3 Important Trends You Should Already Know in 2017
SEO is continuously evolving and any SEO expert or business owner should constantly work to keep themselves apprised of the current internet landscape as well as search engines’ demands for continued success in digital marketing. It isn’t enough to just cover the basics – claim your local SEO listings, research and apply geo-specific keywords and optimize linking strategy. In 2017, setting your business apart will demand that you go deeper and understand just what search engines want from you. This article discusses three relatively new but very important techniques for survival in the 2017 internet landscape.
Structured data markup
Your website must be ‘crawler-friendly’ as this is one of Google’s important ranking factors. This is especially true if you’re looking to show up in rich snippets and quick answers, which are heavily reliant on machine learning. Consider that Google shows quick answers for over 40% of all queries, and this number can only be expected to rise.
Structured data markup describes site ‘properties’ or ‘things’. If you have a travel blog, for instance, things would be the travel posts/articles and properties would be attributes of these posts.
In indexing webpages, Google pulls up any text it deems relevant to the search query onto the quick answer box, especially when you don’t have searcher-friendly information optimized in your posts. Asking your SEO agency to employ structured data markup allows Google to reach out to the more important/relevant information that tells searchers that you have the details they want, making them more likely to click through into your site. You can use the Google Structured Data Testing Tool to find out whether your markup details are correct.
Accelerated mobile pages
More searches are being performed using mobile devices than desktops, as of November 2016, and this number is still rising. Mobile commerce also has three times the growth rate of conventional ecommerce. In a mobile-oriented world, speed is one of the most important characteristics your website should have. More than 50% of site visitors will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) gives a stripped-down version of mobile web by eliminating any non-crucial details from a page and allowing it to load much faster. Since Google has found site speed to be very important to its searchers, AMP has been placed high up in the list of organic mobile search ranking factors. AMP sites are placed higher up for searches conducted on mobile devices, and non-AMP sites are pushed down regardless of relevance or content. Many brands still haven’t optimized their pages to AMP and yet it’s slowly becoming mandatory if you’re to retain or improve your ranking on organic search.
User intent optimization
User search intent optimization isn’t new, but it is becoming more important because of local SEO and voice searches. User search intent optimization is one of the most effective tips for boosting local SEO. If your SEO agency hasn’t begun to do this for you, you may need to sit them down and have a frank chat with them. You’re already late to the curve as this technique isn’t exactly new but is becoming more important.
There are three main aspects of user intent optimization:
Delivering an immediate answer of clarification to a searcher
Bringing a searcher to a predetermined destination
Helping a searcher to complete a particular task, such as a purchase
When creating webpage content, think about how the user will arrive at a particular page, e.g. information search versus transactional search. Each of these aspects demands a completely different approach and so your pages must be optimized to provide the right information that will guide them towards the ideal outcome. Otherwise, users may bounce off your site and hence reduce your credibility as a resource on that search with Google and other search engines.