SEO is an unending game of keeping one step ahead of the competition, staying up to date on internet trends, and continually optimizing your site. It’s not always easy to keep up, particularly if you’re not tech-savvy.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled a few key strategies to implement within your website to build a powerful SEO foundation as 2017 enters full swing.
1. Adaptive Mobile Design
Mobile responsiveness of site design is nothing new, and honestly, if you’re only considering it now, you’re already behind.
Sites optimized for mobile have been a priority since Google’s Mobilegeddon update back in 2015. Adaptive web design is part of this trend, involving sites designed to automatically scale and orient themselves to whatever size screen your audience uses. This type of design creates pages that are adaptable across a variety of platforms and makes content consumption simple. Research by iAcquire found that 40 percent of users will choose another search result if the first one is not optimized for mobile.
2. Accelerated Mobile Pages
Aside from mobile-first design, a relatively new trend known as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) is set to impact the mobile browsing world. According to developers, AMPs load faster and use less data than traditional mobile-optimized pages, making them a hot issue in web development. They aren’t a direct ranking factor for SEO, but they'll contribute to secondary SEO elements, such as page loading times, time spent on site, and the overall user experience.
3. Intent-Based Keywords
As data collection methods and analytics continue to evolve, marketers are gaining a better understanding of the intent behind user searches. Long-tail keywords are a well-known choice for enhancing SEO, and as new channels for search queries evolve, these will have a bigger impact than ever.
The increased popularity of voice searches, for example, are increasing the number of long-tailed queries posed as questions – giving these long-tailed phrases more weight than singular keywords.
4. Prioritizing the User Experience
Shrewd readers will have recognized a trend in the listed items so far: They all have to do with improving the user experience.
Search indexers that determine page rankings are favoring sites that achieve high rankings of user time spent on on-page. This gives site owners more incentive than ever to give users a quality experience and keep them on-site for as long as possible. Among the trends listed above, this includes:
- Streamlining your page loading times to lower page abandonment
- Making navigation intuitive to help users find what they’re looking for
- Producing high-value content that will keep users coming back to your site (with the added benefits of backlink opportunities and keyword inclusion)
The user experience is everything – including your ticket to stronger SEO.
5. Switching to HTTPS
Google hasn’t hidden the fact that HTTPS-secured sites rank better than their more common HTTP counterparts. Chalk it up to Google’s vested interest in cybersecurity and digital authenticity. Though they’re given priority, we have to note that HTTPS certifications aren’t practical for every business. The SEO boost is icing on the cake, but only businesses that handle sensitive data transactions might need to go to the trouble.
SEO in 2017
SEO trends in 2017 follow several key principles:
- A quality user experience that makes browsing easy
- Mobile-first design for a variety of devices
- Keyword strategies informed by data and the new tech channels available to us
These trends will function as a starting point for strengthening your SEO. Not all of them will be applicable to every website, but finding the right combination of strategies for your unique business is the ticket to getting found in 2017 search.