If you think fashion and technology change too frequently for people to keep up, the same is true with search engine optimization (SEO). Standards in the field of SEO get updated practically every year, and this year is no different. In this article, we will discuss SEO trends for 2017 that will set the tone for search, and bring websites and companies to a whole new SEO ballgame.
Why Should You Update Your SEO Strategies Regularly?
This question is really a no-brainer, but unfortunately a lot of companies fall prey to one fallacy: that their website will run along with the times even without updating it so much. This mindset couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Here are some reasons why you should keep up with updates on SEO strategies:
Google is a fickle-minded but extremely powerful online giant.
If you haven’t recognized the power of Google, then you’re probably enjoying the bottom pit of search results now. Staying afloat online includes – or rather, requires – configuring your website to the latest SEO standards set by Google’s algorithm.
Google recognizes changes in public preferences.
Animated GIFs and scrolling marquees may be the most awesome things in the Internet during the ‘90s, but web design has changed a lot since then. It’s not because of the website developers; rather, it’s due to the ever-changing preference of people who view websites. Google regularly studies the online behavior of its users, and it’s definitely your loss if you cannot keep up with what the people want.
Following the latest SEO techniques makes your site look good.
Aside from the higher likelihood of appearing at the top of search results, using updated SEO strategies naturally improves the user experience. This stems from the fact that Google puts premium on any website with an amazing user interface.
You can maximize the chicken-and-egg benefits of social media.
When your site has an effective and updated SEO strategy, there’s a big chance that people will discover your pages and share them on social media. As a result, more people get to realize the existence of your website and visit your pages more often. When Google sees this, your search ranking improves naturally, which makes more people discover your pages and share them on social media (and the loop continues).
You have better chances of drowning the competition.
Simply put, using updated strategies for SEO increases your site’s chances of appearing higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) than your competitors. That’s definitely going to help your leads and sales!
SEO Trends for 2017 You Need To Follow
Eager to discover the new things in SEO today? Here are the most effective and powerful SEO trends for 2017 that will not only blow away the competition but will also make your followers come back for more:
Google has been championing the use of mobile devices for years, and has already implemented several SEO standards to make sure that everyone takes notice of the power of mobiles.
Here are some mobile SEO strategies that will probably hit it big in 2017:
- Responsive web design: This cannot be stressed enough. In fact, we at WebDesignerHub have written about responsive design several times already. Google has configured its search algorithm to favor websites with mobile-friendly design, so this item should be enough to convince you already!
- Accelerated Mobile Pages: AMP may look like an annoying update to the rich features of Google, and some website owners fear that this may encourage online users not to visit the source websites anymore. However, AMP has proven itself to be a valuable asset for this new mobile-first mindset, especially on the viewpoint of user experience. So whether you like it or not, AMP may actually be one of the highly useful SEO trends for 2017.
Use of schema and creation of rich answers
Back in the day, creating the right keywords was all the rage in the world of SEO. In this generation of highly demanding online search users, the game is played quite differently.
For starters, people generally like to see answers to their search queries on the search results page itself. Google has been implementing this to great effect through the use of schema markup (or structured data markup). As a result, when you search for “most influential people of 2016”, Google will display a special box that contains the answers that you might be looking for.
This instant answer appearing at the top of the search results page is called a “rich answer”, while some SEO experts call it “featured snippet”. Whatever it’s called, the feature makes use of schema markup to allow search bots to identify specific rich snippets in your pages and use them in search results.
The quickest way to do this is to use Google’s own Structured Data Markup Helper. This amazing tool helps you come up with the most appropriate schema markup for your site. All you need to do is enter the URL of your page or site, and choose the type of data that you want to markup.
If this is the first time that you’re going to encounter structured data markup, here are a few tips to help you get started on one of the best SEO trends for 2017:
- Read up on schema.org: It’s time to learn new strategies, and this one will really benefit your site in so many ways. The Schema.org website has a Getting Started page to ease you into the implementation of markup on your site.
- Review your site for potential schema markup: There’s a lot that you can cover in terms of structured data markup, and so you need to assess your entire website to determine which markup will work best for you.
- Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool: This online feature allows you to check if you have correctly implemented your markup.
Here’s another one that seemed like a fad when it was launched, but turned out to be a robust and extremely helpful piece of online tech. In fact, it’s already poised to be one of the most powerful SEO trends for 2017 and even beyond.
Aside from bringing a fantastic and much better user experience (“look, Ma, no hands!”), voice search is fast for people who have difficulty typing on small screens, and convenient for those who have limited hand use.
This feature has been successful in native English speakers, but is still in development to welcome more languages and verbal nuances. Search engines are also being designed to make voice search richer and a lot easier than before. The same is true for device-based voice systems such as Siri and Cortana.
Here are some SEO techniques to configure your website for voice search:
- Use structured data: Voice search relies on schema markup to make the search results more customized and accurate.
- Use long tail keywords: Most people talk long sentences in voice search, compared to the shorter search queries when they use the keyboard or keypad. Make sure that you optimize your pages for long tail keywords that are also conversational in tone.
- Fashion your content like a FAQ: Voice search users usually ask complete questions. Let the search engines pick your site up as one of the primary results by creating a “frequently asked questions” section that displays some of the most common questions about the topic.
Aside from the recent focus on mobile, one of the most popular SEO trends for 2017 is going local. A lot of people use online search to find information about local businesses, say an office address, a phone number, or a retail store with a fantastic view of the local beachfront.
If your website is designed for your local store or business, configuring your site for local search is the best SEO strategy that you need to implement now.
Probably the best motivation for you at this point to engage in local search is something called Google 3-Pack. This Google search results page feature lists down the top three answers to a location-based query. Getting listed on this three-pack list will significantly boost your site visits and customer queries.
The following local SEO tips can help your location-based website land better chances of getting into the top of local search results:
- Use Google My Business: Your first order of business should be to sign up for this awesome Google tool that lets you submit information about your business – operating hours, phone number, and address – so that online search users can find you easily.
- Use local schema: Yep, there’s that word again. Some of the markup tags that you can use include the following: address, postal code, telephone, reviews, and event.
- Add your business to online directories: Yelp and other similar sites can help you get discovered by online users and search bots.
In spite of the changes in search algorithms – the details of which are generally unknown – your website should be able to ride with the updates and not get left in the dust. By starting with these powerful SEO trends for 2017, your site should be on its way to a significantly better search rank this year.