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It is that period of the year where you start thinking about what your SEO strategy is going to look like in 2017. This is the right time to start planning, budgeting and strategizing your search success for the next year.
Considering that 93% of online experiences begin with search, prioritizing the latest best practices in digital marketing and optimization will be essential to the success of any website.
SEO is thus a long term strategy that needs to be think in terms of precise business goals. You need to rely on accurate data and have a clear view of any Google algorithm adjustment.
If you are looking for some inspiration and a view of what SEO is going to be, we have gathered some SEO trends and predictions for 2017 that have been shared by experts and based on what we have noticed.
Schema markup has become highly important to rank your website. It helps search engines to really understand what your website is about, make it more user-friendly in SERPs and thus improve your click-through rate and traffic. Schema is also quite useful when Google displays rich answers like Quick Answers or rich cards.
Schema helps users to better find what they are looking for. Rich snippets are thus used to display AMP articles, local businesses, music, reviews, movies, recipes, etc using schema to make sure your website’s content is clear and appealing.
In the meantime, Quick Answers are also relying on Schema – increasing from 22% in 2014 to 40% at the beginning of 2016.
Schema are also more and more important in 2017 as RankBrain and artificial intelligence have become the third most important ranking factor for Google. In that context, the search engine needs to have a clear understanding of your website. Schema makes it easier to interpret and assure that your website is ready for the next big revolution.
To take the most of Schema you should:
AMP has been a hot topic since its release at the end of 2015. In the meantime, Google is still regarding load time as an important ranking factor. Indeed, load time affects user experience and websites with a low load time are facing high bounce rates and low conversions. With AMP, Google is showing its involvement in offering the best user experience possible and in improving load time. Originally for news websites, the format strips away all the extras of a website, helping it load faster. According to Google, using AMP can improve loading speeds by 15 to 85%.
Mobile as also seen the development of micro moments. They describe the reflex of people turning to a device to answer an immediate need.
These needs are divided under the following categories:
The concern here for brands is to be able to answer these questions and provide the best mobile experience.
AMP is taking more and more importance in the mobile ecosystem and it has become crucial for brands to reduce their load times. And even if you have not take the AMP path, users are expecting fast websites. You are thus going to be indirectly involved.
To optimize your pages and increase your chances you should:
We were recently talking about the impact of voice search on SEO. With applications such as Ok Google or Siri, text-based searches have decreased on mobile. People are getting used to directly ask their requests instead of typing them as 20% of searches are now vocal searches. ComScore has even estimated that by 2020, a full 50 percent of all searches will be by voice.
This rapid growth results in a better accuracy. In 2013, Google’s platform had a word recognition accuracy rate of below 80 percent, according to Meeker’s figures. Just a couple of years later, that rate rose above 90 percent. Baidu now exceeds a 95-percent accuracy rate.
It has turned searches into conversational ones. It means websites need to optimize their content in order to match user’s intent.
While thinking about what consumers would type when searching for a topic related to your business, you must also take into consideration what they would say as well. The easiest way to understand what people want is to think your content and keywords in terms of “who, what, when, where and why”. This is actually how users are used to formulate their questions when talking to their smartphones.
Adopting this strategy is truly efficient to increase your website’s visibility regarding a voice search application.
Vocal searches are also deeply bounded with local search. According to Meeker’s searches, 22% of vocal searches are local and concern restaurants, shoppings, directions or local events. Search marketers need to focus on how local businesses are going to be found on local results.
To sum up, SEO is going to be around schema, speed and voice search. You should definitely add those elements to your next strategy if you want to leverage your efforts and maximize your chances to rank on the first page.