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7 SEO Trends for 2017

Profile photo of Jeff Miller Submitted by Jeff Miller November 20, 2016

SEO is constantly changing. Below, we’ve listed some of the biggest trends in SEO that we believe will have an impact on your website in the coming year.


1) Mobile Optimization

In many countries, including the US, mobile traffic is responsible for more than 50% of web searches. With everyone owning a smartphone, and the popularity of tablets like the iPad and the Microsoft surface, is this really a surprise?

No, it isn’t. But unfortunately, a lot of website owners neglect one of their largest traffic sources. It is no longer optional to have a mobile friendly website. It is now necessary to operate.

Mobile sites need to be streamlined in design. They need to be simple, with large text and large buttons to compensate for smaller screens. Links need to be far apart to prevent accidentally pressing on the wrong one. Also, flash should be avoided, as it can be buggy on mobile devices.

Luckily, it is easier than ever to make your website mobile responsive. The majority of WordPress themes nowadays are mobile responsive. Themes on sites like Squarespace and Wix are as well.

Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how your site scores. If the score isn’t good, you may want to reconsider your theme/website design.

2) Site Speed

Having a slow website hurts your SEO rankings. But why is that? It’s very simple:

Having a slow website is not only annoying for users, it can be extremely frustrating. You want something, and you can’t get it. It is no different than food at a restaurant taking an eternity to reach you.

This is especially true for mobile. People are much less willing to wait on their mobile devices than on their desktops.

Check out your website’s speed ranking with Google’s Page Speed Insights.

If it isn’t quite up to snuff, there are a couple steps you can take:

  • Allow for browser caching
  • Reduce HTTP requests on the site
  • Use JPG images instead of PNG


3) Social

Social media has changed how we experience the internet. And it isn’t slowing down one bit. Your website should be on multiple social media websites.

We aren’t just talking Facebook and Twitter here; we’re talking:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • Tumblr


Social media allows for you to engage with your readers and subscribers in new ways. It also allows you to drive traffic your website might not otherwise get.

Your website and all of your content must be shareable. That means that anyone who likes what you say should be able to share it with their peers. This can bring massive traffic to your website. This is also how you can go viral.

On top of all these benefits, social media also boosts your search engine rankings. When your social media is active, with users commenting and sharing, that is a strong signal to Google that your content is valuable. As a result, you can see a strong boost in rankings.

4) Video

Video marketing is a HUGE ranking factor. Not only is it a ranking factor, but it is a great way to drive traffic. Search engines consider video to be media rich content.

Users love videos. As a result, search engines love videos as well.

A well-produced YouTube video can drive massive traffic to your website. As a matter of fact, it is much easier to rank videos than it is to rank websites.

An embedded video on your web pages can also make your content stand out from your competition. Video marketing is also popular because it allows you to convey a large amount of information quickly, and in an easy to digest format.

If something on your site is going to go viral, the most likely candidate is a YouTube video.

Video marketing is especially important in e-commerce. Your customers want to see your product. What it looks like and how it performs. They want video reviews. No one likes to buy blind.

The best part about this is that video marketing can be extremely inexpensive. For live action, all you need is a camera. To make list videos or tutorials, all you need is PowerPoint and a screen caster.

Video marketing shows no sign of slowing down. Google may be the largest search engine, but do you know who is the second largest? That’s right, YouTube!

It would be a massive mistake to overlook this traffic and SEO goldmine.

5) Voice Search

Twenty years ago, it would be inconceivable that we could talk to our phones, and they would talk right back to us. Voice recognition technology was the stuff of Sci-fi movies.

But in 2016, this technology is a reality. On iPhones, we can talk to Siri. On Androids we can talk to Google Now. And on Windows Phones we can talk to Cortana.

Your content needs to be optimized to be found via voice search. But how do you go about doing that?

The answer is simple: long tail keywords.

When you use voice search, you are making long, detailed requests. Long tail keywords fulfill these requests. If you are ranking for long tail keywords, it is very likely you can be found via voice search.

