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The world of SEO keeps on changing at lightning speed. Marketers are constantly adjusting strategies to reflect customer usage and expectations and to align with Google algorithm updates. If marketers become complacent, their rankings may crash, and it can become very difficult to recover.

New Year, New SEO Strategy

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The success of any website depends on how it prioritizes the best practices in digital marketing. As we enter 2017, it is a good idea to focus on upcoming trends that will play a key role in SEO strategy in the coming year.

Schema

The use of schema mark up has become critical in keeping up with changing user and Google trends. Schema allows search engines to understand your site better and display results correctly. Schema becomes particularly useful when Google opts to display rich answers, such as a Rich Card or Quick Answers.

Google is expected to give emphasis to RankBrain and artificial intelligence. Machine learning is now Google’s third most important ranking factor, forcing brands to ensure that their sites can be easily interpreted by machines. Schema is a great tool to make this a reality. It helps prepares sites for the likely growth of artificial intelligence in the future.

Hybridization and Breaking Down Barriers

The sophistication of online users and the growing demands of digital marketing have bonded professionals together, breaking down the barriers that have long separated digital marketing departments. The line that divides mobile users from desktop users has dissipated with users frequently gravitating from one type of device to the other.

To be able to reach all of their customers, more and more digital marketers will be running hybrid campaigns—targeting both mobile and desktop users. Marketing professionals need to prepare for the hybridization.

Changes on Search Engines

Google has been increasing the numbers of characters allowed in meta descriptions and titles, part of their experimentation with search engine result pages (“SERPs”).

If the changes do take hold, sites that have the extra space will be at a considerable advantage, as they can include more keywords and compelling descriptions that will help attract people to their websites.

Mobile and Speed

The importance of speed, especially on mobile devices, has skyrocketed. Google is very aware that slow load times can result in reduced conversions. The implementation of the AMP project amplified the importance of speed. AMP was first introduced on new sites, stripping away anything unnecessary so websites could load faster. Using AMP improves loading speed by 15 to 85 percent.

The year 2017 is expected to be full of many innovations. By staying abreast of the “latest and greatest,” marketers can help their clients stay on the cutting edge.