A new year is upon us, and that means that many of us are currently striving to follow the resolutions we’ve set in order to improve our lives in the coming months. But these goals don’t have to be limited to our personal lives; online marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) experts are also looking ahead to the coming year to see how we can improve our digital strategies.
While SEO is an area of seemingly constant change, we can look back at what has happened in the SEO world over the past year and get a good idea of what we should focus on in 2017. Let’s look at three areas that website owners will need to consider as they plan their SEO strategy for the coming year:
Mobile (Still a Big Deal!)
The importance of creating a good experience for mobile users isn’t a new idea; in fact, it’s a strategy that SEO experts have been promoting for at least the last two or three years. But in 2016, it became more and more obvious that mobile is the way of the future as Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), began penalizing sites with pop-up ads that resulted in a poor experience for mobile users, and, in the ultimate sign of mobile’s importance, announced that they would be moving to a mobile-first index.
While you may be tired of hearing over and over that mobile is important, if you haven’t taken steps to ensure that your website provides a good experience for mobile users, you may find yourself quickly left behind in the coming year. You can use the Mobile Usability Report in Google Search Console to get a look at whether your site has any issues that may result in penalties to your search rankings, but if you want to get a more in-depth look at how to ensure that your site is designed with mobile users in mind, you can sign up for our free mobile review.
Local (and Hyperlocal!)
As mobile continues to grow in importance, local search has also risen in prominence, since people are using their mobile devices not just to answer their questions, but to find nearby businesses who can solve their problems or sell them the products they are looking for. This means that searches will get “hyperlocal” as people try to find the best results that are as close and convenient to them as possible.
If your business provides products or services to local customers, taking advantage of these types of searches will be essential to your success. You’ll want to be sure you’re providing people with accurate information about where to find you, using “social proof” such as ratings and reviews to demonstrate the value that you can bring to your customers, and connecting with them on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. If you’re looking to learn more about local SEO, check out our eBook about dominating local search.
Video (Live and on the Air!)
One of the fastest growing areas for online marketing in 2016 was video, as the ability to create and publish videos became easier than ever, and the growth of mobile allows people to access and watch these videos no matter where they are. Video is a great way for any organization to engage their users, leading to more social shares and links to their site, which will ultimately result in higher search rankings.
If you’re looking to add video to your SEO strategy, the bar for entry is lower than it has ever been, since streaming live video on Facebook or other platforms can be done with any smartphone, and videos can be saved and uploaded to YouTube (which functions as the world’s second largest search engine), then embedded on your site. Getting started is simple, and the sky is the limit!
Be Ready For Surprises
While these aspects of your SEO strategy will certainly be important in 2017, the year to come is sure to see many new and unexpected shakeups and revelations. Luckily, we’ll be here throughout the year to discuss the news and updates that you’ll need to be aware of. If you want to be sure you won’t miss out on anything, please subscribe to our blog. If you want to find our whether your site has any SEO issues and how to address them, sign up for our Free SEO Health Check. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below. We look forward to helping you have a great 2017!