The end of 2016 is coming and it is time to start planning and budgeting your SEO strategy for 2017.
1. Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
When turn back to the beginning of 2016, we can clearly remember all the buzz around the site loading speed, as if the speed as a ranking factor has ever stopped plaing an important role. It’s not a secret that slowly loading pages perform worse in the SERP and are associated with a higher bounce rate and less user engagement. Loading speed is also the main benefit of the Accelerated Mobile Pages due to the fact they use a “lighter” HTML and CSS version and load from the Google-hosted cached version, instead of being delivered from the website server. The result: an AMP page loads 30 times faster than a non-AMP page (with the average loading time of 0.7s).
Speed is the main, but not the only one, advantage of the Accelerated Mobile Pages. Others are:
- Ultimate user experience;
- Positive effect on rankings and CTR;
- Increased visibility of publishers.
We hope AMP project will really drop off its experimental veil and form the future of mobile.
2. Voice Search
Statistics from USA show that 41% of adults and over half of the teens use voice search on a daily basis and this trend is expected to keep growing in the upcoming 2017. The advantage you can take of optimising for voice search is in the extra branding opportunities. When a user makes a voice search for a keyword your website is ranking for, Google will specifically reference your brand or in other words:
“Google often reads answers to voice searches, starting with According to [Your Site Name]”, said Jennifer Slegg, a writer at The SEM Post.
The more important question is How to optimise for Voice Search?
Here are some of our professional advices on the subject:
- First of all, you need to identify the most commonly searched questions in your niche and optimize your websites for them. For this purpose, you will need to start with a longtail keyword research.
- Include this question and a direct answer to it in your website content.
- Create a website content which is truly helpful and provides all the needed information on the subject. Your answer’s structure is also a very important factor.
Your goal here is to get in the instant answer box (the so called rich answer), provided by the SERP. It will for sure help you increase your website click-through rate and overall traffic.
The trend is that not only the voice search will overtake the typed search, but it will increase with more than 60% in the next five years, according to the Moz’s prediction. Still, the typed search will also go up itself, which can promise webmasters that the both types of search results will appear in the SERP in the future, providing them with accurate web presence of their products and services.
3. Epic Content
“Keywords are out. Topics are in” – said Andy Crestodina, co-founder and strategic director at Orbit Media.
In 2017 once again, great content will still play a crucial role in ranking and popularity of a website. But the new thing to work on will be the webpage ability to answer search queries directly. As Google is evolving into a semantic search engine, we need to focus much more on topics, not on particular keywords. It doesn’t mean keywords don’t count anymore, they are the only way a search engine to “understand” what a web page is about. But for now on, we need to go beyond optimising webpages only for the target keywords. A successful website according to the semantic SEO will be one that has sections for each topic in the page content, and also in the URL structure and the navigation. Here is the moment to pay a little more attention to the “dense” content, as well.
The popular content trend for the past few years – 2000+ word long text that covers a topic comprehensively, will be no longer the greatest deal. With all the information available, none of us will spend this much time to read a single page. Length won’t be the “epic content” definition in 2017. Ignore the word count and focus on “bite-sized content” which provide as much information as possible with less words.
4. Video Content
Written content is and will stay the most essential element on most websites, especially on these which offer customer/business services and products. Videos will not replace the written content on webpages in 2017 or the near future, but their importance is clear for the last few years and will increase in 2017 for sure. The 2016 reports showed that video content makes for more than 50% of all Google searches. But this is not the only reason for the videos’ rising importance. Videos also get better organic page rankings in Google than the text results and have a higher click-through rate, which makes them an important ranking factor.
From a user’s point of view, another advantage of video content is its ability to present your concept or idea in a more engaging and amusing way.
5. Micro Formats
With the rising importance of the RankBrain and A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) the role of Micro Formats becomes more and more crucial. Schema markups are easier to interpret and help search engines to have better understanding of what your website is about, making your content clear and appealing. Rich snippets are thus used to display AMP articles, local businesses, music, reviews, movies, recipes and even more. Beside all that rich snippets make it possible your website to appear even more user-friendly in SERPs which improves your click-through rate and traffic.
“Rich answers” (which we are talking about in point 2.) are also relying on Schema markups – increasing from 22% in 2014 to 40% at the beginning of 2016.
The prediction (according to Michael Cottam, SEO consultant at “MichaelCottam”) is that Google will start using schema markup both as a site quality and richness indicator or in other words: as an important ranking factor.
For the most recent news in the field of SEO and online marketing, stay with us during 2017! We expect it to be a great year for all webmasters ready to experiment and think out of the box.