How to Prepare Yourself in 2017 for SEO

The Search Engine Optimization industry is evolving dramatically, thanks to the increasing online awareness and use of handheld devices across the globe. Gone are the days when SEO was all about building manipulative links and tricking Google into believing you were great. With Google’s radical updates in its algorithm and emphasis on quality of information - today, ranking top is all about creating user-friendly content and better user experiences.

In this context, let’s take a look at some of the major SEO aspects that may carry strong ranking signals for Google Search.  

Google AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-backed project that allows publishers to build AMP-compliant web pages for super fast page speed. According to Google, using AMP can improve loading speeds by 15 to 85%. Google officially integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results on February, 24, 2016.

Google recently announced it would be focusing on indexing websites designed with a mobile-first approach. The move couldn’t have come at a better time as Internet browsing has become increasingly mobile-centric.

1

 

Therefore, Google is more likely to push its AMP agenda in 2017 and release more sophisticated algorithm updates to make AMP a stronger ranking signal in Google Search.

How to Prepare Yourself

Google has prepared guidelines for publishers to make their webpage AMP-compliant. On February 24, 2016 WordPress declared its support for Accelerated Mobile Pages releasing a plugin for AMP. If you want to implement AMP on your WordPress site, here’s a handy guide to follow.

Voice Search // Voice Assistant

Voice Search has been an important feature of Google Search for the past several years. Its integration across Android devices has helped many perform quick searches easily on the fly. Google CEO Sunder Pichai recently announced that 20% of queries on Google’s mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches.

 

2 http://searchengineland.com/
 

With the unprecedented innovation in voice search technology, voice assistants such as Siri, Google Now and Cortana have become a prominent feature on smartphones and desktop computers as well.

In this insightful post on Moz, Purna Virji has explained how Voice Search will change digital marketing landscape and best practices for the better.

 

3 http://cloudfront.net/
 

The Hummingbird Update by Google is also designed to deliver great results for voice search, especially in terms of Answer Box results on SERPs.

Keeping the recent developments in mind, voice search is going to play a crucial role as Google begins to prioritize ranking web pages for Answer Box for conversational queries.

How to Prepare Yourself

Rank Fishkin recently in this Whiteboard Friday episode shared tips and tricks on how to optimize a website for Google’s Answer Box. One of the most important aspects of Answer Box optimization is following paragraph, list and table formats to display your content. In addition to Rand’s WBF episode, it is highly recommended to read this guide on Answer Box Optimization as well.

Scheme Markup // Rich Snippets

Structured Data Markup or Scheme Markup helps search engines in understanding website content in terms of their individual properties and display information in ways that are useful to users. For example, for queries on a particular movie or dish, Google now delivers results with rich snippets (see screenshot below).

 

4 http://searchengineland.com

 

As per a study by Stone Temple Consulting, the volume of rich answers on Google’s SERPs has nearly doubled in the past two years. Since Google is constantly striving to deliver better and refined results to its users, we are more likely to see rich snippets appearing more often in the coming year.

How to Prepare Yourself

Google has guidelines to help you use structured data on your website. Here’s a useful guide to learn more about rich snippets best practices and use schema markup on your website.

Cross-channel Marketing

In the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape, dealing with your customer’s journey is one of the toughest jobs. In other words, it’s become more difficult to sell products to your prospects using any single marketing channel. Cross-channel marketing is the art of building a marketing funnel that strings together a series of marketing messages designed to help a customer through their entire journey.

For example, if someone visits your blog and leaves without buying a product, you can still continue to engage with them via remarketing campaign on Facebook or Twitter with consistent messages until they buy your product.

According to a recent survey report released by Econsultancy, 73% of respondents claimed that cross-channel marketing had significant conversion rates.

The success of cross-channel marketing depends largely on your understanding of your target audience and their consumption habits. With Google increasingly eating up above-the-fold real estate on Google Search, digital marketers are waking up to cross-channel marketing as an effective alternative. Even though cross-channel marketing is in its nascent stage, it’s likely to grow in the year 2017.

How to Prepare Yourself

Identify the digital channels that convert well for your niche. Try to understand your target audience by analyzing the real-time data and mapping out what types of content work for your campaign. Build your content marketing and digital strategy in synergy and deliver content through a wide range of channels including email marketing, social media, blogs and white papers. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to build an effective cross-channel marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts

From “SEO is Dead” to “SEO is Evolving”, online marketing has come a long way in the past several years. The innovation in handheld devices and widespread use of social media in particular, have influenced consumer behavior forcing search engines to revamp their algorithm to deliver better results for their users. This, in turn, has inspired search marketers to focus more on building user experience in order to stay ahead of the competitive SEO curve.

-

About the Author

Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter:@sushantsahoo

Dec-2016-Blog-AtomicAI-Ad 

Feature Image icons made by Maxim Basinski from www.flaticon.com

Tags: Sales & Marketing, SEO, Uncategorized, Business, Content Marketing, digital marketing, google search, marketing, online marketing, search engine optimization, search rank