6) Local SEO

Local SEO has come a long way. For a while, it was kind of an afterthought, but now it can have an extreme impact on your business.

If you own a brick and mortar business, you ABSOLUTELY need to be focusing on local SEO.

Even if you own an e-commerce business, you should still be focusing on Local SEO. For example, if you’re selling heavy winter jackets, you can focus on local SEO in the Northern US and Canada.

One of the best things you can do for local SEO is to have consistent information across multiple listings. The most important of all of these is Google My Business. However, other resources such as Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Trip Advisor are still very important.

7) Playing Clean

It is no mystery that Google, and other search engines, are getting smarter. Gone are the days when keyword stuffing could gain you high rankings. No longer can you hastily set up a private blog network and dominate the rankings.

Google updates have destroyed countless people’s businesses who were trying to cheat the system. Don’t get hit by one of these penalties, your website may never recover.

Google only cares about one thing, content. So create good content, and don’t break the rules.

Stay white hat, don’t go black hat.

Sure, results may come slower, but at least your site will still be there a year from now.

To learn the difference between white hat, and black hat SEO check out this article.

This post was originally published in by Jeff Miller

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I'm a professional working int the SEO industry for 5+ years. I recently started my own blog on the subject. However, I'm always learning something new. Check out my site

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36 Responses to “7 SEO Trends for 2017” Leave a reply ›

  • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

    Hey Jeff,

    SEO changes every now and then. It becomes important for bloggers and marketer to understand what drives the changes. Most of the factors that drive SEO in 2016 will still drive it in 2017.

    You have shared the most obvious trends. However, I have reservations on how Voice Search will really drive SEO in the coming years. Longtail keywords should work better in writing than in voice!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Hi, Jeff,

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on the matter.

      To be honest, no one knows where voice search is going.

      The only thing I can say definitively, is that it is growing.

      More and more, my friends speak to “Siri” or “Google Now.”

      This is all a personal observation.

      But even I find myself saying “Ok, Google ____” more than I ever thought I would.

      Of course, I’m not doing this when trying to write a patent application, but I do when looking for a restaurant, or an address.

      I think it will be very exciting to see where voice search takes us in the future.
      Jeff Miller recently posted…White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – The Great DebateMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Winford Moore Profile

        I agree with you. What the future holds for Voice Search should be our concern.

        Personally, I have been using Google Now to do search but have never connected its features with SEO.

        Hopefully, marketers and their audiences would help to redefine how this tool can serve as an all important SEO trend in the future for ranking!

  • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

    Hey Jeff,

    This an interesting article. It is also one worth bookmarking because of the facts embedded in it. Every marketer that wants to step up with SEO in 2017 must be mindful of the facts and details shared here.

    The 7 SEO trends discussed here tell of things that drive search ranking. So, marketers must ensure practical implementation to improve search in the coming year!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Thank you for your thoughts, Sunday.

      I am glad you found value in the links. SEO changes a lot. It may not seem like it from month to month. But year to year there is always a big difference.

      The techniques I utilized a few years ago are totally irrelevant today.

      It will be interesting to see what Google and SEO brings in 2018, and even in the next 10 years!
      Jeff Miller recently posted…5 Common SEO MistakesMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Sunday William Profile

        Yes Jeff, it sure would be interesting to know of what Google and SEO brings in 2018 and beyond.

        Observing the best practices for SEO at any point in time should be the fulcrum of thought for the Internet marketer!

        Keeping in tune with Google’ changes and demands will help one adapt easily to any difference in SEO that crops up in any year!

  • Profile photo of steven Profile

    Hello Jeff,

    Search engine optimization or SEO is the blood of any online marketing business. It is important to keep it lively at all times.

    Following the best practices from the search engines like Google is fundamental for success.

    The good news remains that socials, speed, mobile, videos, etc have been mentioned at one time or the other by Google as ranking factors.

    Thus, giving full attention to the above trend in 2017 should help to improve SEO for the business!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Spot on, Steven.

      SEO is crucial for any marketer in 2016, and in the coming 2017.

