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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was a hot topic in 2016 and the flames are growing larger this year. SEO is one of the major driving forces in the digital world because Google search plays such a large role in our everyday lives. 3.5 billion searches are made on Google every day and 1.2 trillion searches are conducted worldwide. If you think about it, that’s a lot of searching, but what’s more important are the answers Google generates for those searches.

SEO helps businesses get to the first page and hopefully, the first slot in the SERPs (search engine results pages). This means more visibility, more clicks, more leads, more brand awareness, and a happier you.

These SEO trends in 2017 will help your business on its way to Google’s much coveted first page:

1: Mobile-First Indexing

Since 2015, Google has been shifting its attention toward mobile devices. Users are making searches on the go and Google has recognized how important immediacy of information is. They’re rewarding websites that are optimized for these platforms because it means easier access for the user. Google also launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) for this specific purpose. The goal is to give businesses and publishers the opportunity to create mobile optimized content once and have it load instantly everywhere. This trend is going to be important in the upcoming months because optimization for mobile will be the difference between the Google spotlight and the shadows behind the page 2 curtain.
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2: Local Search

Google is also paying more attention to local searches. More than ever, users want to know what’s in their neighborhood. Which restaurant is closest to their apartment? How far is the next rest stop on the highway? A common trend uncovered last year was that users were repeatedly putting the words “near me” or “nearby” in their searches.

Local Search Trend 2017
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Understanding how to maximize the location of your business is paramount this upcoming year because it’s what users are looking for, but more importantly, it’s what Google is looking for. Your business needs to integrate the locality of its services into its SEO practices in 2017. One way to achieve this is by marketing your geographical location through your content and your mobile website SEO strategy. You want this to seem effortless by tying in the unique qualities of your business to its location. For example, “Our SEO agency moves at the pace of a New York City street!” The language should be natural and native to your business.

3: Personalized Search

Another aspect of search that will become more important in 2017 is personalized search. Users are individuals; they have their own personal intentions. How this translates onto the digital landscape through a user’s history. Where have they gone before? What made them go to that site? Your team can appeal to the personal aspect of search by getting to know your audience better. Outside of your products or services, what common interests do they share? Use long-tail keywords to encompass other related industry trends. Analyze last year’s KPI’s a little closer to uncover trends you might have missed. Getting personal with your audiences means diving deeper into the details.

4: Voice Search

What the Experts are Saying About Voice Technology20% of Google mobile queries are done through voice search, and that number is sure to rise this upcoming year. This should come as no surprise after the steady increase in mobile searches. Users are busy and they have lives. What they want and need are fast convenient answers. Whether you’re driving, cooking, cleaning, or anything really, voice search gives users the power of inquiry when your hands are tied up with other tasks. There’s no straight answer from the Google team yet, but Search Engine Land notes they’re on the fence about reporting voice searches on Google Console’s Search Analytics report. Regardless of which way Google decides to swing, how can your business prepare for this upcoming trend like a professional SEO Agency?

One way is for your business to begin creating a better structure for your site when optimizing for mobile. Gianluca Fiorelli of Moz advises your game plan for 2017 should be to “optimize for the parsing and indexing phases of the Google algorithm.

5: Visual Content

Visual Content Trend 2017
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Pictures and images have always been important in the digestion of content. They help break up the page and give your readers a mental break. However, this aspect of digital marketing is going to become more important in 2017 because videos are on the rise as well. Mark Zuckerberg predicted Facebook will be all about video in the upcoming 5 years, and now Google is acknowledging this trend as well. What your business can do is pay close attention to the aesthetics of your brand. Do you have a color scheme? Are your images stock or taken by an in house photographer? Do you need to enlist an digital marketing agency for the creation of your videos?

In Conclusion

Hopefully these SEO tips for 2017 will set the tone for the year and give your business the foundation it needs for success in the upcoming months! Let’s recap:

  1. Google is going to be paying close attention to mobile optimization this year, especially with AMP!
  2. Local search is important to users and your location on SERPs
  3. Get personal with your audience by digging in the details of your data
  4. Voice search is on the rise and it requires you pay close attention to mobile structure
  5. It’s going to be all about the aesthetics, images and videos!