6 SEO Trends You Need to Know in 2017
Search engine optimization may be an interesting aspect to study and learn but it can also be very complicated to figure out. It evolves in an extremely fast pace and, if you are not able to run along with it, chances are that your business will not be able to maximize its online earning potential.
Now that the New Year has unfolded, it is time to make sure that all your online marketing efforts are not put to a waste. Be sure that you are constantly on your toes for your online business and prepare yourself for these trends that are sure to change the way you tackle your SEO game.
The Future is Mobile
It was in 2015 when Google announced that mobile searches had already surpassed desktop searches. This was considered by website owners as a signal to further strengthen their mobile efforts which include making sure that their audience had a smooth user experience regardless of the device they use. In 2016, Google started indexing mobile-friendly websites first – if your website was not made to be browsed on smart phones or tablets then you will most likely find yourself at the bottom of the search rankings.
Previously, making sure that a website is mobile friendly was only done to help ensure a good experience and retain users. In 2017 and beyond, it seems that this will become mandatory for all website owners.
Site Speed is a Factor
Because of the growth of mobile searches, users have been very particular about how fast sites load up. According to Google, websites lose about 58% of its audience the moment its pages take longer than 10 seconds to load. With the release of AMP pages, sites have been found to load faster by as much as four times since it uses eight times less data than the regular mobile-optimized pages.
The AMP effort was actually a response to the release of Facebook’s Instant Articles, an effort done by Facebook along with nine other publishers, in order to keep it users within the app longer instead of exiting due to long page load times.
These two new technologies certainly help in increasing load times – and thus keep your users on your site longer – but they can hurt your ad income if you heavily rely on them.
Rich Answers and Google Snippets
Everyone looks into Google for answers and you are probably no exception. Over the years, the world’s most popular search engine has improved the algorithm that it uses in providing the right answers and it continues to do so day after day.
Google’s search results used to be limited to links to relevant websites and blog posts but it has now transformed by a whole lot. For starters, SERPs (search engine results pages) now featured rich, direct answers that are not necessarily taken from the first item in the organic results list.
Site owners used to worry about the decrease in visitors with the implementation of rich answers but it actually delivered contrary to what was expected: more visitors are driven to their sites because of the direct (and usually correct) answers and it helped increase brand visibility and awareness as well.
In 2017, you will definitely be seeing more of these schema markups for search results on movies, recipes, reviews, events and many others. Make sure to implement this type of markup in your website if you want to get ahead of the game.
Social is Not a Factor
Although social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are treated by Google as regular web pages (thus the reason why they also appear in SERPs), they are not considered as a factor when ranking your site for particular keywords.
LinkedIn’s New Look
However, it is important for marketers to keep in mind that digital marketing strategies should not just be limited to making Google and other search engine bots happy but, most importantly, the readers. Social media marketing should still be focused on as it helps in creating brand awareness and building up reputation as well as increase user engagement. For some websites, social media drives more traffic to their site than direct visits or organic searches.
Consider Multiple Platforms
The way people consume information has considerably changed in the past few years. With the decrease in attention span also comes the increase in the demand for videos and other forms of media. No surprise there – YouTube continues to be a prominent search engine, Snapchat rises to fame and Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram have also started entering the world of videos.
In 2017, we see brands becoming more and more invested in multi-channel marketing, creating content in different forms (articles, photos and albums, videos, etc.) to cater to different types of audience.
Cross-channel marketing is also a growing trend as companies continue to create a presence consistent to their brands even as their users move from one device or platform to another. Email remains to be the most valuable channel of all, according to marketers.
The Local SEO Scene
Before you go ahead and start your local website marketing campaigns, hear this first. These will be the things that you need to focus on if you want your business to be right at the top of Google results when your customers come looking for you.
- Properly optimize your Google My Business page by having it verified.
- Don’t forget to add essential business information including your correct business name, email address, address, phone numbers, website URL, hours of operation and category.
- Add in photos to create an appealing virtual tour as well as an introduction to your business. Once you have completed your profile, your business should appear in Google Maps!
2017 is a big year for business owners and digital marketers. Increasing and maintaining user engagement using various forms and platforms remain a challenge which is why Internet marketers need to be very critical in figuring out where they need to exert their effort and focus on if they want to stay on top of the game.