SEO Trends for 2017
This time of year we find ourselves wondering what happened to last year, it went so quickly and like every other year we adjust and get used to writing a new year on forms. The years seems to be a blur, running through seasons and holidays and resetting again to begin anew. This year is no different, 2016 was a year of significant change in many areas and none more so evident than in SEO and the search engines. Google continued to push the limits of combating garbage SEO and from our perspective they are continually making it better for companies and teams that are investing in content and infusing value into the experience that website visitors have. The SEO trends for 2017 will be a process of refinement, better content, user-defined content, experience and value. Our primer below is just a quick list of what to expect, what you should be thinking about and areas that you need to consider if you are seeking to have a robust SEO strategy that improves your online revenues.
User Intent & Analytics
User intent has changed dramatically as a variety of tools have entered the market and trained consumers on how to get better information, more quickly. Apple’s Siri changed how we interact with AI systems and our expectation has aligned to fit a more human-like response. When shopping for new windows for our homes, we don’t type “New window company San Diego”, we ask: “Best company in San Diego that installs new windows”. We went from demanding results to asking.
In 2017, companies that are seeking to engage users must understand the analytics and the KPI (key point indicators) that are adding value to their customers. Not every company needs to blog daily, not everyone sells products directly, so the strategy will vary to fit your market and specifically the users that will purchase your product or service.
- Analyze – How are users finding you now? What are they typing to get answers to their questions or solve a problem? Help be a solution if your company can add value.
- Change – Never assume that you have things right the first time. Understanding how content or products can influence your customers will give you a better idea of how you can solve their pain points and add value into their lives or business.
- Ask – Yeah, most of us never think to simply ask our customers how we can help them. This article was born from a conversation about what should I be thinking about for SEO now and in the future.
How People Search Now
We mentioned that people have moved away from robotic search speak and transitioned into a more fluid conversational search style. Understanding just how this works is critical in order to serve content that will lend value to Google’s results and possibly generate top placement on their search engine.
Investigating the core terms if a start, the next best approach is to begin putting yourself in your customers shoes and thinking of various ways to help connect their needs to your products or services. In the end, value is one of the most beneficial components to building trust online.
Below is an image of the search engine results when asking Google: how do i SEO my website
Article Results: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/231235
Technical SEO & Content Matter
Your strategy is critical, your content is critical, your website is critical. Basically, you cannot invest in a single aspect of your SEO strategy in 2017 and expect results if there are areas that need attention.
Your technical SEO (your website) is really the foundation for all of the content. This is the speed of your hosting provider, your website, technical issues with plugins or libraries, image size and a number of factors that can help or harm your SEO efforts. A technical SEO audit helps you understand where you need to invest your time and resources to ensure that when you produce content and bring customers to your website – your house is in order.
Content matters, so much so that we built an entire platform to help our clients have a system that builds quality content, consistently and over time. This is the equation to build authority and generate better SEO results for your business. This isn’t about crappy content or lots of content that is sucked in, re-purposed and spit back out. This is about a content strategy that is rooted in building value for your customers through consistent triggers and regular engagement.
In 2017, your strategy needs to focus on technical SEO first, if that is not right then all other efforts will be hindered. This is a strength training model, running with a parachute will make your stronger. No, this is like dropping anchor and then wondering why you are burning 3x time the gas you should be. Consider your technical SEO strategy as a force multiplier that adds efficiency to the work you do. Content is king and if you are producing valuable content, offerings or services that people need and want; your content strategy will help engage them.
Rich Answers & Snippets (Structured Data)
Rich Snippets are cool. If allows you to connect solutions with user searches on Google. The concept of a structured data markup can help enhance your websites listings on Google, making your content or products stand out more than others. The correct strategy will allow Google to connect users more fluidly and provide results similar to the image above about “SEOing your website”.
Rich Snippets and the Schema Markup should be considered as part of your technical SEO strategy, but also require an ongoing effort to ensure that all new articles and products fit within the global rich snippet strategy.
In 2017, the focus should be to ensure that you are in a solid foundational position to start driving search engines to your site more consistently. Once this is done, having a strategy that is build around improving on the user experience is what will drive more results.
Other 2017 SEO Trends
This year will be a year filled with amazing new opportunities, tools and widgets that are designed to make our lives easier and find customers faster. Bottom line however is this: your website must be technically sound, your content must add value and any strategy that you integrate will benefit from connecting with professional SEO marketers to understand your current status and how to leverage the old and new models to gain results through your SEO strategy.