The Google algorithm is constantly evolving. So keeping up to date with the best and current working SEO trends is key. 2016 was a case in point. The Search Engine Optimisation industry saw many, many algorithm updates.
Changes like these aren’t a bad thing. They are customer orientated – the Google customer, that is. But this is a good thing, it means that more people find content that is valuable and useful to them. But it also means that people like us, at Search and More, need to stay on top of our game.
5 SEO Trends so far in 2017
2017 is also looking like a year of change as well. We’ve noticed several trends in SEO that clients and webmaster simply can’t ignore.
1. Mobile Friendly Websites are a must
Mobile friendly is now a must. In 2015 Google announced “mobile-first” indexing. After years of only worrying about desktops, mobile is now a priority. It makes sense, after all, we have been searching on phones for years, 50% of web traffic is now from mobile. And, all too often, the websites we visit on mobile just aren’t responsive to our devices.
Google has taken the challenge of mobile seriously. Sites that are properly optimised for mobile are now prioritised in SERPs. Additionally, user experience and mobile navigation have become focal points for ranking. Meaning that sites that load quickly, and have simply responsive navigation are the ones that are getting ahead.
Google has suggested that it will be giving mobile responsive websites a boost in the future. So to really connect with customers, businesses need to make sure their websites are mobile-friendly, responsive, and provide the user with an enjoyable experience that makes them want to return. Otherwise, expect a dramatic slip in Google rankings.
2. Local Search increasing in importance
Local search is becoming more location-specific.
According to Google, 1 in 3 of all Google searches has some form of local intent.
And Search Engine Land reports that 63% of consumers use websites to find or engage with a local business.
Having that local presence and taking note of local search is also a must. Particularly when 30% of consumers won’t consider a business without a website. A fully connected, locally orientated website remains a critical part of local search and is essential for attracting the customers necessary for business growth.
3. Social Media Matters
Search for any business or brand name on Google, and its social media profiles will be amongst the top results listed. Google’s indexing of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets has increased, and will likely continue to increase in the future.
Those businesses with no social media profile or a limited understanding of the value of social can soon find that they are slipping down the rankings. Whereas the regular updating of valuable content to social media enhances a business’s digital offering, which Google loves.
4. Speed Impresses
Interaction speed and loading times have been a factor in ranking since 2010.
Page speed is also important to the user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Longer load times have also been shown to negatively affect conversions. Evidence from Google suggests that 40% of consumers will leave a page if the loading times are longer than 3 seconds.
The user’s patience is therefore not to be tested and fully optimised, the speedy page keeps users happy and your search rankings higher.
5. Video Rules
YouTube is now the second-largest search engine on the web. YouTube now accounts for two-thirds of all the premium online video watched across all devices. Searches for the “How to” video have increased by over 70% in the last few years. Additionally, Google reported in 2015 that 67% of Millennials agree that they can always find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn about. Making video and YouTube a vital cog in a fully developed online marketing strategy.
Keep ahead of the game
Google’s algorithms are constantly being tweaked and changed. Google wants to give their searchers the best quality user experience it can, and those of us that know and understand what Google is looking for should always be able to adapt to changes and help our clients adapt too.
If you’re slipping down the ranking in 2017, why not give us a call and let us help you stay ahead of the game, on top of Google and valuable to your customers this year.