SEO In 2017
There are going to a be a lot of changes coming this year for SEO in 2017, with the main focus being on mobile. Google will be rolling out a lot more changes pertaining to mobile SEO, as we will start seeing that mobile optimization will be a huge advantage in 2017, stronger than ever before. This means that the user experience of your website on mobile is going to massively impact your search engine optimization, which will only increase the importance of page speed, and other user experience factors on the mobile web. Some of the other things we will be talking about today will include the importance of HTTPS connections, AMP pages, and optimizing your website for voice search.
Pop Up Ads on Mobile
We will definitely be seeing Google cracking down on intrusive mobile pop ups and ads as they tend to annoy many users which hurts their user experience. Google’s search algorithms for mobile have a certain mobile ranking criteria that is going to influence how mobile search results are shown, but it is known that these changes will be rolling out January 10, 2017. These “intrusive” pop ups usually include things that slow down the page drastically that get in the way of the content that the user wants to see. Some specific pop ups will be allowed, as long as they don’t disrupt a user’s experience with your site. If your website happens to have intrusive mobile pop ups that degrade a user’s experience with your mobile website, then you’ll most likely be finding your website listing getting bumped down in the search results, unless you have a powerful link profile, and other ranking factors that make it very difficult for your site to bump down. To learn more extensively on these new changes, check out Hubspot’s post on everything you need to know about Google cracking down on these new changes.
SSL and HTTPS
Having HTTPS implemented on your website is only going to improve trust factors and the user experience for your website (in terms of secure connections). These signals only further help your rankings, and we can definitely say that encryption is only going to get more and more important due to all the data breaches that have been happening around the globe. HTTPS basically helps add on an extra layer of security to your website, and it has a small ranking benefit, however we can predict that this trend will only get more and more important as time moves forward with Google favoring secure websites over vulnerable ones. To learn more about HTTPS connection, Ahrefs has posted an extensive study on HTTP vs HTTPS for SEO.
User experience is going to be a huge in 2017, and Google is only going to place more importance of a website’s user experience. This is why AMP had actually started due to many mobile websites taking forever to load with tons of ads and popups that would take a frustratingly long time to load. AMP is only going to help your website, and it allows your blog pages to be loaded much more quickly for the user. We have found our website to rank higher using AMP pages, and if you find that your competition is not using them, take full advantage and implement it right away. This trend is only going to get bigger as Google starts hammering down on how user experience needs to be a priority. However, keep in mind that user experience is not going to be the prime ranking factor, links are still extremely valuable, but having these additional add ons to your website will give you the edge over your competition when it comes to ranking in the SERPs. To check out how you can make your blog AMP-friendly, check out our post here.
Optimizing for Voice Search
Optimizing for voice search is going to be very important in the future, especially with the use of Google Voice, Alexa, Google Home, and other devices that you might interact with through voice commands becoming very popular. Having your pages built so that they are SEO optimized for voice search is only going to help you bring in more traffic, and ranking for them again will give you the edge over your competition. Also keep in mind that these search queries are going to be contextualized by Google, so a person’s location, account information, and application context are all going to factor in when someone gives a voice search query. For this, you definitely want to optimize your website for long tail keywords as opposed to short tail keywords so your website shows up when someone asks either a question, or a long search query.
These are only a handful of the search engine optimization ranking factors we’ll be seeing in 2017, however implementing these changes onto your website is only going to give you positive benefits, with happy users, higher rankings, and a better overall experience to bring in more traffic that enjoys being on your website without all the intrusive pop ups, mobile-unfriendliness and slow load times.