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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is advancing rapidly as marketers, writers, and bloggers try to keep up with the pace. 2016 is almost over, which means it is time to evaluate next year’s digital marketing outlook.

Most of the marketing trends of this year will continue into 2017 and will probably grow. Google will keep updating its algorithm, keeping businesses on guard as other trends emerge in 2017.

Here are some things to look for in the coming months:

 

User-Intent Focused Optimization

Keywords are critical, but simple words return simple results. Today’s consumer knows precisely what they want and how to identify it to search engines. Because of the accuracy of identifying user intent, users are entering full phrases or queries in search engines to gain effective results.

As 2017 rears its head, brands need to start putting more value on optimizing digital content based on user intent over keywords. The critical points to ponder include the following:

  • Investigate what users are searching for that leads them to your website and specific page. What do they want to you tell them?
  • Optimize based on the research you gather during your investigation. Use your SEO keyword phrases to tell consumers’ stories by altering your content to match their experience.
  • Adjust your content accordingly by watching your analytics to see what works and what doesn’t so you don’t waste time and energy on content.

 

Richer Answers and Snippets

People rely on Google to for answers. Google has evolved and generates the targeted data in the search results, alongside other information from videos, websites, news, images, events, reviews, movies, and such.

Structured data markup helps to achieve optimal results on enhanced listings featured on SERPS (search engine results pages). The markup strategy helps search engines to better understand the content, which allows them to generate data that is helpful to the user.

Using the structured data markup strategy to your site can boost your chances of getting an enhanced SERP listing that is featured as part of a rich answer.

Consider using the schema markup for your website in 2017, if you aren’t already. Not sure how to do it? Schema markup can be scary on the surface. You can always use one of many SEO Companies to help you.

 

Cross-Channel Marketing

While cross-channel and multi-channel marketing sounds the same, they are substantially different in nature. Multi-channel relates to establishing your presence across various platforms, while cross-channel relates to using several channels for marketing your brand in an integrated manner. For instance, if users are looking at products from their mobile apps, then decide not to buy, you get to send targeted ads to them based on their searches through social media or email.

In essence, cross-channel marketing is an extension of multi-channel marketing that offers a way to create a consistent brand presence on multiple channels, so users can easily move between platforms and devices to make purchases. You need to know what the right message is, find the best time to release it, and use the proper channel. The tools for making the process easier will develop in 2017.

 

Mobile Accessibility Growth

The mobile platform and apps have reshaped SEO over the years. Mobile search is evolving quickly and that will continue into 2017 and beyond. Traffic distribution has shifted focus from the old desktop and laptop model to match mobile devices. Most websites already obtain most of their traffic from mobile devices.

Mobile searches surpassed traditional laptop searches on Google by May of 2015, per a Google report. Since that time, Google has made strides to meet with the mobile model and now it is the default experience for users. Mobile SEO strategies will be mandatory in 2017.

 

Voice Search is the Coming Thing

Voice search has been in the works for a few years. This tech has worked out most of the bugs and glitches so it has been growing rapidly for search options. It’s hands-free, quick, and futuristic.

As technology continues to make tweaks with every update, the error rate in voice searching goes down. Speech recognition error rates have gone down from 25 percent two years ago to 8 percent now. This will be one of the biggest trends in 2017 and of the digital age.

2017 will be a huge year of changes in digital marketing. It will get better, stronger, faster, easier, and more advanced. It is important that business owners keep up with it and take the necessary steps to maintain the edge over their competition.