SEO in 2017 - What's New and How It Affects Your Business

Could your website be delivering more? Improving user experience and encouraging conversions is a great place to start. 

Mobile-first indexing, artificial intelligence and structured data are all going to affect how your website is ranked this year. We wanted to bring you in with some of the not necessarily new aspects of SEO, but some things that we think are going to continue to develop and grow this year.

Continued movement to a mobile universe

With the majority of searches being made on mobile, rather than desktop, Google are switching to mobile-first indexing. When it’s fully rolled out, it will be the mobile version of your site that will be used as the primary search engine index.

What does it mean for your business though? The content that you want to be ranked for needs to appear on the mobile version and be as user focused as possible to achieve higher rankings. A responsive site is a higher rewarded option, compared with a specific mobile version e.g.

Continued attention to rich snippets and structured data

what is a rich snippet Google search

If you’ve ever asked Google a question you’ve probably seen an answer in a box at the top of the search results – you’re more likely to click on that than any of the other results. How do you get there? By answering their question. Marking up your content with a few lines of simple HTML can help Google better understand what your pages are offering.

Conversational search is also playing a big part. Google can analyse sentences, rather than just keywords in search terms, to return the best possible results. Writing the content on your website for humans rather than search engines is the best way to be visible to their digital assistants. Google has tried to adhere to this with RankBrain.

How RankBrain affects search results

Google’s machine-learning artificial intelligence system analyses user intent in searches. RankBrain is a considerable factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. It trawls through the thousands of pages to come up with what it considers to be most appropriate to your search.

How can you change your tactics to appeal to RankBrain? Again, it’s about not keyword stuffing, but instead writing more conversationally with your reader at the forefront of your strategy.

If you’re not too sure how to get the ball rolling, we’d be happy to give you a helping hand. We’ve been specialising in SEO for over 13 years and have a team of experts to cover all aspects of optimisation. If you have any questions, please give us a call on 01993 776999 to talk to our Digital Marketing Lead, Matthew Gilbert.


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