SEO in 2017

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 04, 2017
With each new year, we sit back and anticipate what changes might be coming in the digital marketing world. In 2017, SEO is sure to be a focus for many companies and professionals. However, if you want to stay on top of your SEO strategy in 2017, you need to know what is going to be the focus for the year ahead.

While it may be too early to know what kind of changes search engines will make to their algorithm, we can look at the direction key components are moving. For 2017, here is what we predict to be the most important factors for SEO strategies.
Mobile Usage

For years, mobile usage has been on the rise for searches. While some businesses, such as local businesses, will see more traffic from mobile searches, any and all companies need to be mobile friendly.

Being mobile friendly can contribute to an SEO strategy because it makes it easy for visitors to view a website on screens of any size. When they can easily navigate the pages on a smaller screen, they are more likely to spend time viewing various pages – lowering the site’s bounce rate and showing search engines that your site is valued.

The more that a search engine recognizes that your site shares valuable information the more likely they are to push your content to the top of the list. In 2017, be sure to have a fully responsive design to accommodate the increase in mobile viewers.
Schema

Schema markup has been a popular factor for SEO strategies for a while, but it is still not considered common practice. Through Schema markup – which displays additional information in a search result – search engines and users can find out more about the page without needing to follow through to the website.

In 2017, Schema will become more common for SEO strategies. While Schema can look different depending on the information your website provides, we can anticipate that we will be seeing much more of it in the new year.

If you want to get ahead of the game, see if you can incorporate Schema markup before it becomes the standard. By staying ahead of your competition, you can continuously have a leg up on other companies in your industry.
Content Quality

Over the past few years, the desire for content in an SEO strategy has changed. A few years ago, companies could get away with packing in keywords and uploading content that wasn’t exactly interesting or insightful in order to find their way to the top of the list. They could even load the same content over and over without any consequences.

While those days are in the past, we suspect that 2017 will bring even bigger restrictions on the kind of content. Rather than allowing you to simply reword content found on other pages, you will need to create long-form content that is truly valuable.

In 2017, we can expect to see content upwards of 3,000 words. By focusing on “dense” content over having tons of different pieces, we need to focus on bringing new benefits to our readers and website visitors.

With each change that Google and other search engines make, they are looking to develop a better user experience for the people that search on their websites. That means that website owners need to do what they can to adjust to those changes and create more specific insights and information for their readers.

SEO is always shifting towards accommodating the “real” people. If your company focuses on creating content and sharing information that your audience genuinely needs or wants to read, the 2017 changes to SEO shouldn’t be too scary. With the right approach and a clear focus on how to please both your readers and the search engines, you will have no problem staying updated on the digital marketing requirements.