SEO in 2017: What’s new Marketing by Terry Barker - September 27, 20170 One can never tell what is in store in the future. Everything changes. What you can do is wait and prepare for the change. If you happen to own a website as a blogger or for online business, the change could prove challenging. The change is a challenge because in search marketing, the change is exponential. Since the mid-1990s, web users have been utilizing different SEO tactics to reach the top rank. With the analysis of web users’ experience through the years, the algorithm of search engines also evolved and became refined. Keeping abreast with what is new in SEO is your best option to maximize your online visibility and competitiveness. SEO in 2017 From Desktop-first to Mobile-first Many web users continue to favour desktop search over mobile search. With the increase in mobile users doing searches in mobile devices and the introduction of mobile-first indexing, the desktop mentality shifted to mobile-first indexing. Recent studies on search engines show that mobile search brings in more traffic than desktop search. Because of the distribution shift, many website owners now get their traffic from mobile devices. The user preference for mobile search is possible through the accelerated mobile pages (AMP.) AMP makes small structural changes in the mobile to allow for faster loading using less data. Optimizing for user intent The meta keyword tag was once the byword in search marketing. The meta keyword, however, is losing its value in search engine marketing. Customers today know what they want and are specific about it in their search using the full-text queries or phrases. The algorithm developers responded to the customers’ intent by refining the structure of search engines. The sophisticated search engines of today can identify the user intent based on the full-text queries or phrases entered. The full text query, however, calls for website owners to align their digital content to the customers’ wants and needs. Personal branding Branding is more than a trademark and a logo. Branding becomes powerful when you compliment it with a strong personal brand. Good examples of compelling personal branding are Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. Having a strong personal brand makes it easy for you to secure guest posts, build customer trust, and increase traffic to your website. And, personal branding will grow as social media platforms refine their algorithms to entice individual posts over branded posts. Cross-channel marketing Cross-channel marketing is new in 2017 but is gaining ground among website owners. Do not confuse cross-channeling for multi-channel. Cross-channel marketing is where you market your brand through several channels in an integrated way. Website owners use cross-channeling to create an online brand presence that is consistent across multiple channels. This tactic makes it easy for customers to move between devices and platforms in making a purchase. Voice search Voice search is an ongoing project in the technology industry but is fast becoming the favored search option. The preference for voice search is understandable as it is hands-free, futuristic in appeal, and fast. Continuing update on voice search has reduced the errors previously encountered and might evolve into voice recognition and understanding of voice queries. It might give website owners a leverage over competitors if they start considering voice search over text-based queries. The SEO landscape of 2017 is changing and will continue to change in the years to come. Consider the trends happening in the search technology and include these in your plans. Doing so would keep your online visibility, competitiveness, and continuous traffic to your website.