The world of search engine optimization (SEO), at its core, is a race to see who stays one step ahead of the competition in terms of techniques and strategies. You always want to discover the next most effective scheme to incorporate into your SEO efforts so your web pages will remain on top of search engine results.
But here’s one thing to keep in mind:
In order to find or develop the next big strategy that will significantly impact your SEO campaign in a positive way, you must first learn to anticipate future changes and challenges in the industry.
As an SEO specialist, one has to accept the fact that the world of SEO is constantly changing, as search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! continue to improve their algorithms to better provide the public with more relevant and accurate search results.
One of the most effective ways to remain competitive in this industry is to constantly learn and pay close attention to how search engines are evolving, specifically how they rank web pages. By doing so, you can effectively adjust your content and your SEO strategies to align with the changes and to stay one step ahead of your competitors.
Here are some of the SEO trends that you should look out for in 2017:
Crucial SEO Trends That You Should Watch Out for in 2017
1. The Ever Increasing Importance of Content Density and Quality
You probably hear about the significance of content quality a lot, every time one of these articles comes out each year. In fact, the quality of your content really is crucial, as it can impact your rankings on search engines. The times where you can simply create mediocre content and cram it with keywords and phrases is long gone. Fluffy content is a thing of the past, and it should remain there.
But here’s the thing though:
Quality content is no longer enough to ensure the efficiency of your SEO strategy, especially now that we’re entering a new age in content marketing and SEO.
If you ever want to make your SEO strategy more effective in 2017, you need to accompany quality with density when it comes to creating your content. You may not realize it, but people are getting fed up with reading content constructed with very long sentences and paragraphs, when all they really want is the gist, the main points of the information they are trying to obtain.
The fact of the matter is . . .
We live in a fast-paced world where information can be obtained in an instant, with a swipe of the thumb. People lose patience very quickly, especially when they have to go through pages of content just to get to the specific information they want. If you keep going down this road, it will definitely affect your bounce rate, which will subsequently impact your ranking in a negative way.
2. The Significance of User Intent in SEO Strategies
Identifying the right keywords to integrate into your content is still very much an important factor in SEO strategies. But one thing you need to realize is that search engines are becoming smarter and more intuitive when it comes to finding relevant content based on user queries. And consumers, nowadays, know exactly what they want and what they’re looking for when doing an online search.
How can you apply this information?
With the growing capabilities of search engines and consumer awareness, it has become more important than ever to add more emphasis on user intent, rather than just keywords and phrases, when creating content.
The majority of Internet users are now entering full phrases and questions in search engine queries, not just simple keywords that may generate broader results. Search engines like Google are aware of this and as a result, algorithms are developed to gather data and heuristics to enable the system to provide more accurate and relevant results.
In the coming months, brands and online marketers will have to start placing value on user intent as a basis for SEO and content marketing, rather than simply exploiting specific keywords.
3. The Prominence of Digital Assistant Software and Its Impact on Local Searches
Nowadays, SEO marketers are not only contending with typed or written queries. With smart AIs like Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), and Google Assistant, the voice search factor is becoming more apparent.
Improvements of these smart digital assistants are constantly being made with each update. And sooner rather than later, the system will be able to go beyond voice recognition and evolve into something more intuitive and comprehensive, in terms of understanding queries based on context.
How does this affect local queries and local search engine optimization efforts?
With every study, every research conducted, it’s becoming more apparent that personalization and delivering personalized services and/or products is a crucial factor in local SEO, especially for local businesses and tech companies.
Siri, Cortana, and Google Assistant have the capability to amass huge amount of data from users and use it to provide relevant search results in the future. In essence, these smart assistants use the search patterns and buying history of the user to provide relevant answers.
This can be a good thing for the small business seo industry, since a large portion of searches conducted by users is aimed at local businesses. If you incorporate voice search into your SEO strategy, you might just gain the upper hand over your competitors.
4. The Emphasis on Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Initiative
Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, is a project developed by Google that aims to create better, more mobile-friendly web pages. This is an open-source protocol that enables webmasters to create pages that are more suitable and efficient on mobile devices.
What does this mean?
The purpose of Google’s AMP project is to provide a better mobile user experience when surfing the web. By making a few basic structural adjustments to the web pages, you are essentially making your website more mobile-friendly. It can load up much faster and consume significantly less data than usual.
Google is already putting an emphasis on websites that have adopted the concept, giving them favorable visibility through a small icon of a lightning bolt, indicating the page’s AMP status. In the upcoming months, this favoritism toward AMPs will be more evident as top rankings will be dominated by brands and websites employing the concept in their SEO efforts.
5. The Need for Personal Branding
Personal branding is perhaps one of the most underutilized techniques in the world of online marketing and SEO. Consider some of the most successful YouTube personalities. They have gained hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of subscribers and thousands of views on every video they release because of the power of personal branding. And most of them don’t even sell products. They just provide information that their followers want.
Why is this important?
Small businesses and online marketers need to realize that personal branding is not just applicable to YouTubers. It can be an effective tool, when done properly, in the field of digital marketing and SEO.
Your SEO campaigns and strategies will be that much more effective if you develop your personal brand and slowly win over followers, particularly your target market. Not a lot of people know this, but personal branding actually has a significant impact on the success of your SEO efforts and the eventual growth of your business. Keep in mind that, as a brand, you are essentially establishing a relationship with your consumers through personal branding.
But there’s more.
When it comes to SEO, by having a well-established personal brand, the process of securing guest posts to increase visitors to your pages is greatly simplified. Developing user trust and encouraging user engagement are also positively affected by personal branding. All of these can help increase traffic to your website.
The SEO industry is constantly changing with each new update and development released by search engine companies. Consumer behavior, digital platforms, and even social signals may significantly affect SEO strategies. And sometimes, it’s tough to predict what the changes could be or which trends will continue to be an important factor.
One thing is for certain, though, your ability to anticipate future trends and changes, as well as your ability to adjust to them and adopt new concepts, are the most important tools you can have in order to become successful in your SEO efforts.
Search engine optimization is a tough game if you don’t learn to adopt or learn new concepts and ideas. Hence, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on other SEO trends that might be popping up later in the year. Hopefully, these specific trends will help you create a better, more effective SEO marketing campaign in 2017.