What will SEO look like in 2017?
2016 may be coming to an end but SEO is here to stay. Even for SEO professionals, SEO can be daunting in practice. There is no formula for success, only experimentation and adaptations to search engine algorithms. No one can say what SEO will look like in the next month. We only know from statistics of its significance; 93% of all online experiences starts with a search engine and Google is the number 1 driver of traffic to websites. Of course, we can only predict what organic SEO will be like in 2017 based on current search engine behaviors and technology.
The 100% certain SEO predictions is to be ready for change.
Mobile technology will change search habits
Mobile first design and mobile friendly websites is a requirement of 2017. There is no excuse not to optimize SEO for mobile users. More and more people are using smartphones to retrieve content. According to Google guidelines, websites should signal to Google when a page is formatted for mobile, robots.txt should not block search engines from accessing resources and videos should be playable on mobile devices. Mobile viewing experiences should be optimized for 2017.
Optimize for natural language search queries
Semantic SEO is simply another way of optimizing for search queries using a cluster of related words and natural language queries. Website developers should optimize for the questions users will put in search engines. For example, ‘I want to find 24 hour cafes in London,’ would be a semantic relation of ’24 hour London cafe.’ Optimize your content for both keywords and semantic phrases.
Voice search SEO
Voice search technology such as Siri and Cortana may still be in its infancy but website owners should be aware of its impact on SEO. In comparison to manual search, voice search asks a direct question in natural language format. Website owners are advised to optimize their content for natural language searches. An example of this would be:
Manual search: Battenberg cake recipe
Voice search: what do I need to make a Battenberg cake?
Artificial intelligence and SEO
Google, the world’s biggest search engine is investing heavily in artificial intelligence technology. The implications of this on their search engine algorithms is huge, although 2017 may be premature for effects to be seen. The impact of AI search engines would be highly relevant search results bolstered by predictive technology.
SEO and Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)
Towards the end of 2016, Google introduced AMP for mobile devices. In 2017 and beyond, AMP will be applied for more verticals and websites without the markup will be penalized. App builders must consider AMP for SEO in order to be more indexable.
Virtual reality marketing and SEO
One step ahead of visual content marketing, virtual reality marketing will allow viewers an experience in 3D. Viewers will be given an immersive experience of a product or service before they actually obtain it. Content can be experienced in an immersive way; SEO can be optimized for this new form of experiential marketing.
Organic SEO will dominate
Organic SEO earns audience’s trust, as opposed to buying the audience’s attention. Paid advertising can ‘buy’ people’s attention for a few seconds but organic search results may prove to be more persuasive in the long run.
Closer integration with content marketing strategies
SEO cannot exist in a vacuum in digital marketing-it will be even more closely integrated with the content strategy. From website UX to creating content, SEO will be implemented with the end goal of better, higher quality content that converts audiences. Videos, visual elements, texts and website design will be optimized for better visibility in search engines. In 2017 and beyond, search engine optimization will be integrated seamlessly with content creation for improved brand awareness and relevance.