For a while now, SEO has maintained strong credibility as an effective means of improving the visibility and easy accessibility of web content. But, as with many major innovations, there are constant changes and developments to take note of within the expansive field of SEO. Now that we’ve reached 2017, it’s best that we let you in on the top trends in SEO for the year. We don’t want you to be left behind! Plus, it’s important for us to ensure that you get the best from your SEO services.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project aims to create a more user-friendly mobile web experience. Introduced early last year, and similar to HTML, its plan is to offer a set of guidelines for developing web content for mobile devices. This means simpler user experience across a greater number of digital platforms, which is a logical step considering so many of us are practically attached to our smartphones. Perhaps the most promising aspect of AMP is that it will enable webpages to load more quickly on mobile devices.
Yes, voice search has been around for a short while (thanks Siri!), but now this particular technological advancement is growing up a bit. Indeed, the tendency for mobile users to use voice assistance is so common that some further development should be expected. John Rampton, Co-Founder and CEO of payments company Due, states, ‘the increased use of voice assistants on smartphones to assist with searches, which is changing what keywords are used because users are employing more natural language than when they type in keyword for their searches. That means brands and bloggers will have to re-examine what type of keywords are used and change their strategies to align with the use of voice command searches.’
When it comes to search engines, you might have thought Google and Yahoo were top of the list. But Bing seems to have gained some traction recently, particularly towards the end of last year. At the beginning of February smartinsights.com noted, ‘in the later months of 2016, Bing…powered around 20% of searches in the UK and up to 10% in the US.’ Not only that, if you refer back to trend number 2 you’ll be amazed by what SEO strategist Gianluca Fiorelli states on moz.com: ‘Bing is [fuelling] the search of Siri and Alexa, apart from being the default search engine of Cortana. If you calculate how many iOS/OS X, Windows 10, and Amazon Echo devices are used, then you have a rough idea of how Bing could be important as voice search grows.’
The keyword is, of course, pivotal to on-page SEO. But there’s something a) uncertain about using a specific one when it might appear on so many other webpages, and b) tedious about constantly having to insert your chosen keyword in various strategic places. So, if you want to add some more certainty and flavour to your content, then take some advice from the folks at Schoeman Law: ‘using Rank Tracker, you can get insights into related keyword phrases and how they stack up against your chosen phrase using insights from a variety of resources beyond Google AdWords Keyword Planner.’
Jon Henshaw, Co-Founder and President of Raven Tools, tells, searchenginejournal.com, ‘Google will continue to push for speed in 2017, but their core focus will be on reliability and making sites work and feel more like apps. They’ll do this by encouraging SEOs and webmasters to convert their sites into Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).’ What are PWAs? They’re immersive user experiences that bring together a variety of standards for online user experience. They’re speedy, simple to use, and, according to Henshaw, ‘expected to work even if the user is offline’. With regard to this last aspect, he cites Progressive Beer, as an example. Check it out!
Ever heard of RankBrain? Well it’s not exactly new (having been around for just over a year), but it certainly heralds a remarkable development within the SEO-world. RankBrain is basically an artificial intelligence system that aids Google in processing and providing search results. According to SEO specialist Jomer Gregorio, it currently holds ‘the 3rd spot for the most important signal in ranking.’ Gregorio also states, ‘because it’s been over a year since we’ve seen an update like RankBrain, it’s possible that Google will release more machine learning updates, or may even incorporate machine learning and artificial intelligence in other areas such as data recovery interpretation and marketing automation.’ So watch this space!