500 – 600 updates each year! This is the count of minor updates that google releases every year. Occasionally google rolls out some major changes (Penguin 4.0 being the recent one) which significantly affects the google search engine in various ways. SEO in 2017 might make you add some really cool features to your WordPress website.
You know that SEO is a game where each and every marketer wants to stay ahead of its competition.
But if you want to stay ahead in the game, you should be aware of how the search engine is changing.
And should be quick enough to adjust your content and SEO strategy accordingly.
For SEO marketers, it’s important that they stay up to date with all the major changes happening in and around google search engine.
This will help the marketers to plan and improve their search engine optimization marketing.
The time for you to plan, budget, and strategize for your SEO success in 2017 has come.
So, let’s see what’s in store for you in 2017
ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES (AMP)
We all already know that mobile search has already taken over the search marketing industry. For the first time ever in 2015, mobile search dominated desktop search.
Google still believes that mobile and desktop are equal. But I think mobile has surpassed desktop and is way ahead in search marketing.
Google recently announced it’s mobile first index. Google will crawl the mobile version of your site first, and use that content to place in your search results.
Google’s AMP project is an open source protocol which allows webmasters to create pages which are compatible and capable enough of loading instantly on mobile devices. The idea behind AMP to make some simple structural changes and make your website load much faster and use almost eight times fewer data.
Google is already favoring websites that have shifted over to AMPs giving them more visibility.
In 2017, I anticipate that you’ll see more and more websites switching over to more and more AMPs with big names in the industry taking advantage of the same. AMP inclusion to your website for SEO in 2017 shall play an important role to achieve success.
Along with AMP, long-scrolling should be avoided because a higher number of folds are tedious to go through which might, in turn, increase the bounce rate.
I’m sure voice search is going to be the next frontier for search marketing.
Sometime back voice search was just a floating thought, but with the increasing mobile searches, voice search started to get high speed.
According to a Google study conducted by Northstar Research, over half of U.S. teens and 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis, with its use continuing to grow every day.
Search for anything without even lifting your finger. I guess minimal work is what everyone wants. 😛
Isn’t just talking on the phone a lot easier than typing the complete sentence on your mobile device?
In order to attract customers, SEO marketers should be open in trying out new things. By focussing on what customers are actually trying to search, more emphasis is needed on targeting long tail keywords.
More queries are question-based, going ahead it’s recommended that you focus on answering such queries, instead of targeting just popular keywords.
Thus as per the growing trend, optimizing your website for voice search is going to be the major key in gaining SEO success in 2017.
STRUCTURED DATA AND SCHEMA
As you saw in the above AMP section, google would be indexing mobile compatible content over a desktop.
Structured data is one of the fundamental tools used for understanding the meaning of a web document.
While webmasters have been using this for a while, Google has also started giving priority to structured data, since it makes their job easier and helps them to display rich snippets in the search results.
Structured data and schema are going to continue to gain importance in the SEO world.
Apple is now using Schema.org to power Search!
Implement structured data and schema so as to rank higher in the SERPs. Search engines want to be able to crawl your website faster and easier, and with the advancements in this technology, they should start to implement it more.
Machine learning has been part of a marketer’s day-to-day life for decades, without many realizing it.
Google opened the door to all the possibilities of algorithmic machine learning when it introduced RankBrain.
RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system, the use of which by Google was confirmed on 26th October 2015. It helps Google to process search results in order to provide more relevant results for users.
In a 2015 interview, Google commented that RankBrain was the third most important factor in the ranking algorithm along with links and content. It is a way to understand and learn more about how users phrase conversational queries and update accordingly.
I anticipate that Google might soon start publishing more updates on machine learning in years to come.
Starting in 2017 you may see machine learning in some other areas as well, such as interpretation or marketing automation.
PERSONAL BRANDING: STAIRWAY TO GREAT SEO
Another approach that you should consider while planning your SEO strategy for 2017 is PERSONAL BRANDING.
Today people believe in human to human communication, unlike B2B and B2C.
I believe in 2017 the easiest way to create a massive impact and influence is just by being yourself.
You become a strong personal brand when you become a source of information.
Staying real even when you’re virtual is what helps in building trust.
Personal branding is similar to corporate branding. You can set your own personality and image standards which will build over time. Your marketing strategies can be built around your personal brand.
Personal branding applies to an individual unlike the business as a whole.
So, what is Personal Branding?
Business vision and mission statements are mostly created by corporates. Creating a personal brand begins much the same way by creating a personal vision.
Content is produced by an individual rather than corporate brand. This helps in building an individual brand. Users today are more likely to trust an individual rather than a corporate company.
Creating a personal brand is easier compared to corporate brand. Personal brands can be introduced from the scratch.
With content marketing rising and huge competition, you can expect more of personal branding in 2017.
USER EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION
The feelings and emotions that you feel while using a product or a service is called user experience.
User experience should be at the top of your priority list. Even before profits! Because UX is directly proportional to your profits.
Customer satisfaction is a top priority and providing an amazing UX is a way to achieve it. User experience has always been of key importance for SEO.
Well-formatted pages, fast site loading speed, and mobile compatibility are some of the factors that Google considers for SERP rankings.
As already stated, optimizing websites for mobile will be of increasing importance and so will its user experience. It’s important for your website to be optimized for mobile traffic, if it’s not, then expect very tiny improvement in you SEO.
I’m sure that for SEO in 2017, you will see more emphasis to be given to user experience, especially related to mobile devices. Ensure that each user coming on your website leaves back a positive response. This will help in a positive association with the brand.
So? Start adapting to the latest SEO trends and see the results for yourself! If you have any thoughts on how you want to adapt your SEO strategy, please share your comments on the post.