Five Even More Buzzworthy SEO Trends You Need to Know in 2017. Rank tracking is almost as old as the world's first search engine, and tracking the impact of your on-site and off-site changes via your rankings is just good business at this point. The most sophisticated tools, including Rank Tracker, can deliver unbiased data that accounts for personalized search results and semantic queries, as well as track ranking in different locales and by platform (mobile vs. desktop). The goal of this exercise is not to stuff keywords, it's to build resources that other people will want to click on and read. Voice Search Voice search is on the rise, especially among millennials, and we'll see that trend continue into 2017. In optimizing for voice search, don't forget how important mobile and local optimization are to the mobile experience. You want to optimize all of those aspects of your website so that your business ranks among the top voice search results. Yahoo and Bing account for 33.6% of desktop searches, which means you're missing a huge portion of your target audience if you optimize only for Google. Every one of these buzzworthy trends makes the user experience more enjoyable—by allowing hands-free search (voice search), finding their preferences more easily (personalization), or accessing content more quickly (Google AMP). Mobile search is still on the rise, and Google confirmed back in 2015 that UX is a ranking factor.
Last year, I wrote about five SEO trends you needed to know in 2016. Plenty of things in the SEO industry have stayed the same since I made those predictions (e.g., mobile optimization is still all-important, responsive Web design is still essential to ranking well, and keyword rankings are still important), but much has changed, too.
In this article, I walk you through five of the hottest SEO trends that you can expect to see more of in 2017.
1. Rank Tracking
2017 is going to bring rank tracking back to the forefront. Yes, you read that right.
Rank tracking is almost as old as the world’s first search engine, and tracking the impact of your on-site and off-site changes via your rankings is just good business at this point. But it’s also gotten a lot harder to track your ranking accurately because of increased personalization of search results and the rise of semantic search.
Fortunately, as Google’s algorithm improves, so does our ability to track it. The most sophisticated tools, including Rank Tracker, can deliver unbiased data that accounts for personalized search results and semantic queries, as well as track ranking in different locales and by platform (mobile vs. desktop).
All that data is essential for gauging which pages bring you the most traffic, understanding causality between traffic and sales, and measuring exactly how your SEO efforts influence your rankings.
Keyword rank tracking may not be new, but it’s as important as ever. We simply need to change with the times and build smarter tools that can cope with Google’s emphasis on semantic search.
Speaking of semantic search, Google’s RankBrain has been having a huge impact on SEO in 2016 because it has forced specialists to think past single keyword phrase optimization. In other words, we’ve been challenged to optimize for what our users are really searching for (i.e., what they “mean”) when they perform a search, as opposed to optimizing for the word-for-word query.
In 2017, you can expect AI systems like RankBrain to get even smarter and become more crucial than ever to the ranking process. So how do you create content that AIs will rank higher?
- Start with research. Log in to your Google AdWords Keyword Planner and collect a whole list of keywords you want to target.
- Complement your research with whatever Google’s “related searches” results turns up when you enter your keyword.
- Start building organic content around these topics, such as blog posts that incorporate some of the keywords you’ve gathered.
The goal of this exercise is not to stuff keywords, it’s to build resources that other people will want to click on and read. Even if you can’t fit all of your keywords into your article, building a resource that is useful for your readers and addresses their key pain points is essential.
3. Voice Search
Voice search is on the rise, especially among millennials, and we’ll see that trend continue into 2017. Virtual assistants (think Siri, Cortana, and Google Now) are being used daily instead of text search; in…