2017 SEO Checklist for Website Owners

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 16, 2017

There are some who believe that SEO is dead. While this might not entirely be foolish to believe, it’s still incorrect. Not only is SEO not dead, but it’s actually thriving under some recent changes that have been made to it. The truth of the matter is that SEO isn’t dead. It’s just different.

SEO is a type of marketing that places emphasis on core keywords in order to rank sites on the Google search results. The better your SEO game is the better your chances of landing high on the Google search results and so increasing the number of customers that you have. In this article, we’re going to look at a sort of checklist for website owners when it comes to SEO in the new year. Let’s get started.

www vs. non-www.

While having www before your site’s name used to be standard, that isn’t the case anymore. Now you can opt to have your website name followed by .com.

This is a good simplification for people who like short URLs. Either way, though, you can always redirect the other version to get to the domain of your choice. You can even set in Google console which way you would like your domain to show up.

Always use a focus keyword.

At the end of the day, advanced as it is, Google is really nothing more than a computer algorithm. This means that keywords still matter very much. Of course, you should be writing for your customers, but you also need to write smart.

It’s very easy to write with your customers in mind while still taking advantage of SEO best practices.

Whenever you’re looking to blog content, you should always do it with a single focus keyword in mind. You should never publish a post just for the sake of pushing out more and more content. This will cheapen your brand and result in lowered Google page rankings.

There are ways that you can analyze a focus keyword to see how its use is in the context of a page. This allows you to add more natural-sounding instances of the keyword. If you spam the keywords or place them all at the bottom of the post, you’re not going to rank very well on Google.
Title tags are important.

In many instances, placing your focus keyword directly in the title tag will do you well. This is because it will have even more weight when it comes to Google search results. It might not always be possible to put the focus keyword in the title tag, but you can maybe place it in the first sentence. Either way, this is a good practice to use.

Use meta descriptions to increase CTR.

While meta descriptions don’t affect your Google rankings, they do affect your CTR. A well-written meta description can convince a visitor to click onto your site as opposed to having a poorly-written meta description or no meta description at all.

Thye higher CTR that you have will influence the way that Google ranks your site. So in one sense, using meta descriptions does affect your Google page ranking. However, it does this in an indirect way instead of a direct one.

While this list isn’t exhaustive, it should start to give you an idea as to what you need to do to rank higher in Google’s search results going into 2017 and beyond. This will put you and your site on the track to success as it will allow you to show up much higher on the Google search results.

Although there are other search engines out there, Google is still by far the absolute leader. This means that if you want business, you’re going to have to play by their rules. Lucky for you, those rules are becoming more and more apparent as time goes on. So try these tips out and see what happens.