WHAT SEO CHANGES TO EXPECT IN 2017 - IF ANY?
Do you want to stay 1 step (or many) ahead of your competition? If the answer is a 'Yes', then I believe our 'SEO in 2017' article will make your website search engine optimized and ready for 2017, and beyond.
Better understanding search engines, learn more about your customers, and how they research a product or a service before they actually buy will be ever more important than it was in 2016.
Search engines evolve and in order for your business to level the search engine playing field and be successful, you need to follow suit when it comes to search engine optimization in 2017, and beyond.
So if you still believe that the SEO techniques you implemented in 2016 will still work for you in 2017, then you need to wake up and adjust your SEO strategy for 2017 if you want to hold on to that high SERPs ranking, continue to bring customers to your online store, and beat your opponents.
SEO in 2017 will be different! And if you don't get on board the 'evolved SEO train' and change the way you used to implement SEO techniques in 2016, you will be left behind all by your lonesome self, while your competitions reap the rewards for keeping both eyes open on the search engines algorithm changes.
SEO TRENDS THAT WILL NOT CHANGE IN 2017
I believe search engine marketing in 2017 will bring a lot of changes with it! But there are some optimization techniques that will not be affected in this coming year. These optimization techniques I am referring to, and which helped you achieve top ranking, will remain the same in 2017.
These SEO trends that will not require any changes (but some improvement) from your side are;
CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOME WILL STILL BE AN IMPORTANT SEO TREND IN 2017
Did you know that site speed is an important ranking factor? I can't stress this enough! - Choosing the right home (hosting) for your website should've been the first extremely important decision made in 2016 (and earlier) - If this is the first time for you, then you need to know that choosing the right hosting for your website remains paramount to the success of your search engine optimization campaign.
Your users, Google and other major search engines will still make site speed an important ranking factor. Why? Because they want to show the result of their user's search query as fast as possible, or they risk loosing their customers (you and I), and their Kingship to their competition - Yes, search engines also have to compete just as you do!
This is where choosing a good hosting company for your website will still remain an important part of your success in 2017 and beyond.
If you choose a hosting company because of its cheap web hosting price (usually as an introductory price anyway), instead of looking at the hardware specs (SSD drives, for example) and software (latest version of PHP, MySQL) the hosting company can offer you, then know that you and your business will end up paying deeply for choosing cheap price over quality.
So if you want your website, or web page load in 2 seconds or less, make the search engines and your visitors happy, and not push them to click on their browser's back button, you need to start focusing on choosing a hosting company with the optimal hardware and software setup money can buy, now.
OPTIMIZING YOUR IMAGES WILL STILL BE THE RIGHT THING TO DO IN 2017
Say it with me, 'speed is an important ranking factor'! Optimizing every image simplerwebs.com uses was important to me several years ago, and will still be in 2017, and beyond.
I've seen many great looking websites (requested by clients) that I had to say 'Wow' and this had nothing to do with the website's esthetic or design. I said 'Wow' because of how slow every website was.
After digging deeper, I saw what was making each website load slower than the slowest snail. One website was not only using many images on one page, but also images as backgrounds. It had a background images for the menu bar, the breadcrumbs, the footer, copyright. Well, all over the page. No wonder the page took forever to load (and this was on a broadband connection.
Not only that, but every image that was used as a background was not optimized for speed. When I asked the client why he chose to use them, his answer was 'I was not aware and didn't even asked for them'.
In conclusion, even though I do not recommend the use of images as background but if you must, make sure that you reduce the file size of each image, before you upload them, to boost page load. You can still create great backgrounds using just CSS, and this is what we recommend to our clients!
WILL KEYWORD RESEARCH STILL BE A MUST IN 2017?
The death of Keyword Research! At SimplerWebs, we started focusing more on 'User Intent Research' and keyword research. This doesn't mean we do not perform keyword research! We still do but not the way you might think it should be done.
If you want your SEO campaign to be successful for the year 2017, then you must get on the 'new SEO train' and forget about doing your 'keyword research' campaign the way you used to do it, or risk of being left behind - Back in 2016 that is.
Google's new Keyword Planner is hopeless when it comes to using it for your keyword research for organic SEO campaign, but for Ad-words, it should still help you in 2017.
WILL KEYWORDS STILL BE IMPORTANT IN 2017?
We believe that focusing on putting exact keywords in your content died before 2016 and has been replaced by the new kid on the block 'user intent', and understanding your potential customers psychology. This is why we started, some times ago, looking at 'topic research', or 'user intent research' instead of keyword for 2016, and 2017.
Google has been looking at semantics and trying to offer a search result matching the user's intent for some times now, and when it comes to understanding users intent, Google has come a long way.
If you can understand your user's intent, and combined that with writing an on topic content, we believe your chances of achieving high ranking and bring targeted traffic to your site will increase tremendously.
