The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s our prediction for 2017, at least on an SEO front. While SEO, as a field, seems like it’s constantly shifting, squirming, and changing, many of the biggest trends that we expect for the coming year actually reflect a deepening, or a doubling down, of where we are currently. To put it differently: Anything that’s been important in 2016 is going to be twice as important in the year to come. If you’ve become slack in your optimization efforts, it’s imperative to get caught up today.
The written word will always be important for online marketing, but, more and more, consumers are looking for compelling imagery—and not just still pictures and graphics, but especially video content. If video isn’t part of your marketing plan, you desperately need to incorporate it as 2017 gets under way.
Long Form Content
Remember that Google’s goal is to provide value and substance to its users—and value and substance are hard to fit into 250-word blog posts. That doesn’t mean that every page and every article needs to be a tome, but it does mean that longer, meatier content will increasingly be favored by search engine algorithms.
For years marketers have been saying mobile first! Mobile first! Well, as each year goes by, more and more online activity is shifting to mobile devices—which means catering to mobile users is only becoming more essential.
Social Media Influence
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool for shaping public opinion—but did you know that social media cues are also integral to search engine algorithms? We predict that this will hold true in 2017, as well, and that social media will become increasingly invaluable for both SEO and online reputation management.
We also predict the return of tech SEO—that is, a renewed focus on optimization work that’s done outside the content itself, laying a proper foundation for the content to shine.
A final prediction we will make for 2017 is that the role of user experience will continue to grow and develop, and that artificial intelligence will play a big role in it. SEOs are going to need to think more than ever about how they can make websites to access and navigate by regular, human users, as well as search bots.
Moving Forward with SEO
The truth is that SEO is never going to be static; trends will always be shifting and changing. With that said, the trends we’ve outlined here are all foundational, and are worth investing now and for the foreseeable future. If you need help implementing any of these SEO strategies, or making sense of 2017’s landscape, we encourage you to contact our team of experts today. Reach out to us at Sefati Consulting Group.