New Year & 2017’s Big SEO Areas

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Business Strategy, Search Engine Optimization

Happy New Year, CSEOers! Here’s hoping your winter holidays were merry, bright, and more. It’s 2017 now, though, and it’s already go time. We saw some big changes in UX trends and more updates from Google’s Penguin and Possum in 2016. While these changes were great for users and consumers of web content, these updates left a lot of people scrambling to catch up to these changes. But we don’t want you to fall behind in 2017, which is why we’ve put together this list.

Here’s what you can expect in SEO in the new year:

  • Mobile First

OK, so this isn’t exactly news, but what is new is the way that people are consuming content is. More and more people are using their phones, so having a responsive, UX friendly, optimized mobile site is key. Google AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages was all talk this past year. AMP is a framework that Google implemented so pages load faster.

This will take a little time to set up on your site, and your users may not recognize they’re using an AMP site, nor will they necessarily care, and switching your framework will involve rewriting some content to fit your new needs. Take some time to see if AMP is right for your needs, but also note that in November of last year, Google announced “experiments” to make indexing mobile-first, which almost definitely means that it’ll happen this year. You’ll have to make the switch sooner or later, so why not add that to your list of resolutions and get it done sooner.

Do not, however, neglect desktop, just make sure that the content presented on mobile and desktop pages is the same. Our next trend will see more changes to mobile, but in the way that mobile content is presented.

  • Progressive Web Apps

What? Don’t worry if you hadn’t heard of them before now. Google’s definitions is:

A Progressive Web App uses modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience.

Basically, we’ll be seeing mobile sites take the place that apps would, and mobile sites will present more like apps. Theoretically, they’ll be great for any browser, since they’re built with progressive enhancement, they’ll be responsive, and since they’ll look and feel like apps, they’ll feel fresh and exciting. App development will also be an interesting field to watch this year, however, we’ll emphasize: This is not something you need. And we’re not entirely sure on how it’ll rank, but know it’s a cool bonus and we’ll see PWAs a lot more in 2017.  Moz has even more information on PWAs if you’re so inclined.

  • Longer Content

Content will always be king, but now we’re seeing emphasis on longer posts. Google Bots have updated to conduct smarter searches, and are prioritizing longer, more informative content (read: higher quality) are now favored over the 300-500 word articles, which bots can flag as “spam”, even if the amount of time spent on the page is the same.

The reasoning for favoring 700-1000 word articles is that is the approximate word count/length necessary for an author’s authority to come through. What is also does is give you more room to work out your keyword readability. Keyword density is not totally a thing of the past – keep your buzzy headlines and first paragraph – but Google is now favoring keywords up top and joined association with complementary phrases.

Want more? PC Mag made a handy chart of the best SEO tools of 2017 to implement all these new changes. Happy New Year, everyone, and let’s hope it’s better than 2016.

A. Chris TurnerAbout the Author: Chris Turner is also known as ChocolateSEO. CSEO is Chris' Nashville search marketing and consulting service offering a variety of services to help you, your company and any website maximize web-based marketing opportunities. He is the father of three girls, one boy (finally) and husband to the wonderful Savannah. Join the author's circle: Chris Turner on Google+.