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SEO 2017 Predictions

It’s my favourite time of the year again when I get to look back at the previous year and try and predict what the future could hold.

Last year I said that our job, as SEOs, is no longer just driving our clients to the top of rankings. We are responsible for driving traffic to a platform experience, no matter what the platform is.

#1 Optimising for user intent

optimising for user intent

Google is becoming a smarter and smarter search engine. No longer is it about returning searches that match the keywords you enter. Instead, it’s about looking at the intent of those keywords. What is it that you’re trying to search for? Google is looking to answer your queries directly, rather than matching simple keywords.

Therefore, instead of creating content based around matching keywords, you should be looking at the user experience on your site. Is the content usable? If you keep it simple and make it easy for people to use the information you’ve provided, then Google will reward you.

#2 Featured snippet growth    

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Another thing we’ve seen a lot of growth of this year is Google’s usage of Featured Snippets. Google wants you to have your queries answered directly from the SERPs, rather than clicking through to content – where possible.

Making sure that you’re optimising to be in these Featured Snippets is, therefore, very important. Featured Snippets provide prime real estate on SERPs, real estate that you should be looking to take full advantage of.

#3 Leveraging Google AMP

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It’s been less than a year since Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project went live and it’s already seen a huge take-off, particularly amongst publishers.

The fact that Google had to create a project like this tells us that Google is very focused on mobile, and that not enough people are aware of their load times – or that they’re aware and not bothered. AMP is about reducing your load times as much as possible, although for a lot of publishers this means stripping out their ad slots.

Leveraging AMP is definitely one of the key issues moving forward, particularly if you regularly push out content. The AMP carousel is a large section of the SERPs, so making sure you’re in there should be a top concern.

#4 Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly more and more important in marketing mixes across the globe. 86 percent of marketers used some form of influencer marketing in 2016, according to Linqia. Influencer marketing provides a cost-effective way for marketers to get their products and services in front of people.

The growth of these influencers is showing no signs of slowing down, so it’s no wonder influencer marketing will continue to rise. But brands need to make sure that there is a good exchange provided between the client and the agency, as there is a lot of background noise and rubbish provided in this market.

#5 The resurgence of technical SEO

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The final trend is possibly the one I’m most excited by – the revival of technical SEO. For quite a few years, technical SEO has been sidelined while newer and more ‘attractive’ SEO strategies (looking at you content marketing) have taken prominence.

However, as more sites move towards advanced technologies to help them become more attractive. Angular JS and other methods allow for pre-rending, super-fast load times and app-like websites, all very attractive prospects to both Higher Ups and the consumer. But it is incredibly important to make sure that the implementations of these technologies are search-friendly, and indexable above all.

But for now, that’s it for my SEO predictions for 2017. What do you think? Are any of these way off base? Let me know in the comments below or @HarvestDigital.

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