The Mobile-First Index and User Experience will Dominate SEO in 2017

New Year, New Website Goals! What to Expect in SEO in 2017

The end of the year is the absolute best time to reevaluate your site for areas of improvement in order to get ahead of the curve for the new year. This quarter, our digital marketing agency in Fort Lauderdale suggests completing SEO and PPC YOY audits to see where your site stands in regards to mobile-friendliness and missed opportunities for optimizations.

Take into consideration the top trends for SEO that are sure to be seen in 2017 and evaluate where your site or campaign could use a boost:

  1. User Experience: Does your site flow well for consumers? How simple is your purchase process? Could your landing pages benefit from a new look? User experience is expected to bump rankings for mobile search results – so make sure that your user experience is simple, streamlined, and appealing.
  2. Mobile-Friendliness: It will no longer be okay to have a site that is not mobile-friendly. Tandem runs a mobile-friendly test on all our clients, we suggest reviewing it and making the necessary changes or ask your local digital marketing agency for help. Google has made minor updates that target mobile-friendliness through a more nuanced user experience criteria being mixed into rankings. Use steps 1 & 2 to help give your site a boost and maintain positioning. Since mobile searchers are dominating search, having a mobile-friendly site is going to be critical for the mobile-first index that is rolling out this year, since Google will be placing emphasis on the mobile version of your content and ranking it to be served to the majority. Google recommends a responsive design, so that all content on your desktop site is friendly on mobile.
  3. Pop-up ads on Mobile: Google announced that websites with pop-ups on mobile devices should be aware of a new ranking signal that will be used in the algorithm come January 2017. If you have pop-up ads on your website, consider removing them from mobile so that you don’t risk a downgrade in rankings in Q1.
  4. Accelerated Mobile Pages: This year is likely to see a boost in AMP pages’ importance in Google search results, even across social media platforms. Now is the time to set them up on your website. Use steps 1-4 to really boost your site and either boost your rankings with the new algorithm parameters or maintain positioning.
  5. Ads over Organic: The continued emergence of mobile search has placed emphasis on ads taking up prime real estate in search results rather than organically ranked websites. This also includes Google pulling back the reigns on Keyword Research to protect their intellectual property. What does this mean? To improve SEO in 2017, brands and businesses are going to have to invest more in SEO tools to help them do keyword research as Google tightens their available information. Rest assured that Tandem already uses numerous keyword research tools to create highly targeted SEO content.
  6. RankBrain: Google’s RankBrain is an artificial intelligence that learns and is used as part of ranking. In 2017, RankBrain will continue to make connections between search terms and webpages that it thinks the searcher was looking for. This means that exact match keyword phrasing will become less and less important over the course of 2017. Focus on content that is relevant and helpful, rather than exact keyword phrases.

The year is still fresh and new, get together with your digital marketing agency and make sure that your website is all set for the new year and all of Google’s new ranking factors.


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