1. As you look back at 2017 what were the most important SEO factors that had a real impact for you and your clients?
For me, it has to be Internal Links. I have had some amazing success by creating a site hierarchy that carries sensible hub pages, great content/strong pages and a sensible internal link strategy.
The result of these are that Google has seen these hub pages as important on the sites and given them a big boost. In some cases, I have seen over a 1,400% increase in the Share of Voice in just a short space of time.
This has resulted in clients jumping from 3rd+ page to 1st, and even top 3 without any additional work.
2. What is top of your agenda for both you and your clients in 2018?
There are a few elements here...
- Usability (UX) - ensuring visitors to my client's sites are able to navigate without issue and find problem areas with live user recording.
- Content - For every amazing piece of content, I get an opportunity to build even stronger hub pages. Quite often these attract external links to further boost their power.
- Mobile - We know Mobile First is only round the metaphorical corner, so ensure that every client site is fully responsive and built correctly to enhance the mobile experience.
3. What is an obvious SEO basic that is often overlooked?
The importance of clicks and happy visitors... This is something that I personally have done lots of tests on, and see others who have also confirmed the same, and that is the impact of visitors finding your pages, clicking on them and staying there. There was for some time, speculation around whether Google counted things like bounce rate, dwell time, time on site, pages navigated, etc., as part of their ranking algorithm. The simple answer is yes. By testing these factors in isolation, I have seen pages jump up through the SERPs in a matter of days.
The importance of creating a site that answers questions thoroughly, that will help keep visitors on there rather than backing out and going somewhere else, is very important. Take the time to learn how you can achieve this through testing (see UX above) to make your site the very best it can possibly be.