IMPORTANCE OF ON PAGE SEO FOR 2017
On-page SEO for 2017 will not change as much as one might think. On-page optimization will still be important for boosting your website's ranking in 2017. You'll just have to do it differently than they way you've been doing it in 2016 and earlier.
- Page Title - You will still need to write a good and compelling title while focusing more on user's intent, versus keyword
- Images - Optimize your images for speed and write a good Alt tag while describing the image not for the search engines, but for the user who uses a screen reader
- Content - Write compelling and on topic content. No need to use your exact match keyword in your content. Again, focus more on your users and a bit less on search engines. Before you start writing your content and publish it, you'll need to understand your customer
- Meta Description - While a meta description has lost is value as a ranking factor, I recommend that you still write a compelling meta description. Why? Because the meta description can still be used to entice potential customer to click on your link, instead of your competition's, and boost your click through rate (CTR). You can include your semantic keyword/topic in your meta description to increase the chances of having your meta description used, instead of having Google's snippets use on SERPs
- URLs - I believe applying semantic keyword matching your topic and users intent in your page URL will take over using keywords
OFF-PAGE SEO (TECHNICAL SEO)
Many website owners only focus on On-page SEO, getting back links, and forget the other type of SEO - Technical SEO that, if not implemented (or implemented incorrectly) will lead to a slow website and poor ranking on SERPs.
We've always believed and implemented Technical SEO techniques to optimize a clients' website and will continue doing so because I don't believe technical SEO will be dead in 2017, but stronger and ever important.
Check out our Technical SEO Tips for more on that subject.
SHOULD I STILL FOCUS ON ATTAINING BACK LINKS IN 2017?
Back links (external links from a website to your page) has been a hot topic among SEO experts since it became a ranking factor many moons ago, but this is what I said and still say about back links.
To me, back links are still somewhat important to achieving top ranking, but the process of building links has changed and will evolve in 2017.
Once thing I noticed throughout my many years in SEO and I strongly believe in is that, when you offer great content, inbound links will build themselves. That is why I prefer focusing on building great internal links, and less on external links.
However, the type of website linking to you, from websites that are in the same niche and authoritative, will still be important in 2017.
So focus on offering great content and properly inter-linking your pages, instead of putting all your effort in link building (external links).
SEO TRENDS FOR 2017
Just like SEO was different in 2016 and earlier, it will be different in 2017 and if you want your online business to continue being successful as it possibly did this year, you have to adapt with the upcoming SEO changes in 2017. And they are;
2500 WORDS CONTENT WILL CHANGE
I believe just writing content made up of 2500 words and up, and inserting your chosen keyword in the body (at the beginning, middle, or in the next paragraph) died in 2016 and will still be dead in 2017, with the exception of blogs with How To's and technical papers.
The changes we'll see, as far as content is concerned, is that you will still need to provide quality web copy but you will no longer need 2500+ words to get your message across. Your customers will be looking for to the point content and right away and not have to read hundred lines to get to the information they needed.
When it comes to content for SEO in 2017, you might need to start thinking smaller is actually better, when written for users, and not search engines!
INTRUSIVE INTERSTITIAL ADS
According to Google, any web page that shows intrusive interstitial Ads (which make content not immediately accessible) offer users poor experience than you standard page, thus, will result in ranking penalty.
Again, interstitial Ads are popups that cover the main content, either right after a user lands on the home page from Google's search engines result page (SERPs), or while user is looking at the page.
Interstitial Ads also include a stand alone pop-up/window where user is forced to dismiss, by clicking on the 'X', some kind of a link before they can even access the page they are visiting.
GET ON-BOARD THE AMPs (ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES) TRAIN
If you haven't hear of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) yet, you are about to. Webmasters/designers are encouraged to use an open-source protocol called 'AMPs' in order to help them provide their visitors with content that is void of features you would usually see when visiting the page on a desktop, laptop or tablet. These AMP are supposed to load instantly on your smartphone.
If you want to become Google's favorite, you need to get on-board and implement AMP on your site because I believe that Google's favor towards AMPs pages will get even stronger in 2017, and beyond.
PUT USERS FIRST - User Experience (UE)
I've always thought that customers are my bread and butter, and will continue to do so in 2017, and for a very long time. So I recommend that you take off your shoes, grab your customer's shoes and visit your website, and your competitors, and thinking like your customers would, look at your website and see what element will make you stay on the page (hopefully for a long time), and what is going to make you leave the site such as the page taking forever to load, is too cluttered and a lot of special effects like sliders, and so on.
Ask yourself the following:
- Why am I here?: You are here looking to buy a product, or need a service
- How soon can I find it?: It should not take ages to find what you came for, or you will go somewhere else
This is where understanding customer psychology will be important for it will help you realize that you need a faster mean of providing on topic content (AMPs for mobile users).
Share it with family and fellow small business friends
If you enjoyed reading SEO in 2017 article then I kindly ask that you share it with friends, family, and website owners you know. Also, don't forget to Like Us using the below social media buttons. Submit the artile you would like to share!