New Year, New SEO

We’ve seen SEO change quite significantly over the years, and as marketeers we’re always keeping one step ahead of the game, so what’s to come in 2017? Let’s explore what to look out for in the upcoming year.

 

User Intent Optimisation

Currently we focus on keywords to optimise a website and ranking in SERPs, which means we can use words or short phrases that users may type into the search engine to produce results. However, users know precisely what they are looking for the majority of the time, and consumers are starting to enter full queries or phrases into the search engine, meaning Google is getting more advanced at identifying user intent.

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What does this mean for businesses?

In 2017, online businesses will need to start considering what the intent or their consumers are, rather than just focusing on specific keywords. Investigation into what users are searching for and what brings them to the page will be critical, and making sure that their content answers the questions or queries that consumers are asking.

Content is key, and after collecting the relevant data, changes to content will need to be in place to ensure the website is reflecting the readers experience and to boost rankings.

Keeping up to date with analytics will still be important so that you are able to analyse areas that are working well and other areas that need updating.

 

Richer Answers and Quality Snippets

When we’ve got a question we need answering, we all turn to Google. Typically when we type in a question we’ll be presented with a snippet box of the most relevant results, along with other useful websites and results. This is done by the use of a ‘Schema Markup’, a piece of code that helps Google understand website content better and display the correct information.

These are known as ‘direct answers’, like the example below:

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The number of direct answers in Google has doubled since 2014, which means we’re likely to see a much higher volume of these in 2017.

What does this mean for businesses?

Including a Schema Markup on your website will enhance the likeliness of showing in advanced SERPs and being featured in a rich, direct answer snippet. Quick answers are the way forward in 2017, so implementing schema markup will be a great idea.

 

Cross Channel Marketing

Cross channel marketing is like an extension of existing multi-channel marketing, whereby a brand establishes a presence on more than one platform. Cross channel marketing goes a step further and integrates several platforms to market your brand seamlessly. E.G. a user is browsing a product through an online app, but decides not to go ahead and buy it. They may then be sent targeted ads of the specific product using social media or email.

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What does this mean for businesses?

Cross channel marketing will be very effective if you know your target audience and their consumption habits, and this could have a huge impact on conversion rates. A successful process of cross channel marketing will include:

  • Knowing what the right message is
  • Finding the right time to release
  • Using the correct channels to do so

 

Growth in Mobile

Going mobile has been incredibly important in the last few years in the way of SEO; many websites have been gaining the majority of their traffic from mobile users and the growth of mobile shows no signs of slowing down in 2017.

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Google recently released that it has begun development in making it’s index mobile-first, which means mobile optimisation should be considered as the default user experience. 2017 shows that mobile optimisation will most likely become mandatory.

 

Voice Searches

In the age of hands-free, wearable technology, voice search is quickly becoming the next big thing. It has been a growing project in the tech industry and has becoming one of the fastest growing search options, but it’s currently not at it’s peak, with language barriers and errors.

While technology improves and updates, voice search will enhance with it. The growth of voice search will change from simple voice ‘recognition’, evolving into voice ‘understanding’, a truly remarkable, appealing prospect.

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What does this mean for businesses?

In relation to search, this will have impact on context including location, app use frequency, personalised information and keywords based on spoken searches. With recurring improvements to voice search in technology such as Siri, Cortana and Google Now, there’s no doubt 2017 will show a huge increase in voice search optimisation.

 

An Exciting Year Ahead

2017 is looking to be an exciting year for SEO junkies, but also for consumers who’ll be presented with search results more accurate than ever before!

 

If you’re looking for SEO to improve your website, contact us today for a quote.