For those attempting to stay on top of 2017 SEO trends and social media development all the time, we have bad news for you: it’s almost impossible. That’s because the nature of the beast has it constantly changing, always evolving, never the same for long. The good news is, once you’ve accepted that and learn to roll with the punches, you’re already ahead of the game. The only catch? You need to be “in the game” (or have someone do it for you) monitoring new 2017 SEO trends and Social Media platforms almost on a daily basis.
For those who intend on bringing their game up to 2017’s competitive standards, there’s no better time than the present. If your company wants to capitalize on the endless resources the internet has to offer (modern SEO Tools / Social Media strategy) to conquer the world’s search engines, then have an expert —a neutral third party like an SEO Agency with Social Media Marketing knowledge— sit down and take a good look at where you stand. There are many search engine marketing techniques being employed nowadays, and the following is a list of new trends which might change your thinking.
2017 SEO trends “Voice Search and Digital Assistants”
Whether you know it or not, you’ve likely already used one of these. Own an iPhone? Then Siri helps you on a regular basis. Android mobile user? You’ve probably said “Ok Google” to begin an online search on your cell phone. Windows 10 from Microsoft now incorporates Cortana as a small query box, just to the right of the Start button, on its new O/S products. It’s ready to take voice commands and questions, provided you preface them with “Hey Cortana”. An even bigger leap into the 21st century saw the launch of “Google Home” and Amazon spawning “Alexa” for smart-home automation. They’re all quickly gaining in popularity and technical advancement, becoming a part of everyday life for many.
The result? Less typing, more talking. The average user is searching more the way they speak (short phrases or sentences), and less in individual core keywords. This means content needs to be modified to accommodate long tail keywords and a more informal conversational variety of searches, for best SEO.
Social Media Content Boom
The typical Facebook user is becoming more and more accustomed to getting their daily news and world events from a simple scan of their Newsfeed. Not only are the stories always available there, but they’re real-time and are very much “in your face”. Features like “auto-play videos” and captivating headlines (with interactive links no less) are making them almost impossible to ignore. Facebook’s Instant Articles is growing fast, and with the user’s network of peers sharing the most relevant of those news stories over and again, it makes checking the morning paper or nightly news redundant.
Twitter is no different, being the innovator or short headline-style announcements posted by Mainstream Media, the Corporate World, and Joe Public alike. Where does this leave the typical business in 2017? Well, to remain current, their most important news and updates need to be posted on social media first. This changes the game for their traditional website ranking and approach taken to SEO strategy and marketing content creation.
Apps are taking over
As the cyberspace giants have recognized (and are encouraging) the average user is relying more on their mobile devices and less on laptops and desktops. A huge emphasis has now been placed on Mobile Apps and what they can do. In fact, social media sites like Instagram were designed specifically for smartphones and tablets, and don’t offer full function on their traditional websites. Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LinkedIn, dating sites like Tinder, and many others have followed suit.
Google has switched their search functions on Android devices to an app platform, and all tasks that before were completed on mobile-version websites have now changed over to apps. Trying to resist this trend by doing things “the old-fashioned way” now feels awkward and cumbersome.
The further we are urged in this direction, the greater the role that apps will play in our internet usage and the more the role of desktop-version websites will change.
Google’s Rich Answers
What’s a “Rich Answer”? Any attempt by Google to answer the searcher’s query in a way not requiring a click-through to a website. IE: Instant small digestible bytes of info we are presented in response to certain “easily answerable” questions. They appear at the very top of search results, big and bold. The system is getting smarter by the day, and gaining in importance.
Is this a threat for commercial website owners? It could be, because answers are now more transparent, more immediate, and no longer require the user to visit your site. However, the trend can be leveraged in your favour, as Google still uses sites like yours as its info source. Usage of structured markup and content-targeting on your own site can actually result in more visibility for queries related to your particular product or service.
Customized Online Experience
With an infinite wealth of choice, and the chance of information overload a real possibility on a daily basis, people need to discriminate about what they read and watch. There’s just too much out there, and most of it will be irrelevant (or uninteresting) to the average consumer. For these reasons, the generic content that mainstream media used to pump out is less and less effective heading into 2017. Consumers need, and are starting to get, a personalized experience.
Not only is this true in their search engine results (which vary based on user history, location, age, gender, etc.) but in their social media experience. The latter adapts not only based on the user’s profile and habits, but it allows him or her to tailor what they see with their own fingertips. Forget birthday reminders and pics of last night’s dinner, we’re talking corporate messaging here: social media marketing. Targeted and specific and direct. Customized and tailored, literally to the individual. Digital Marketing campaigns with a niche audience of one!
This is setting aside an average attention span that keeps getting shorter. To grab your target consumer’s attention, it needs to be “relevant to me” and “right now”. Not putting this type of social media strategy and tech on your side means getting left behind.
So what now?
No need to panic if you’re not on the cutting edge just yet. To repeat, this is a constantly changing game with very few rules, and the game is changed by the players themselves. No need to throw your current approach out the window. Don’t fear these new developments; embrace them. If you have a website (with mobile version, please) and some sort of social media management, you’re on the right track. Continue to learn and keep up with the times, and make small modifications on a consistent basis. These moves don’t need to be hard on the budget, but they will redistribute your dollars.
Enlist the help of an expert firm (like a Social Media Agency with SEO Consultant) which can advise you on best SEO tips and make the learning curve less steep. This will save a lot of time, and avoid a lot of errors. As far as your old strategies: leave good content where it is, catch up in thinking in the short-term, follow up on all 2017 SEO trends and consider where things are going in the long-term.
Be ready to change as the landscape changes. Be flexible and versatile and agile. You won’t revolutionize your industry overnight, but you will be better equipped to roll with the punches.