Now that we’ve started the new year, it’s a good time to go over some of the things that will change for SEO in 2017. To make sure that you maintain your rankings going forward, you’ll need to make a few adjustments to your SEO strategy to stay at the top of the SERPs. If you’re not already there, updating to suit the most important SEO trends in 2017 could also allow you to jump above some of your ranking competitors.
Here are the top three most important factors for SEO in 2017:
- Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
The biggest factor for SEO in 2017 is going to be mobile-responsive pages. This shouldn’t be a surprise given the rise and prevalence of mobile pages and engagement over the last number of years, with more and more people searching for information – and even making purchases – using their mobile devices.
The biggest reason why this trend will be so affected by SEO in the new year is that Google is taking a new approach to mobile websites, placing a higher priority on them. In fact, they are splitting their index in two to accommodate for the sheer volume of mobile pages. They’ve also stated that they will be updating their mobile index far more often than the desktop index, ensuring that the mobile side of things is always the freshest and fastest functioning.
There are also penalties associated with not having a mobile-responsive page available. So if you don’t have one, chances are it will hurt your rankings in Google. If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly page, you’ll want to get on that fast. More than that, you’ll want to review your desktop and mobile pages to make sure that you can provide your audience the same features using both versions.
- Voiced Assistants will Replace the Search Box
The second significant change we see happening in 2017 is the use of voiced assistants such as Siri. This voice recognition technology – which initially limited its practical use – has developed significantly over the years, and has reduced their error rate from 25% to 8%. Therefore, these programs are better and better at understanding what you say and providing a result. On top of this, they are getting better at providing reliable, beneficial information that directly targets your query and provides the most accurate and relevant answer.
As these technologies improve and provide a better understanding, more honest answers, and more focused search responses, the more efficient this service becomes and more likely it is to be used. In effect, these voice assistants will be the fastest way for you to get a direct, accurate, related answer.
If these keeps up, they are likely to replace the answer box. Now, I know you think that these voice assistants will simply choose the answer box and read it to you, but this is not true in terms of SEO. While the answer box relies on keywords or keyword phrases, responses from the voice assistants are trying to more accurately provide specific answers to what the user is searching for. Shifting to use these voice assistants will mean shifting from targeting keywords to providing the best information and response to answer the query that you are trying to rank.
For example, if you previously would have been targeting “power tool drills” you will instead want to be targeting “What is the best power tool drill for at home use?” or “What is a power tool drill used for?”. If you create content that targets the specific query users are looking for, you’ll be sure to succeed at being the reliable source of information and make sure you rank in 2017.
- Machine Learning
With the introduction of Google RankBrain late in the previous year, machine learning through algorithms is the future of how search engines will grow, learn, and improve on their own. This programs works as an extension of Google Hummingbird, slowly learning how users phrase their queries and updating its algorithm to account for this. As such, the search engine learns over time and improves their ability to provide you what you are looking for, better understanding what you are seeking.
If you can account for these three major changes in 2017, you should be able to help maintain and improve your rankings moving into the new year!
When searching for an agency to help your business with SEO, keep in mind that Toronto isn’t the only place to look. Mississauga has many agencies capable of the same things and have a more convenient location.