2016 was a memorable year for many reasons, including the numerous advancements that happened in technology that directly related to SEO. From the growing popularity of mobile use and voice search, to the multiple new applications integrated into the Google ecosystem, technology moved forward at a seemingly unstoppable rate, and that pattern isn’t expected to slow down. The experts at Utah SEO Pros have kept an eye on these advances, and are prepared to help you move forward in the New Year.
Digital SEO Tactics That are Expected to Grow in 2017
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
As we discussed earlier this year, there has been a large increase in the number of users performing mobile searches. This is due in part to the advancements in smartphone technology, but also in the user experience; users have become accustomed to having information at their fingertips whenever they want it – or at least whenever they are within range of a good LTE signal. Because of this, adopting a mobile-friendly strategy is one of the best ways to keep your website active in 2017. GlobalWebIndex estimates that 46% of shoppers use their cell phone to make purchases, and 21% use their tablet. There’s no denying that mobile is not only here to stay, but that it could soon surpass desktop searches entirely.
- Algorithms, Algorithms, Algorithms…
2016 was the Year of the Algorithm; everyone from Google, to Facebook, to Instagram transitioned into this method when providing users with content. With the ability for Artificial Intelligence to now “learn” without being programmed, algorithms have become the golden standard by which results are presented. When RankBrain was introduced into the Google Search Algorithm – also known as Hummingbird – earlier this year, it became the third-most important determining factor on search results. As algorithmic searches and results have become the new normal, understanding and implementing them will undoubtedly be one of the best ways to maintain a website’s relevance in 2017.
- Website Security
Hacking and malware accelerated almost as quickly as technology in the last year, including the largest data breach in history. Yahoo announced in December 2016 that the personal information of more than 1 billion accounts may have been compromised in 2013. This information came just three months after they announced that 500 million accounts may have been compromised in 2014, as well. While this may not seem like a huge change to your current website, transitioning from an “http://” to an “https://” format might be the difference between securing a customer, or losing one.
- Conversational Queries
Users are undoubtedly interacting with technology differently than they have in the past. Rather than using broad-spectrum or single-word terms, more specific, detailed searches have become increasingly more common. Also known as “long-tail” keywords, conversational queries provide a more interactive experience for users. Rather than targeting single keywords, conversational queries include a secondary level of specific keywords to provide more specific results for users. Implementing these long-tail keywords help users that are looking for more specific products or services, so be sure to take advantage of this by utilizing it to your benefit.
- Voice Search
Along with the increase in mobile search, voice searches experienced explosive growth in 2016. Siri, Cortana, and Alexa have all become more of a staple than a gimmick, and their correlation to the user experience is only expected to grow as the technology advances. When it comes to mobile users age 16-34, 87% report regularly using voice search on their smartphone, and over half of those report using it more than they were a year ago. If this trend continues, estimates that 50% of all searches – not just mobile – will be conducted through voice by 2020, are more likely than not.
Have a Happy New Year with Utah SEO Pros
If you’re not sure what steps you should take to prepare your website for the new year, the professionals at Utah SEO Pros can help. We offer a number of services to help your website perform at its best in the coming year. Contact us online for a free website evaluation, or call 801-413-7734 to learn more.