An Increase in Content “Density”
On any given day, dozens of different websites offer the exact same content with slightly different wording. This has been a growing problem in recent years and the search engines are adapting to devalue sites that publish duplicate content. The solution? Create dense content. At its most basic, content density can be described as an article’s “per word value.” So let’s say you write a 5,000 word article on the nuances of SEO, but the actual value you deliver is very low, and then compare it to a 300 word article on the same topic that provides equal benefit. Which article is more valuable? You got it, the shorter one. Every major SEO authority agrees that 2017 will be the year we see the rise of content density across the board.
The Rise of Personal Branding
The term “branding” has typically been associated with businesses, but today almost every individual has a personal brand. If you have a strong personal brand you’ll have an easier time securing guest posts, building user trust, and driving more traffic to your website. As social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook continue refining their algorithms to favor individual posts over branded posts, more companies will likely take advantage of personal branding, which will lead to more opportunities and more competition.
AMP and Page Loading Time
Since Google first introduced the AMP project in late 2015, the speed of a website has become a prominent factor in the search engine’s algorithm. Google has always known that slow load times hurt user experience, which is why a one second delay causes a 7% reduction in conversions. With AMP, Google can amplify the importance of speed. The format strips away all the extras of a website, helping it load faster. According to Google, using AMP can improve loading speeds by 15 to 85%.
Conversion-Focused Approach to SEO
As we approach 2017, it’s time to stop focusing on rankings as an all-or-nothing way to determine whether your SEO strategy is working. It’s not about being #1 for the keyword phrase with the highest search volume. It’s about being #1 for the keyword phrase with the highest search volume that will generate conversions. A conversion-focused approach is going to up your quality across the board – your content, metadata, images, videos and social posts. Everything you do in the name of SEO will be done with higher quality because your end goal isn’t just to get rankings or a link, it’s to get a potential customer.
Speaking of a conversion-focused approach to SEO, Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) system RankBrain has had a huge impact on Internet marketing over the past year because it has forced specialists to think beyond single keyword phrase optimization and focus on what potential customers are really looking for when they perform a search. In 2017, you can expect RankBrain and other AI platforms to get even smarter and become more crucial to the digital landscape. To create content that AIs will rank higher, start with keyword research, complement your research with related searches, and then start building quality organic content around these topics. The goal here is not to stuff keywords, it’s to build resources that potential customers will actually want to click on and read.
Source: Search Engine Land