

“Mobile-first” and “experience” will be some truly influencing words/trends in 2017!
The online marketing arena has given us enough clues in 2016 that we're about to enter a new mobile-focused era, clues ranging from Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages to Facebook's Instant Articles, to Apple's News. 
Now if we are to relate the first one of these 3 major clues, the AMP, to your SEO success in 2017 we should say that:
  1. The little green lightning signaling AMP pages to searchers will attract visitors to your website
  2. AMP is assumed, in the online marketers' community, to be a raking factor (a “supposition” that you should keep a close eye on till it turns itself into a fact)
As for the second powerful word of 2017's digital landscape, “experience”, expect it to influence marketers' approaches to SEO this year.
How come? Well, it won't be a matter of “pleasing” search engines anymore. SEO will become a matter of “pleasing” your visitors landing on your site from their mobile devices first.
The higher ranking on search engines will come too, if you play your “crafting the best mobile experiences” card right!
How do you ensure a good experience to your mobile users?
  1. You improve your web page's load time on mobile devices
  2. You make your users' journeys on your website intuitive, accessible and convenient, designed for them, consumers of mobile experiences, rather than just adapted, subsequently, for mobile.


2. Optimize Your Site For Your Visitors First

… and you'll be automatically optimizing it for search engines, too!
If in 2016 you've started to “shyly” adopt the “customer-first” type of thinking, as an online marketer, and to slowly leave the search engines-oriented type of thinking behind, in 2017 you should turn it into a must-adopt mindset.
Don't think exclusively about the algorithms and about winning search engine' favors when you optimize your website for mobile: do it with the “image” of your visitors in mind!
How intuitive are their journeys on your website? Are they enjoying the best mobile experience during their visit on your site?
Remember that Google turned user experience into a ranking factor for mobile, so don't be too surprised if it will do the same for desktop sites, too, in 2017.
Meanwhile, be prepared! Get to know your audience and to constantly improve their experience on your website.
Here are just a few strong reasons why better user experiences will grant your a better search engine ranking:
  • the more engaged with your brand your visitors are, the more chances you have for them to convert your inbound traffic
  • the more pages they'll visit on your site and the more they'll linger on your site, the more chances you have to get a better ranking
  • happy customers (happy with your site's load time, with how logical and intuitive their whole journey on your website is) translate into a lower bouncing rate and implicitly into a higher conversion rate and also in higher chances to win Google's attention (in a good way)
  • the better experiences you'll craft for your visitors, the more likely they are to “spread the news” about your brand 
SEO= Optimized User Experiences in 2017!

3. Write Longer-Form Content

In 2017 you either go with the flow, which is the rise of the long-form content, or, well, the flow leaves you behind!
Deal with the fact that readers have gradually got sick of the same short-form and rather superficially written content.
They've started to look for content which should provide them more added value . This calls for more time invested in research and for more resources of time (again) in crafting and in elaborating longer-form, richer (more detailed) pieces of content.
Here are some benefits that high quality, long-form content will bring you:
  • you'll get to make a winning difference, to set yourself apart from competition
  • you'll build trust (which is gold in your relation with your potential customers)
  • the two above benefits will automatically grant you more conversions

4. Audit, Audit, Then Audit Some More

“Laziness” is one of the main reasons why SEO campaigns fail or grow less and less efficient in time.
Therefore, a “must” resolution to add to your list of resolutions for 2017 is to regularly audit your marketing campaigns. Make a pledge!
Proactively auditing will help you fix issues even before they get to turn into problems.

5. Perfect Your Video Editing Skills

In 2017 it's no longer a matter of “should I go for video content?”, it's a matter of “how can I create better video content?”
Adding video content is no longer an innovative trend, it's turned into a common practice for the “actors” of the digital world. Just start counting all the major platforms (Facebook here included) which have started to use live videos for complying with their users' demand for such type of content.
Now the question that arises is: how do you perfect your video content?
Let us give you a few tips and tricks:
  • go for more creative, even surprising ideas
  • insert helpful information, practical advice for your users
  • always keep in mind the entertainment factor 
  • consider collaborating with charismatic hosts
  • invest in better production resources

6. Embrace the Voice Search Trend 

Users have quickly embraced the trend of looking something up online just by uttering the right search terms and it's certain that in 2017 they'll grow to like voice search even more.
So, how will you adapt your optimization efforts for complying with this ever growing demand from the part of your customers?
Just take some time to think about that, to actually visualize your customers performing their voice searches and you'll find the answers to how you can perfect their experiences on your site from this perspective, too.
Consider the fact that voice searches rely on longer search words!

7. Start Using Rich Snippets

Rich Snippets and rich answers will grow more and more frequent this year. So, you'd better learn to deal with it, to get on top of this SEO trend.
It's all about easing Google's work (and thus ensuring your higher ranking): micro-formatting makes it easy for the search engine to go through the whole content structure on your website. 

8. Make a Habit of Constantly Analyzing Your SEO Efforts

Are you already measuring and analyzing your SEO efforts, on a regular basis? Then you should consider doing it even more frequently in 2017!
Still, that's not enough: you should aim for “efficiently” tracking and analyzing your data. You don't just need to gather more and more data, but to actually handle it better. 
How? Ask the right questions, examine the key sections of your campaign so that you gain truly accurate and helpful insights, rather than speculations.
Don't guess your future SEO initiatives, but determine them based on the efficiently analyzed data that you dispose of.
Everything can be measured! Remember? So, commit to measuring your efforts more frequently and more efficiently this year!
And this was the last (but definitely not the least) resolution that we advise you to make and to keep in 2017 if one of your main goals this year is to be an (even) better online marketer.
Now your turn! How does your own list of SEO resolutions look like? Which are the key commitments that you've inserted there?

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