It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start looking towards 2017, but this year is almost over. Now is the time to see what is going to be big in the search marketing industry in the coming months. We saw some big changes in 2016, and they are likely to carry over into 2017. We’ve compiled our top 4 SEO trends that we think will dominate the industry in the new year.
This isn’t to say that these are all new – you’ve probably already about most of these and even started working on optimizing for them. But whether or not these trends are new or not is beside the point, these are the trends that you need to keep your eye out for and get ready for in 2017.
SEO Trends for 2017
Mobile First Index
Mobile has already taken over the search marketing world. In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time ever. With this, Google said that mobile and desktop were equal. However, that’s not true anymore.
Google has since stated that it wants a mobile experience across all types of devices. Google recently announced it’s mobile first index. This is huge for the industry because now Google will crawl the mobile version of your site or responsive mobile version first, before the desktop version, and use that content to place you in the search results.
This shouldn’t be a problem if you use a mobile responsive version of your website. Also, there’s no need to start panicking right away – Gary Illyes, a Google engineer, has confirmed this update is still a few months away. However, this is something that everyone needs to be aware of and prepare for. For the entire guide on Google’s mobile first index, you can click here.
Video content has been on the rise for a little while now, and it’s not going anywhere in the near future. In fact, a high power at Facebook even stated that video will become the main type of content by 2020. We aren’t sure about all that – as for right now, written content is still the norm, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be. It also doesn’t mean that you should have variety in your content either.
However, as new technologies keep developing, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and even Instagram, video is not going anywhere in 2017. Even Google is experimenting with video ads in the search results. There are multiple types of video content that you can implement into your search marketing strategy – webinars, step-by-step tutorials, Q&As, etc.
Try out a few videos in your content, maybe as an addition to one piece you already have and see how it does. If it performs well, which I think it will, you know maybe you should be placing more importance in video.
For a while, voice search was something that was floating around out there but wasn’t really playing a huge part in the search marketing industry. However, as mobile continues to increase and technology advances, voice search is gaining momentum. Today, 55% of teens say that they use voice search on a daily basis – with 56% of adults saying that they enjoy using voice search.
This trend is just going to continue to grow as we get into 2017. Why is this? As we stated earlier, with technology advancing, voice search is just another way that technology can make our lives simpler. Isn’t just talking to your phone a lot easier than typing, especially when you are on the go or trying to multi-task?
What makes this something to look for and optimize for is that voice searchers are not going to be entering the same phrases or keywords as someone who is typing on a computer or smartphone. Since voice searches are more like spoken word, you want to make sure you understand the searchers intent and market to that. Use question words like who, what, where, when, why, you need to optimize differently for voice search. Try reformatting your headlines into questions that include these question words.
Structured Data and Schema
Structured data really hasn’t been talked about as much as I thought it would be lately, but it is a very important in the SEO world. According to Search Engine Watch, structured data is information formatted in a way that can be universally understood. Through this structured data, search engines are able to understand a website easier and therefore gives them better SERP rankings.
Schema.org is structured data that was developed by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yandex, and it is a code that you can add to your website that allows all search engines to define it. While webmasters have been using this for a while, it’s been recently that Google has started to really use it to help crawl sites. Since it is making their jobs easier and helps them to display rich snippets in the search results, structured data and schema are going to continue to gain importance in the SEO world.
Look for structured data and schema to start playing an even bigger part in websites in 2017 and beyond. Search engines want to be able to crawl your website faster and easier, and with the advancements in this technology, they should start to implement it more.
Being mindful of these four trends will help you be more successful in your SEO efforts in the upcoming year. Make sure you optimize your search marketing strategies to account for these changes. Oh, and Happy New Year!