Content marketers and SEO specialists can learn about how SEO will change in 2017 by looking at how it shifted in 2016. Over the past year, there have been multiple changes that we can learn from, and lessons that can be used to improve SEO performance in 2017. We’re already a few months in and the lessons of 2016 show us a lot of what’s to come.
Content Marketers Are Getting Better
Content marketers are getting really good. In 2016, 62% of B2B content marketers and 63% of B2C content marketers reported that they had been ‘somewhat more successful’ or ‘more successful’ than a year before. Content marketing is adapting to new challenges, but 2017 has plenty of challenges lying ahead.
Mobile is King
More people access the Internet using mobile devices than they do personal computers at home. Ignore either Google or consumer habits, and your SEO performance will plummet.
2016 saw search become a mobile-first experience, with the October mobile first index update, the improvement of Accelerated Mobile Pages, and the introduction of ‘featured snippets’ for mobile search. The industry is moving towards mobile.
Email Content is Best
Email is quickly becoming the most successful channel for distributing content. Many businesses still determine the success of the content they publish based on how many shares it receives through social media, but email really is the most effective.
For many years, email was forgotten about, but according to 2016 data, email outreach can be as much as five times more effective than social media promotion. According to Buffer, an email sent to 40,000 people results in 1,800 people reading the full article. On Facebook, an article may be seen by 1,800 people but only opened 51 times.
Users Need Trustworthy Content
In 2017, content must be more trustworthy than ever. With the label ‘fake news’ being used so often, journalists and publications must be careful to avoid publishing false information. Content marketing relies on trust between publisher and reader, and in order for SEO and content marketing campaigns to be successful, meticulous research and attention to detail are required.
User-Generated Content is Becoming More Important
Finally, consider the popularity of user-generated content. With a distrust of mass media and advertising, recommendations from popular creators are more important than ever. A recommendation from peers through social media, or in the form of popular content makers sharing content, is one of the most powerful marketing tools in 2017.