As we start 2017 it is time to look forward and predict what will be happening in the digital marketing field. The past year has been a really interesting year with loads of great changes and if you check out these SEO statistics you will see many trends of 2016 will be moving forward into 2017.
Here are the biggest predicted SEO trends for 2017:
A website that is mobile optimized will be neat and tidy when viewed from a desktop web browser, but not when it is viewed on a mobile device. This means that the visitor’s user experience will be severely compromised when they struggle to navigate the website.
The amount of mobile searches are on the rise each and every month, making mobile optimization one of the biggest trends of 2016 that will carry through well into 2017. The impact of not having a mobile optimized site is huge since not only will visitors be leaving your site in droves (negatively affecting not only your conversions, but also your bounce rate and in effect your SEO) but very soon Google will be ranking mobile first.
The facts are simple, if your website is not optimized for mobile you have already been left behind and you need to take steps to catch up.
AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Accelerated mobile pages are simply mobile pages that are designed to be super lightweight that load really fast. They are designed for speed and readability.
Accelerated Mobile Pages first appeared in Google search results in February 2016 with most of these being concentrated in the Top Stories section of mobile search.
Google announced in August 2016 that accelerated mobile pages will be showing AMP throughout search. This started rolling out in September 2016 when a mixture of AMP and non-AMP links were returned, with only a portion of the AMP results being returned.
When the this phase is completed the validated AMP version of a page will always be presented to mobile users by Google.
Google is getting more and more advanced with its ranking algorithm making it perfectly clear that the best and surest way to move forward is through content marketing. Creating quality content on a regular basis and implementing on page SEO methods is the one thing that is sure to keep you on the good side of Google.
The emphasis is not just on long content, but in creating complete articles that cover all the aspects of a topic because Google RankBrain is not just looking at keywords, it is looking at content as a whole. The more complete and relevant you make your content the better you will rank.
Creating content that is not only unique but completely fresh and original will keep you ahead in your game, not just with Google but also with readers. Google RankBrain places a lot of weight on content that is completely fresh rather than information that is already all over.
While long content will always rank well, there is a move now towards creating what is known as dense content. Dense content is when the actual length of the article is completely ignored and the focus is on providing as much relevant information possible in the shortest and most concise way possible.
Think bullet points and lists which just highlight all the most important points of a topic.
People want to absorb more information in less time, attention spans are short. So even though you may be able to spread out some information into a really good 3000 word post it may be a good idea to create some posts that focus on dense content instead moving forward.
Long posts will still rank nicely, so mix it up a little.
Video marketing has exploded during 2015 and 2016, and it seems this trend is just going to get hotter.
Views on Facebook videos has increased 800% in the last year while Facebook text posts are declining.
Facebook and Twitter both added live video streaming which has had a very positive reaction, enabling brands to connect and interact better with their followers.
Flat Web Design
The trend here is to move away from busy, mind-blowing website design and instead favor simple designs that are user friendly, responsive and load quickly.
Websites with amazing graphics and special effects may be stunning, but chances are that visitors are long gone before the home page even loads.
The main focus is on site load time, readability, easy navigation and easy userability.
Authentic Photography vs Stock Images
Google is now placing huge importance on user experience. With so many people using stock images and very often from the free stock websites, so many websites are starting to have the same look and feel about them.
Creating your own images, whether you take some photos yourself, hire a photographer or hire a graphic designer or animator to create your own unique images will set you apart from everyone else.
Using real photographs of your staff and offices can go a long way in humanizing your brand which will make you stand out.
It is highly recommended that brand and product photos be taken and edited by a professional photographer.
Voice search is becoming more popular and the way that people type searches into their device and the way that they ask a question is completely different.
For voice search it is better to target long tail keywords over shorter phrases. Finding long tail keyword searches that come through voice search could mean being way ahead of your competitors.
To win at Voice Search you need to figure out what the question is behind the keyword.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Google is making use of Google RankBrain to go through its search results. RankBrain makes up part of the Google Algorithm.
Google Rankbrain is now better able to understand your content as a whole, rather than just picking up the keywords that you have targeted with your on page SEO efforts. Google is trying to match a search term with the best possible article as a whole, not just matching a keyword.
This means that if you have written a quality article that includes lots of relevant information about the topic at hand Google may even rank you for a keyword that is not even included in your article but is closely related to your topic!
For genuine content creators this is great news since the focus has truly shifted now to creating quality content and thin content is going to be so much harder to rank.
If you have your own website or if you offer SEO services it would be a good plan to take note of these SEO trends for 2017.