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Top SEO trends for 2017

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Search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) has become a huge marketing tool that almost every online business uses—even without being fully aware of it. The problem with SEO is that it’s heavily based on trends and with search algorithms being constantly updated, SEO “guides” and “tricks” that were published last year are probably going to be defunct by now. In other words, new guides have to be published on a regular basis to ensure that DIY SEO managers constantly have a supply of the latest trends to be able to compete with large corporations.

Since the new year came around, SEO trends have been shifting once again. It constantly has to change on an annual basis or else new websites are never discovered and existing websites will always be dominant. Once people crack these SEO secrets, they can abuse it to gain Google rankings with underhanded methods instead of genuinely being a good website, which is another reason why the search algorithms have to change on a regular basis.

While we can’t predict what Google does to its search engine, we can predict what SEO trends will be popular in the coming years. At the end of the day, Google’s goal is to provide us with the most relevant search results according to our keywords and they are impartial to brand names outside of advertising. Because of this, we can use common sense to predict how Google will change their ranking algorithms and change our websites accordingly. Below are just a couple of these predictions from industry experts around the globe that specialise in SEO. If you’d like to get more professional one-to-one help for your SEO needs, then Poet Media have details here. But without further ado, here are some SEO trends that will help your business grow.

A continued push into mobile markets

SEO for desktop versions of websites has been done for a long time. This is because we never planned on having mobile devices like smartphones and tablets view websites because, at the time, the technology just couldn’t support it. But during the present day, smart devices are in everyone’s arsenal of technological toys and you can browse full versions of websites on those tiny little marvels. Unfortunately, their small screens, lower processing power and limited data options mean that we have to redesign websites in order for them to fit mobile devices. This has been somewhat dealt with thanks to the range of website scaling tools on various web hosts, but that isn’t enough.

Google has started to give lower scores to websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This is because a large percentage of internet users access the internet exclusively through their phones. They don’t use desktop computers very often and, as a result, they don’t get to see the full-sized version of a website. Since so many people access the internet with smart devices, it’s should be no surprise that there are mobile-specific SEO trends that need to be followed if you want Google’s search ranking to give you a big boost. Not having a mobile version of your website or leaving it up to fate with auto-scaling plugins is a big SEO mistake and should be remedied immediately. Test your website on a phone and a tablet, reduce the amount of clutter and make it mobile data-friendly.

Intent is now as important as content

For a long time, SEO strategies have involved using keyword-laden texts to gain Google ranks. This is a common SEO tactic that almost everyone employs at the beginning of their website’s creation, but Google is getting smarter. The search giant is now able to recognise entire sentences and the intent of whoever is searching.

For instance, if someone searches “how to build a shelf” then they will get a bunch of results that don’t just relate to those keywords. Instead, it will pull up results that are specifically labelled as guides or DIY tutorials. Similarly, if someone types in “diet plan” they will get a bunch of results that are tailored towards their search history. For instance, if that same person previously searched “protein shakes” and “gym equipment”, then Google can assume that the person wants to bulk up and get into bodybuilding. When that person searches “diet plan”, they will get results for bodybuilding diet plans and how to gain mass. On the other hand, if that person previously searched for “weight loss”, then a “diet plan” search will give them results that are targeted towards losing weight.

This is why Google is now preferringlong-form content of around a thousand or more words. This is because it’s able to analyse long sentences and paragraphs to form a more detailed opinion of a website. It can then use this opinion to provide users with a better list of results when they search for something. The more interested your audience are, the more likely they are to turn which is another reason why long content is preferred by Google.

User experience will be more important than ever

SEO strategies previously didn’t include making the user experience enjoyable. Since Google’s ranking algorithms are programmed and Google is a computer, it can’t make smart judgements when it comes to how enjoyable something is for the users. As a result, it has to rely on a set of conditions to be able to judge whether something is enjoyable to read or browse. However, this is starting to change and the algorithms are getting more sophisticated as the years go by. Google has started to move away from using links as a metric for popularity. Previously, the number of times other reputable websites linked to you made a big impact on your search ranking, but that’s going to change very soon.

Instead, Google will now rank something based on the user’s experience with a particular website. How this is measured no one knows, but we can safely say that you can no longer use “SEO tricks” to rank high. Web designers will now have to be more honest with their designs and test their websites with a crowd of people before releasing it to the public. Remember that Google doesn’t like when a website changes often (in fact, it can reduce your ranking!) so there might be a wave of “website testing” jobs available in the coming future.

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