      There’s nothing better than implementing an SEO technique, and then finding out that Google itself recommends it.

      As you mentioned, this has been the case with page speed, mobile, and video marketing.

      The best we can do is learn and adapt to Google, to our mutual success in 2017!
      Jeff Miller recently posted…5 Common SEO MistakesMy Profile

      • Profile photo of steven Profile

        Sure, we must learn and adapt to Google to our mutual success in 2017. There is no hiding the fact that is important to rank well.

        In 2017, the trends of SEO should be practicable and rewarding. Google recommends most techniques and embracing its recommendation is vital for success!

  • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    It is important for individuals and businesses to know and follow changing trends of activities online. SEO is one of those online actions that should never be ignored.

    SEO is not constant and its dynamism influences online success. Therefore, following the above trends is crucial, especially if the best practices are implemented at all times!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Thank you, Amit.

      One can only try to constantly stay on top of Google. The search engine is constantly changing.

      However, by staying informed you can better your chances of success.

      Whether you are a one man operation, or a multi-national SEO firm, knowledge is your friend.
      Jeff Miller recently posted…7 SEO Trends for 2017My Profile

      • Profile photo of Amit Sharan Profile

        Hey Jeff,

        Indeed, one can only try to constantly stay on top of Google.

        Doing this means staying informed and following all the suggestions and ideas put forth by the search engines.

        Thanks for taking time to reply to my comment!

  • Profile photo of Krystsina Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    That’s an extremely useful list of SEO trends for 2017!

    Some of them seem to be the continuous ones from 2016, such as site speed, local SEO, social media. At least, we paid a lot of attention to these trends in 2016 at our company.

    However, Voice Search is quite new to me, I’ve never worked with it before. Seems like it will be one of the new things for me in 2017! Time to learn more about it :)
    Krystsina recently posted…The Small Business Guide to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday & Cyber MondayMy Profile

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Hi Krystsina,

      You are correct, there is certainly a lot of overlap with 2016 trends.

      I feel that these trends are just becoming more and more pronounced.

      On the voice search side, I myself am still amazed how much the subject has grown.

      For the longest time, it was something you only saw in Sci-Fi movies. Seeing middle schoolers use voice search is awe inspiring to me.

      Who knows where this trend will take us in the future.
      Jeff Miller recently posted…White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – The Great DebateMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Paul Profile

    There are lots of things that affect search ranking positively. If these are mastered then it becomes easier to succeed with search engine optimization.

    However, keeping it clean or playing by the rules is fundamental for success. If the rules are not followed when engaging socials, optimizing for mobile or improving site speed, it would be difficult for rank well.

    So, embracing ‘white hat SEO’ in 2017 is as much important as observing the first six SEO trends shared above!

  • Profile photo of James Ling Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    In 2017 there would be continuation of SEO trends like mobile, site speed and socials. In addition, Google is still going to Monitor how each of these trends is effectively practiced.

    Observing the best practice is key for establishing the trust and improving productivity.

    I guess since 2016 is winding down, its now time to follow up with the SEO that worked this year in 2017.

    A very good post if you ask me!

  • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    I couldn’t agree with you more on these trends for SEO in 2017. The trends have worked well in the 2016 and they are sure going to define the direction of search engine in the nearest future.

    One trend that must never be ignored is playing it clean. Google loves those who abide by its rules. SEO trends begin with the rules set by Google and obeying them will bring the needed results.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It easily reminds us of the Needful when it comes to search engine optimization!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Thanks for commenting, Sarah.

      I am a big proponent of playing clean.

      Might as well do it right the first time.

      Blak hat SEO may work in the short-term, but it will eventually come to a point where it doesn’t work.

      With white hat SEO, you don’t have to worry about this.
      Jeff Miller recently posted…White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – The Great DebateMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Sarah John Profile

        I am yet to see anyone who regretted playing it clean and cool with SEO. There may be complaints here and there on timing and costs but eventually its worth the sacrifice!

        Black Hat SEO is cheap but it would prove very costly when Google’s spiders descends on the ‘culprit’ website or blogger!

