The year of 2016 brought many updates to SEO and Google’s search algorithm. Some major changes were the updates to Pigeon 4.0 (Real-time) and Possum, which heavily impacted local search results. With the constant changes in SEO, it’s important to stay ahead of your competition: Understand the trends and also some constancies in SEO. So, as you plan your 2017 SEO strategy, keep these 3 things in mind:
1. Epic Content
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, creating unique and quality content will always be crucial to your SEO success. This is one of those constancies. Your company’s website has to deliver valuable content if you want to rank for relevant search terms. The days of taking advantage of loopholes are over, and 2017 will only bring more changes that place emphasis on creating new, relevant and valuable content for your visitors. Google search algorithms will strive to make sense of this content and deliver the most relevant content to the searcher. It’s only right that content continues to be the biggest factor.
Think More Topics Instead of Keywords Keywords will take another beating. Search engines are becoming more semantically based, meaning Google is attempting to understand your intent rather than analyzing your keyword choices.Google's encryption of keyword search data was an indicator of what is ahead in the very near future. As information consumption fragments across channels, platforms, devices, and apps, SEO will most likely lose emphasis on keywords and rankings. What does this mean? Just start thinking of search optimization as increasing brand visibility across a multitude of channels and extending your online presence everywhere that your prospects can be found.
2. User Experience
Developing a thoughtful and efficient user experience will help the visitors on your website find what they are looking for, which may lead to increased sharing, bookmarking, link building, bounce rates and bookmarking. All of these are signals that will benefit your ranking in search engines. If you want to put together a website with a great user experience, think of these four things when crafting the website structure.
- Easy to Navigate and Understand
- Deliver Great and Unique Content
- Professional Design and Accessible to Modern Browsers
- Provide Direct and Actionable Content Relevant to Their Query
One subpoint to the user experience I want to mention is the importance of page speed. Speed directly impacts rankings and conversions. With more than 50% of global search queries taking place on a mobile device, do you really want to lose out on all of those opportunities?Need to check your website page speed? Click Here.Here’s a table of benchmarks to let you know where your website’s at:Below 1 second = perfect1-3 seconds = above average3-7 seconds = average7+ seconds = very poor
3. Mobile and AMP
As we know, mobile has been a continuous focus for SEO experts and Google for the last few years, and 2017 will be no different. Mobile search algorithms have different best practices than desktop search algorithms, so it will be more important than ever that companies understand the mobile search landscape while planning their 2017 SEO strategy.
As we continue to improve with technologies like Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) that help optimize the mobile experience, we’ll see customers be more confident in using their smartphones as their primary search device. Way too many websites and landing pages are built with the traditional desktop mentality, with mobile a secondary consideration. Mobile needs to be in the forefront of your mind when developing all online content from here on out.
If you’re trying to fit your digital content strategy in the 2017 budget, we have the perfect piece for you!