Our Top 5 Predictions for SEO in 2017

 

Are you looking for SEO success in 2017? Our top SEO 2017 predictions offer an array of useful tips so you can plan, strategise and budget for optimum SEO impact over the next twelve months.

SEO is constantly evolving, and a lot of the biggest trends of 2016 – mobile first optimisation and the continuing sophistication of Google algorithms in particular – will keep growing in 2017. Want to stay ahead? Then check out our handy guide.

Mobile optimisation

In 2016, mobile finally overtook desktop as the primary device used to access websites, which is no surprise as mobile searches have been on the rise for the last few years now. And yet, whilst mobile is the first choice for so many of us, so many sites still fall behind when it comes to usability, and that’s despite the responsive design element that is often in place!

At Rawww, we take mobile optimisation seriously, and we work with all of our clients to ensure their website is fully optimised for mobile users. Responsive design, page speed and creating a user experience that’s right for mobile devices are just a few elements from our mobile optimisation guidelines.

Our work with Peters, suppliers of educational books and furniture, is a great example of mobile optimisation at its best. Along with their website, their regular emails are eye catching, easy to read and fully responsive, giving their target audience an optimised experience that works.

 

With the right mobile optimisation in place you’ll improve engagement, drive conversions and sit higher in those all-important page rankings so it’s worth obtaining the right advice for SEO success in 2017.

The mobile-first index

More mobile first talk for SEO in 2017? Yes, we can’t even begin to talk about anything else until we cover the mobile-first index, which is just as relevant as mobile optimisation. The first tests for the mobile-first index began last year, but in 2017, the impact on SEO will be huge.

The mobile-first index is, quite simply, Google’s way of looking at the mobile version of your website rather than the desktop version when it comes to evaluating a page’s ranking in their mobile friendly ranking boost. And most importantly, this change means that Google will now index mobile content over desktop content and use their finding to rank its results – but only if you actually have a mobile site.

At Rawww, the mobile first approach is always an integral part of our work and our collaboration with NCP reflects this perfectly. Whether it’s for their website or emails, keeping to one or two columns in the design and build with a tight copy count ensures the design is well maintained no matter what the device of choice is.

 

The AMP project

Mobile talk still rules with our next SEO predictions for 2017, and once again Google leads the way with their Accelerated Mobile Pages project (AMP), which will set a new ‘standard’ when it comes to building web content for mobile devices.

AMP was introduced last year, and even though Google has stressed its importance, many SEOs and webmasters have treated the project with caution.

 

Our view? We’ve been looking at AMP quite closely for some time now and when Google’s Adam Greenberg tweets that it’s a really big thing for Google, we think it’s time for everyone to sit up and take notice:

‘Google now links to AMP pages in all its search results, which shows the project is now pretty central to the company’s plans.’ 

Adam Greenberg, Global Product Partnerships — Search & Mobile Platforms, Google

The need for speed

Living in a mobile world is great, but our instant access to any information we require has made us greedy, and we want everything now, and we want it fast! When it comes to the web, if a page is slow to load, it will suffer from higher bounce rates – with up to 40% of visitors giving up on sites if they take longer than three seconds to load.

The aforementioned AMP will help with this. AMP content is cached in the cloud, from the Google-hosted cached version, and it’s lighter. Put all these elements together and the result is pages that load 30 times faster – that’s an incredible 0.7 seconds median load time for AMP as opposed to 22 seconds for non-AMP pages!

Yet another reason to listen when Google stresses the importance of AMP…

Say it – optimising for voice search

Voice search: it’s been around for nearly five years, and it had a slow start in convincing mobile users but now, the number of people using it is growing at a rapid rate; for example, in 2016, Google voice search queries were up 35x over 2008 according to Google trends (via Search Engine Watch). And, according to Comscore, ‘50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020’.

Think in terms of snippets. When searchers ask a question, Google will show a summary answer – a featured snippet – in a block at the top of its search engine ranking position (SERP). There will also be a link to the page that ‘snippet’ was taken from, which is why it’s important to think about creating featured snippets. And if you reference your website in those specially created snippets, Google will also specifically reference your brand, and even start with your website name when reading answers to voice searches – just think about all those extra branding opportunities.

 

When it comes to SEO in 2017, it’s a good idea to stay in the know and here at Rawww, we’re always looking at the latest trends, what they mean for our customers and how they can be used for brand success. So, if you would like to know more about how you can apply SEO developments to your business, talk to us today and together we’ll create the SEO changes that work for you.