  • Profile photo of Carl Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    I should be more acquainted with how Voice search is really going to impact on the SEO in 2017! I have never really consider it as a trend.

    Mobile, social, speed, local SEO, video, and white hat SEO are trend which are clear to me but ‘voice search’ is still elusive. Can you explain more on this trend?

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Sure thing, Carl.

      Nowadays, a lot of people talk directly to their phones for google searches.

      When you do this, you don’t use short keywords. You use specific, long tail keywords.

      For example, say your screw driver breaks and you need to order a new one.

      You use your phone’s voice search with “OK, google.”

      However, when you search, you don’t say: “OK Google, find screwdriver.”

      Instead, you say: “OK Google, find a size 3 Phillips head screwdriver.

      Notice I used a specific term, not a generic one. This is a long tail keyword.

      You should target these keywords on your site. Although they receive less traffic than more generic ones, they are more targeted.

      This means their users know exactly what they need, and many times they have their credit card in hand ready to buy.
      Jeff Miller recently posted…White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – The Great DebateMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Carl Profile

        Okay Jeff,

        I see! The explanation is clearer. For this to work effectively, the searcher must have the right smartphone to gadget equipped with Voice search app. Thanks for expatiating on the use of Voice search for improved SEO!

  • Profile photo of Black Profile

    Hey Jeff,

    The SEO trends for 2017 shared here are in order. I completely agree with each of them. I must also add that in 2017, quality epic content will still define search ranking. Google still love evergreen content and it discourages fluff!

    • Profile photo of Jeff Miller Profile

      Spot on!

      I like how you define it as “epic.”

      When you read an epic piece, you know right away.

      I’ve mentioned it before, but I love Neil Patel’s case study on taking a new blog to a million dollars in 12 months. Talk about epic.

      That single case study is the reason I follow him, and regularly give him traffic on his site.

      That evergreen content can get you great rankings. Avoid the fluff, and keep your goals clear!
      Jeff Miller recently posted…White Hat vs. Black Hat SEO – The Great DebateMy Profile

      • Profile photo of Black Profile

        Hey Jeff,

        Neil Patel is an online influencer that we all admire. His blog and business inspire many bloggers and SEOs.

        We always find epic and evergreen content in his Quick Sprout,, and KissMetrics websites.

        I guess newbies should follow this influencer’s tactics to improve and sustain their SEO state in 2017!

  • Profile photo of Hafiz Akinde Profile

    Hi Jeff,

    SEO will continue to find relevance in the Internet marketing circle. It is to Internet marketing what fuel is to machines.

    Having said this, I’d like to commend you for including local SEO in this list. It is under-estimated yet produces great results. According to Kelsey Group 74% of Internet users perform local searches, and Search Engine Watch
    61% of local searches result in a purchase.

    Therefore, if you want to take your business to the next level, you must not exclude local SEO from your marketing strategies.

    Hafiz Akinde recently posted…The Top 7 Ways To Make Money BloggingMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Celine Profile

    SEO tends for 2017 will not deviate from the obvious changes in mobile, socials, speed, local seo, video, and voice search, etc.

    However, it is one thing to know what affects search ranking, it is also important to know how to make it effectual.

    Therefore, playing it clean by observing white hat tactics all of the time would be very useful!

  • Profile photo of Dennis Seymour Profile

    Mobile is definitely going to be big again next year.

    I can see a lot of things that can enable us to get more traffic and Im sure Google is already putting new mobile signals in there, besides the recent changes they’ve already made that is. 😀

    Can’t wait for 2017!

    Dennis Seymour recently posted…Getting Links is Not EASY, Deal With ItMy Profile

  • Profile photo of Joe Wilson Profile

    Hello Jeff,

    SEO has always been a mystery to me. I have managed to have only one page every show up on the first page returned.

    I will have to try some of these tips. I haven’t done much with adding videos into my posts. So that should be a simple add in!

    Joe Wilson recently posted…Top 10 Kitchen Power ToolsMy Profile

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