2017 is a big year for digital – we’re pushing the boundaries in user experience, machine learning, and all sorts of other fun stuff (well, at least we think it’s fun). SEO as an industry has changed dramatically in the past few years – it’s now WAY more than simple keyword stuffing and optimized titles and meta descriptions. Let’s face it, it’s hard to rank! There are ways to stay on trend with Search Engine Optimization, so we’ve compiled a list of the top trends, in our opinion, to prep your site for this year:
Creating quality content will increase your chances for link building, which is a still key ranking factor. There is so much content out there to sift through – to make yours stand out to the search engines, you need to have über (yep, I used that word) creative and unique content.
We recommend you: create content that is so good, and so useful, that people will share and link to it without you having to ask. Not sure where to start? With the data.
Mobile and Accelerated Mobile Pages
It’s no secret that Google is a fan of accelerated mobile pages, or AMP. Web pages load faster and the information needed by user is right there, creating the ultimate customer experience. Watch out for Google continuing to show AMPs more love.
We recommend you: take a look at how well your pages are performing on mobile. Not loading within three seconds? We’d be happy to dive in.
The Continued Rise of Video
Video continues to be the fastest way to engage your target audience. As the human attention span dwindles…as marketers, we need to continue to come up with engaging ways to capture our audience’s attention, and fast. Video should be an extremely important marketing initiative for most businesses.
We recommend you: hire an in-house videographer to follow your every move. Not in the budget? We’re ready for you.
Home-based Voice Search
Google Home and Echo by Amazon allows consumers to search for anything without lifting a finger. These services will continue to improve with new features added. I have a feeling we are going to see this technology grow rapidly this year, giving local businesses a new way to be found.
We recommend you: spend some time defining the ‘micro-moments’ that get users to your site. Not sure what a micro-moment is? We can help.
Google is heavily invested in providing more of these direct-answer search results to improve user experience and potentially bypass the need for those users to click-through. There are no signs of this slowing down.
We recommend you: determine what questions your content is answering, and then target those questions.
More and more searchers are looking for local businesses. I mean, think about it – how often do you find yourself Googling the place you’re headed in the car before starting the engine? Local SEO can help your business stand out in the SERPs.
We recommend you: make sure your basic business information such as name, address and phone numbers are correct on all of your listings. After that, start using customer reviews to your advantage.
The more Google learns, the more it realizes that a searcher’s questions can be long and complex. The difference between “doctor near me” and “pediatrician specializing in heart problems near me” is something that search engines can recognize now – and they will serve different SERPs depending upon even the most nuanced differences. If a searcher arrives on your site having used a long-tail keyword, chances are they know exactly what they are looking for and are towards the end of the sales tunnel, meaning ready to purchase. You want your products to show up first.
We recommend you: determine exactly what it is you are selling and what keywords are specifically relevant to your product.
UX is nothing more than focusing on the visitor – case in point, it stands for “user experience.” Everything we do in the sphere of web marketing has the visitor in mind, which means websites that do a better job of meeting the needs of searchers have a better chance of landing on the first page of the search results.
We recommend you: implement a customer-first web design. Not sure whether yours fits the bill? We’d love to take a look.
Personal Branding for SEO
In today’s age of corporate distrust where personal relationships are favored, it’s a necessity for corporate brands to pay attention to what’s being said about them. This is a long-term strategy that takes time to generate real momentum but will pay off in the long run.
We recommend you: participate in the conversation that’s being had about your brand. Not sure where to start? Look to your customer reviews.
These days there are so many changes to Google’s algorithm that it is hard to stay in competition on the “Search Engine Results Page,” – which, around here, is aptly and lovingly referred to as the SERP. An SEO’s job has shifted from more traditional optimization to connecting the client’s content with the end user over multiple devices and platforms.
If you’re perplexed as to where to go from here, just give us a call. We’d be happy to lead the way.