The more the game changes, the more it stays the same. So, what’s new in SEO? In 2017, as in years past, quality and relevance will be the name of the game in SEO trends. Gone are the days when packing the right keywords into your website would bring “all the boys to the yard” instead, you’re going to need to sharpen your pencil, dig in for some hard work, and expect great results from your efforts.
#1 SEO trend for 2017 – Skyscraper and “uber” posts.
It works for such luminaries as Neil Patel, and it could work for you too. Skyscraper content is the kind of post that includes all that and the kitchen sink. Think of it like this, you started out to write a short eBook, but posted it on your blog instead, and then you’ll get the picture.
According to Buzz Sumo, posts at 1000 words and longer are a really hot ticket right now. In fact, they get shared more than 16x as often as their shorter cousins. This trend has been growing and there are a lot of great reasons that this is true.
- First, long, in depth posts with good research and quality sourcing set you apart as an expert in your field. Although many may only scan your headers, they will be much more likely to share it, confident that it contains good information their own audience will like.
- Old school SEO tricks, like keywords, can be more effectively used in longer content. Instead of including just the top four or five, you can include ten, twenty, or fifty keywords.
- Provided your content is evergreen, long form content has a much longer shelf life. Some sites are even repurposing epic length blog posts into email courses and eBooks, making it even more valuable.
Longer is not necessarily always better, however.
Make sure your content is relevant, not just in spots but throughout. Writing 3000 word tomes is a lot of work, so make sure you take the time to make that work count.
- Share your sources. Backlinks to other great content make yours more valuable.
- Include images, such as infographics, maps, charts and pictures. Embed video, share links to books on the topic, etc.
- Well-written long form content also increases the amount of time your visitors spend on your page, which leads to them reading more than one page, and other great things.
Content density is the true measure of value, so write each paragraph for maximum impact. Thought leaders across the SEO spectrum all agree that 2017 will be the year your competitors up their content density. To remain competitive, it’s time for you to consider producing long form content of your own.
#2 SEO trend for 2017 – Building a personal brand.
We are moving into a post-consumer economy. Instead of producers focused on developing niche markets, we see more and more that attention is the key factor in gaining customers. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook have all produced marketing superstars who have nothing behind them but a personality, or personal brand.
If you have an audience in the online world, you can sell nearly anything to them that they are interested in buying. Without an audience, even some of the best products will go completely unnoticed. This is why building your personal brand can improve your SEO.
- Be authentic. The online world is making everyone’s life more transparent these days. If your story doesn’t match up, your audience will know. They are looking for genuine voices.
- It’s not enough anymore to just provide quality services and products. Customers want to engage in a bigger conversation surrounding your company. Become a thought leader, known for dense content surrounding your products and services.
- Keep your presence visible. Use social media to engage in the conversation surrounding your industry. Be genuine and helpful. Stay conversational, this is not about sales, it is about raising your profile.
Personal branding can mean the difference between marginal success and a booming online presence. The same work you’re doing now in your content marketing strategy can work with your personal branding efforts. A little more effort and focus can go a long way toward establishing an audience that trusts you and will help spread the word about your products and services.
#3 SEO trend for 2017 – Creating a quality UX.
As more users move towards mobile devices and technology improves the way we use the internet, things as simple as page loading times are becoming even more important. Even with epic, relevant content and excellent personal branding, visitors expect near instantaneous results, and they have more choices than ever for the content you serve up.
At Canopy Media, we work to provide our customers with “websites that work” – our way of saying we strive to provide the best Optimized User Experience available. While site operation may not, strictly speaking, be SEO, Google is beginning to reward sites that have better loading time and smoother operation in their search results.
- Make sure your site and all features load easily across user devices. Most website creation tools provide mobile templates, but website testing is a good step to ensure proper operation.
- Design your site’s flow to lead your visitors to the desired action. If you are not getting the desired outcome, tweak until you do.
- Give your visitors a reason to visit your site and recommend it to others. The more you engage them, the better your results will be.
Here are a few more User Experience Optimization ideas that might help increase visitor engagement and drive your SEO strategy.
Combine these three trends for a site that is sure to engage your audience and grow your business. If you’d like to discuss developing a site that can help you take advantage of these trends and more, or marketing services that maximize your SEO and produce results, let us know. We’d be happy to help.