We are under a month away from a completely new year: 2017 is looming. Every year, Google releases new algorithm updates which update how they rank websites organically and what factors are given what weighting for their search engine. With this in mind, here are a few areas to look into when it comes to search engine optimising your website for 2017 and preparing it to gain the most amount of organic traffic. Always remember that it is better to prepare to fail rather than fail to prepare (basically, prepare for SEO updates rather than not at all)!
#1 Get SSL Certification
If you haven’t got an SSL certificate for your website yet, you might want to start thinking about investing in one soon. The reason for this is that Google have an overall objective online which is code named ‘HTTPS everywhere’. It is not really a code name but more of a statement that they want every website to adopt SSL certificates (which provides a secure connection between web users and the website hosting, enabling in safer surfing – this is made public by websites through ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://’). Therefore, Google are slowly adding more and more weight to SSL certificates as a factor which determines the SEO of a website. For this reason, it is better to invest in a SSL certificate now rather than later so that you improve the organic health as soon as possible – it is a very easy change done by hosting providers that will cost around $50/year.
#2 Make Sure You Are Mobile Optimised
I cannot stress enough how important it is that your website has a responsive theme that adapts based on the type of device and size of screen that is viewing it. If you don’t have one yet invest everything you have to get one as soon as possible! Google have penalised websites without mobile themes in mobile search engine results and will continue to do so in 2017 (but most likely with even harsher punishments).
#3 Fast Websites = Good SEO
Ultimately, every SEO update Google makes that changes how they rank websites has the overall aim to make sure the experience web users have online is as good as it can be when they use Google as a search engine. With this in mind, it is clear that the speed at which your website loads at which will have a large impact to the web user’s experience. For this reason, if your website loads slowly and is littered with lots of unnecessary scripts etc., you should not be surprised when you are ranked not as highly because Google deems that your website does not provide a good user experience for web users: regardless of how good your content is. By making sure your website loads fast will also help to make sure your website ranks high organically.