These are just a few of the mid-year SEO trends that should influence 2017 optimization strategies, but not everyone assigns them the same high priority. Our panel of experts have their own thoughts about SEO developments and their level of significance.
Brenna Lemieux is the director of content and SEO at Insureon, a commercial insurance agency and brokerage whose mission is to simplify how small businesses, freelancers and independent contractors find commercial insurance.
Lemieux advises that in light of Google's recent so-called "Fred" update (with its ongoing tweaks and improvements rather than a single, large rollout), it is more important than ever to think of SEO like a fitness regime.
"SEO is not something you achieve and forget about - it's an ongoing process," said Lemieux. "What Google considers best practice today may be useless (or harmful) in a few months (remember authorship markup?). The good news is that, like fitness, SEO is more manageable (and effective) when you make it a part of your daily or weekly routine."
"Without an integration of all three aspects, SEO will falter in 2017 and a steady decline will take place in search engine result pages," said Bose. "You can rank well and still not have the quality engagement that drives revenue and traffic."
Ivy Lamb is a content editor at Manta, one of the largest online resources dedicated to small businesses. Lamb advises companies to put paid and organic search to work in tandem to boost online leads and sales during the middle of the year.
"SEO and search engine marketing (SEM) are different digital tools aimed at achieving the same goal: getting customers to click on your website when they search for something specific online," said Lamb. "The secret to a truly effective strategy though is using SEO and SEM together. My mid-year SEO takeaway? Do not neglect your long-term SEO strategy when you begin SEM advertising."
Will Chamberlin is the director of technology at SocioFabrica, a global digital strategy and technology firm specializing in service design, email marketing and product development. His advice for following mid-year SEO trends?
Simple, take a more human approach.
"In the past, optimizing websites and content for SEO was more of a mathematical, robotic process that could be gamed (e.g., keyword stuffing, etc.)," said Chamberlin. "Now, due to an abundance of algorithm updates including artificial intelligence systems like Google's RankBrain, website owners and content creators alike must take a more human-centric approach by focusing on user experience and value of content.
"This can be done through providing a seamless user experience for visitors, quality content marketing, utilization of natural language, etc. In layman's terms, what is good for the target user is also good for SEO."
It should be clear that SEO trends vary greatly on who it is assessing them. Focusing on where people are, reaching them with relevant material and providing them an experience that does not frustrate them, will always be on trend this year and next.