SEO Trends to Watch out for in 2017

It’s hard to believe that 2017 is already upon us as we are still recovering from the abundance of SEO marketing changes and trends of 2016!  I think it’s a good idea to recap on these before we delve into some of the top trends we could see explode in 2017.

In 2016 content marketing was king, as usual, encouraging longer, rich content to engage users.  Social media and shared content was looked upon favourably by Google, as were unique images and videos.  All these trends will, to a degree, still continue to be important – but there are a few new kids on the block who are destined to take over as the top ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.

Mobile Mobile Mobile

Yes, I know I said it three times but it’s super important that your website is mobile-friendly and mobile-ready as this has already become the main focus for Google. We saw a definitive shift from the traditional desktop to mobile when Google announced mobile first indexing back in October 2016.  While it’s imperative to acknowledge Google’s mobile first indexing, all is not lost if you have yet to launch a mobile version of your website; Google will still index your desktop version, but my advice would be to contact a web developer and focus on technical SEO to provide you with a responsive website.

One of the main benefits of having a mobile version in 2017 is that your website can benefit from AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages.  This is an initiate introduced by Google in February 2016 that allows web masters to write lighter HTML code which speeds up the page load time.  Not only does it help with page speed, it has also been found to increase CTR (click through rate) and rankings.  Studies have shown that Google is already favouring AMP pages, displaying them in a carousel with a lightning bolt icon representing their AMP status.  I predict that we will see a lot more of these pages in 2017, with more and more brands taking advantage of these fast turnaround times.

Consider using Rich Snippets

We all use Google to answer some pretty direct questions, like how to I change a lightbulb or how do I make salsa, and it now displays easy to read information for us in a stand-out format so that we can easily find a solution to our query.  This might be in the form of a step-by-step guide, a recipe, event information or timetables, for example – so in order for your content to appear in these enhanced listings you must install structured data mark-up (often referred to as “schema mark-up”).  This is code you can place around your content which helps search engines to define what your content is related to quickly and easily.  Google have started to use this more often as it helps them discover what a website is related to, so it makes sense that all web owners implement this code coming into 2017.

Voice Search is the New Black

2017 is undoubtedly going to be the year of the voice search.  It’s been around for a while but with the introduction of Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft), Alexa (Amazon) and the Google Assistant we have seen voice control search query numbers soar.  Google are saying that as many as 1 in 5 Andriod searches are made by voice.

So how does this affect SEO you might ask?  Well the answer is simple.  People talk differently to how they write and we must take this into consideration when optimising relevant pages.  For example, when we talk we use words such as who, what, where, when and why more regularly – so why not incorporate these into the content of your page by reforming your headlines into questions.

Cross-Channel Marketing

Not to be confused with multi-channel marketing, cross-channel marketing uses the same principle of exercising multiple platforms however it uses them in a much more integrated way.  Multi-channel marketing simply creates a presence throughout a number of platforms but cross-channel marketing is more intelligent and can retarget a potential customer throughout a number of devices and platforms.  For example, you might view a product on a shopping app but decide not to purchase at that time.  Cross-channel marketing then allows you to continue to target that customer through other means such as Gmail or social media.  This means the user has a seamless experience with the brand and can more easily move down the sales funnel.

Research shows that 72% of consumers prefer an integrated marketing approach, however it’s important to note that you can’t just throw up a campaign online and hope for the best.  A cross-channel marketing campaign does require strategy and planning.  You must know your market, the correct message to project and what channels are most effective for each campaign.

2017 is certainly shaping up to be a big year in digital marketing and we are excited to see the opportunities arise and grow.  As a society we are becoming increasingly connected to content from every corner of globe and it’s our job at White Chalk Road to keep on top of these trends and integrate them into your online marketing campaign.

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