Last week, we looked at SEO in 2016 – the good, the bad, and the what-the-hell-happened-to-my-ranking?! It was a rough year all around. Hope everyone made it out alive.
Now that everyone is ready to kick 2016 to the curb, it’s time to prepare for what’s coming in 2017. And I’m going to get all “The Graduate” on you and say the one word that will impact SEO next year:
Yeah, I know, not much of a shock. We all saw it coming. For the past few years, our mobile devices have replaced the personal computer. Many of us have our phone in our hands at all times (admit it, you sleep with it under your pillow, don’t you?). And Google is responding to that.
It all begins with Google taking preference over your mobile website. As we’ve told you previously, Google is splitting the index in two and will be updating the mobile index way more frequently than the desktop version. This should have all web designers scrambling. Why? Because there are some features on your desktop website that, chances are, you won’t find on your mobile version. So designers may have to figure a way to include those features into the mobile site so your users can have the same experience.
And if your site is not mobile friendly yet… a) what are you waiting for and b) you’re in trouble. Because Google will penalize you for not having a mobile-friendly site. Although that won’t affect your desktop rankings, it will affect your mobile rankings.
So this is old news. We knew this was going to happen in 2017. But what else do we have to look forward to? Well, we can say buh-bye to the search box. And say hello to Siri and her ilk.
Think about it – how many times are you driving down the road and ask your phone for directions to a location? Or to text your friend that you’re on your way? Voice recognition has come a long way, baby. At SMX West 2016 in April, keynote speaker Behshad Behzadi, Google’s own director of conversational search, said that speech recognition error rate has dropped significantly in the last two years, from 25 percent to 8 percent. It’s becoming the quickest form of searching on the web.
What does this mean for SEO? It means you need to stop relying on three words to rank in the listings. With more and more people searching through using phrases instead of random words, the search engines are getting smarter and are trying to understand what the user wants to find, rather than relying on the keywords. So SEO experts need to be just as smart. Stop thinking, “auto parts store” and start thinking, “Where’s the nearest auto parts store?” This is not an overnight change, but it’s one you want to concentrate on for 2017.
It all comes down to the user experience. That’s the key for 2017. You need to think of the user and not the search engine. Your website needs to be quick, easy to navigate, and packed with useful information that will make your user stay a while. And this is where content marketing will really matter. But we’ll save that nugget for another day.
If you need help with your SEO for the new year, then you need ENX2 Marketing. Contact our SEO experts today for a free site audit.