29 Nov The top online marketing trends for 2017 you need to start preparing for now
Over the past year (2016) SEO and online marketing has changed at lightning speed. Looking ahead, SEO 2017 continues to evolve and has done so for almost 20 years. As marketing professionals it is our job to stay on top of these marketing trends and SEO changes – we do this by analysing the searches, reading whitepapers or case studies and more importantly, we do this by experimenting. Over the course of 2016 we’ve learned quite a bit and seen plenty of changes.
SEO 2017 – Looking at 2016’s most important SEO ranking factors
Trying to sum up this past year with regard to SEO 2017 or Google’s constant algo updates isn’t easy. Interesting comes to mind, then of course those ah ha moments. But the most reveling changes we saw never really left – confused yet? Don’t worry, we’re just getting started.
Here are some quick facts and things we will be covering in this blog:
- Ninety-three percent 93% of online research begins with search engines, and 68 percent of potential customers’ research businesses using social media before making a purchasing decision.
- Content marketing is a critical part of the online presence, as 93 percent of B2B companies use it to build their brand and create demand. In fact, B2B companies that blog regularly generate 67 percent more leads.
- The absolute biggest trend you can expect in SEO 2017 is Google’s RankBrain and artificial intelligence
Google’s RankBrain is a machine that is capable of learning and that’s pretty much AI in a nut shell. More importantly and what you need to know is this machine learning is now Google’s third most important ranking factor. Online businesses and brands of every kind need to now make sure their sites are easy for a machine to interpret. How do we do this? With something called Schema. As artificial intelligence is likely to grow in the future, using schema now can keep your site prepared for whatever the future brings.
Google’s Top 3 Most Important Ranking Factors
If you didn’t already know, Google uses over 200 ranking factors to weigh a sites importance and to help it rank well in the SERPs. As marketers we should be aware of just about everything and completely understand how Google ranks a website. If we didn’t at least know the half of it, we would do no good for our client base. Google stands among the top of the major search engines and with good reason, over 80 percent of the searches happens on Google. Not to leave out the others like Yahoo and Bing because you should know at least what they expect in terms of SEO to rank well within their own SERPs.
Google’s top 3 search ranking factors
#1 – Links
#2 – Content
#3 – RankBrain
It’s a rather straightforward and very small list as you can see but within that list is some big changes. Let’s chat about link building as one prime example – for many link building has been dead for years not because it doesn’t work but because many marketers or SEO consultants are refusing to adapt to its changes. Link building alone has evolved so much many in the industry just became frustrated. Worse yet, based on this frustration and refusing to abide by the rules, rumours started saying that website could in fact rank without links.
Is there any truth to this? Can websites rank without link building?
Here’s just a few reasons why:
- Links are in Google’s top 3 ranking factor
- Because links are the WEB
- Links point to great content (that deserves to rank well)
- Links transfer power
- Links transfer trust
Google discovers your website through relevant and quality links
SEO 2017, Why you can no longer ignore content marketing
Content has always been King, as the saying goes but since 2012, content and social media together are a force to be reckoned with.
“Content is King, but Social Media wears the pants.”
Here are some trends you can expect in 2017 for content marketing
#1 – Death of a Salesman
The harder the sale the harder you will be ignored. The days of hard selling are over. People are turned off by blatant advertising and hard sales. Today, 87 percent of buyers say that content can have an impact on their purchasing decisions, 43 percent of them say hard selling and blatant advertising is a turn-off.
According to Mike Stelzner, chief executive (CEO) of Social Media Examiner, while some selling is OK, the marketers that constantly push their products will likely be ignored. According to Stelzner, it’s time for businesses to start caring. “That means dedicating more resources to things that are harder to track like answering customer questions and providing more value online.”
#2 – Content Marketing & Social Media Bigger than Bradgelina
Alright fine, they are divorcing and we’re very upset about that, however, their relationship status trumped all others. The same can be said about content marketing and social media, which will see a major uptick in 2017. This means they will benefit each other greatly and can be used to brand in ways you never thought possible. Social media acts like a conduit and becomes a powerful way to amplify your content. In 2017, you’ll see more businesses realize the potential of using their social media accounts to reinforce their content. This will lead to an increase of organic social media as well as social media paid advertising. Businesses will continue to increase spending to promote posts.
#3 – Online businesses and brands that embrace content marketing will rank well
Here is the answer you’ve been looking for…
If you take content marketing more seriously in 2017, and hire a professional writer who understands the value of social media and SEO you will rank high in the SERPs. As content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) come together, it will attract more links, shares, and other signals to the search engines that increase ranking. For a refresher, go back to the beginning of this blog to see Google’s top 3 ranking factors.
What kind of content you ask?
The obvious answers are content that is relevant to your business. So if you own a real estate company don’t write content about animals or tools…write about real estate. Make the content worth reading by including images, videos and infographics – a big tip is branding your very own designs.
When it comes to length it really matters.
According to Neil Patel, and Backlinko.com, recent studies show the higher the word count the better the rank. But of course we’re not talking about fluff here, meaning just a bunch of relevant words thrown together to fool the search engines, no you need high-quality, long-form content that has several social media signals (i.e. likes, etc.). This typically ranks better with most search engines. It has also been shown to get more attention through social media, which in turn also helps its ranking. While search engine optimization using keyword research and other tools will remain important, content will be the primary driver for ranking in the search engines.
Wrapping it up – Making SEO in 2017 count
One major trend we’ve noticed this past year is the relevance of content in conjunction with social media – particularly Facebook. Sponsored posts are a big thing now but are going to get even bigger in 2017. More importantly another buzz word you should pay attention to is “hyper-local content”.
Restaurants and real estate agencies along with other businesses that rely on local customers will need hyper-local content. This type of content marketing can sometimes be difficult because it is usually done by writers who are local to the area. This can sometimes require a large number of writers but the results are worth it.
The search engines will fuel the growth of hyper-local content because this type of high-quality content typically ranks well.