The question on the lips of every digital marketing team is ‘what’s in store for SEO in 2017?’. And well, it’s apparent if you hang out in the right circles that there’s quite a lot.

SEO is constantly evolving, making the digital arena more and more competitive as algorithms become more and more sophisticated. It’s only natural that we want to get ahead of the game to keep our businesses compliant when it comes to the high maintenance ways of Google.

But just because you set fire to 2016 with a killer SEO strategy, it doesn’t mean you can sit back and reap the rewards without further action.

SEO is an ongoing process. Take a break from the perpetual optimisation activity and you could very well see some performance changes in the wrong direction.

So What’s Next for SEO?

In order to look at where we are going with SEO, it’s prudent to review where we are at now. What SEO trends have we just seen? Let’s look back over the past year.

SEO in 2016

The following Google algorithm updates happened in 2016:

Adwords Shake Up– Feb 2016

Mobile Friendly 2– May 2016

“Possum” – Sep 2016

Image Universal Drop– Sep 2016

Penguin 4.0 Phase 1– Sep 2016

Penguin 4.0 Phase 2– Oct 2016

Other SEO developments in 2016:

The new Moz Local

Removal of sidebar ads in the SERPs

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

SEO in 2017

Whilst there are still many unknowns, that’s what keeps the SEO arena exciting and competitive. According to SEO gurus at Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Watch, there are some definite SEO trends to watch out for in 2017.

More about mobile

Google’s Mobile First Index was all about optimising your site for mobile as Google made the change to indexing versions of mobile sites over desktop versions. Accelerated mobile pages (AMP) were created to help brands speed up their site loading on mobile

2017 will see accelerated mobile pages evolve to cater for micro-moments. Micro-moments are when users turn to a device to quickly satisfy a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. This device is increasingly a mobile device and it’s said that consumer expectations will be higher than ever in 2017 in their quest for instant results.

Content quality

The ‘content is King’ message has been drummed into us since the very first Panda update and this continues to be of paramount importance. Yes, we have become adept at creating dynamic, more engaging content for our users, however this arena is developing so rapidly that marketers are having to think outside the box to stand out.

Interactive content will be a huge focus this year. Eighty-one percent marketers agree that interactive content grabs more attention than static content. From articles and adverts to ebooks and online magazines, if you can get your user to actively engage, you’re on to a winner.

Schema markup

If you know your SEO then schema won’t be a new concept. It’s been around for about 5 years, but this year will see schema implemented even more intricately.

Schema is continually being updated, which means that it’s important to maintain a healthy schema mark-up across your website. Implementing structured data to the schema tags on your pages is recommended as a minimum, however to build upon this, you need to be dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

Adding schema mark up to blogs and articles is a start. But you also need to ensure schema is updated for any changes you make to pages. Ensure you pick the exact archetypes for your product / service pages to make full use of the structuring of your data and go beyond adding simple contact details – add all your social profiles too.

These are a few of the expected SEO trends for 2017. There are of course more things you can be doing. Our SEO service helps local businesses to stay abreast of SEO developments, ensuring their sites are as optimised as they can be.

Whitefish Marketing is a Kent-based digital agency with expertise in SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing. Give us a call on 01303 720 288 for a chat about your requirements.