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New Year, New SEO: How to Plan for 2017

30 Dec 2016

Many of the SEO innovations that happened in 2016 are expected to grow and develop in the future. Along with these innovations, the SEO landscape will experience more changes in 2017. To keep your business successful, stay familiar with what will change or stay the same in the rapidly approaching New Year. New SEO trends and marketing methods will help you adapt to new clients and could make your brand one of Google’s best-known.

Optimization for User Intent

“User intent” is going to be a big phrase in 2017. Google and other search engines are moving beyond keywords to find the exact terms, products, and services users are searching for. Specific keywords are still good, but they won’t be enough to hold existing clients’ interest. Clients of 2017 want to be seen as individuals with individual intentions – not one of 2,000 searchers typing in the same keyword.

To optimize content for user intent, start with research. Ask yourself why internet users choose your site or page more than others. Let’s say you’re a disability attorney with a small office in your city. Clients might choose you over other attorneys because you’re an expert in how disability law plays into education. Look for search terms like “disabled child’s rights under IDEA,” “inclusive schools,” or “educating children with disabilities.” If your firm pops up, optimize related content. Push it to the forefront of your site where possible, communicating how your firm is unique.

Keep up with SEO analytics and update content accordingly. Ideally, you should check analytics once every month or so – more if your website generates heavy traffic. Analytics will tell you whether your site is user-friendly, what pages are visited most, what blog posts get the most comments, and what gets the most views, among other things. As you adjust, your website will gain traffic and popularity.

Appearing on Direct Answer

When we search the internet, we often want quick answers to our queries. Google obliges with Direct Answer, which puts specific answers directly in search results. Currently, Direct Answer is most helpful for queries like “how to make eggplant parmesan.” In 2017, though, it will become a much bigger trend as it adds richer secondary sites.

To appear on Google Direct Answer and generate the resulting traffic, use structured data or schema markup. Structured data is added directly to your website’s HTML. It’s the extra data you see alongside a meta description or website listing. Website users appreciate this information and often go looking for it. Some may stop using your site if it isn’t there, so consider making this part of your design.

To take advantage of structured data markup, give your users more than you think they want. You might own a bakery that’s popular with locals but want to generate tourist visits. To do so, provide information tourists often look for. This includes walking or driving distance to the bakery from certain hotels, products’ nutritional information, and reviews. If you have reviews from well-known sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, link to them in prominent spots on your site.

Multi-Platform Marketing

Every business owner needs a platform, but in 2017, marketing will trend toward multiple platforms. If you’ve never considered using multiple platforms, don’t be intimidated. They are fairly easy to do with some practice. Start with your existing platform and the audience it’s reaching.

The Biggest Trend May Be Details

When you’re thinking about 2017, consider that tactics and strategies must become nuanced as search engines become more advanced at finding what users want. When you pay attention to details and consider consumers as smaller targets rather than groups, you’ll be on track for better SEO and increased ROI.

Contact Zero Gravity Marketing for more information.