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Planning for Search Engine Optimization in 2017

search engine optimizationSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to change every day. Since we will soon be entering the fourth quarter of 2016, it is time to start preparing our SEO marketing strategies for 2017.

To start, it is a good idea to look at the trends and developments that have been happening throughout this year to start to understand where we are likely heading next.

Here are a few trends that can help prepare your SEO for 2017:

Schema markup

Using a schema markup is becoming increasingly important with Google and with the ever-changing user trends. “Schema” is a mark-up language from Schema.org that is used for tagging content so that search engines can categorize it and recognize it more quickly for search engine recovery. Schema tags on your site helps search engines understand your site more clearly, thereby helping to ensure that it is indexed correctly.

Schema can also be particularly helpful when Google decides to display rich answers, such as Quick Answers or a Rich Card. Considering that Google has been increasing its usage of Quick Answers, Schema can help make the purpose and content of your site clear, so your text is more appealing for a snippet box.

Changes to the search engine results pages

Google has been experimenting with the search engine results pages (SERPs). They have been increasing the number of characters allowed in some of the presented meta descriptions and titles. Google appears to have increased the length limit for title tags in the SERPs to 69-70 characters instead of the usual 55.

Featured descriptions have also grown in size. The length of descriptions is stretching out to 3 – 4 lines instead of the two that currently exist. Title tags for mobile devices have lengthened even further, some reaching 78 characters.

This trend can also be a challenge for marketers to take advantage of because the changes have not been rolled out to all websites, nor has Google announced that they are permanent. For the sites that do receive the extra line length, however, there are opportunities for including more keywords and more compelling descriptions to help attract people to the website.

Search engine marketing alignment and content planning

Searches with commercial intent on average display a higher number of ads at the top of the page than other searches. Because of that, click-through rates for organic search results are lower when compared to organic results that have fewer top-of-the-page ads. Therefore, knowing which search terms will result in first page natural or organic search results above-the-fold is critical to prioritizing SEO efforts.

When developing new SEO programs, the organic-search and paid-search teams should work together more closely in order to target and develop the best terms to boost ROI for both paid and organic efforts.

It is also important for the search teams to work with the content marketing team to clearly understand what content ranks highest for the search terms and to align their content strategy and SEO planning to create web pages and assets that map best to what searchers are looking for.

SEO in 2017 is likely to be just as surprising and exciting as it has been in the past. Brands need to use their time now, however, to start strengthening their sites for the trends of the future.

As a leading SEO agency, KEO Marketing has created many high-impact and award winning SEO campaigns for our clients. If you would like to boost the results of your search engine optimization, contact KEO Marketing today.

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    About Sheila Kloefkorn
With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.

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