How to Create a Killer SEO Plan for 2017

How to Create a Killer SEO Plan for 20172017 is here! I get excited with the changing of each year because it always presents new opportunities and new ways to improve both in marketing and in life in general.

It also gives me motivation to make any adjustments I need to be a better marketer.

Of all the forms of online marketing, I think SEO is the most dynamic.

That’s simply because the state of SEO is ultimately in the hands of Google that’s perpetually tweaking and improving its algorithm for optimal user experience.

This means plenty of potential for those who stay on top of things and continually rethink their game plan.

And to me, success largely comes from planning ahead and always having a strategy in place for getting to where I need to go.

That’s why I brainstormed some key aspects of SEO that I feel are most important for 2017.

They’re elements you’ll definitely want to incorporate into your overall strategy to help you keep pace.

I also think they will take you much further than just 2017 and be instrumental in the success of your campaign for years to come.

With that being said, here’s how to create a killer SEO plan for 2017.

Put more attention on local search

Google Possum is an algorithm update that occurred in early September 2016 that specifically impacted local search.

In particular, it affected how websites ranked in the 3-pack and Local Finder.

Although Google never actually admitted to making any changes, countless experts in the SEO community noticed big changes to local search results.

An article from Search Engine Land illustrates just how big of a wave this update created.

Here’s a screenshot that highlights how positioning changed in local search results:

Screen Shot 2017-01-29 at 8.44.52 AM

And here’s a graph that illustrates this data:

image01

When you break it all down, “64% of keywords saw some type of change.” That’s pretty dramatic.

This tells me that the Possum update was a significant one and something that marketers will want to be aware of.

Do you know how to plan your SEO in 2017? Follow this guide to create a killer SEO plan this year.

It’s especially important if you’re a brick-and-mortar business with a demographic that’s strictly located in a single city or region. If this is the case, Possum demands your immediate attention.

The first thing I recommend you do is check out this other article from Search Engine Land. It’s one of the most comprehensive and will fill you in on most of the details.

I also recommend you put more attention on local search in 2017 by doing the following:

  • diversify the local keywords you’re trying to rank for. For instance, instead of targeting “pet store albuquerque,” also aim for phrases such as “pet store albuquerque NM” and “albuquerque pet store”
  • update your Google My Business listing if you haven’t done so in a while
  • be aware that Google is using IP addresses when generating results

Put mobile first

So, mobile is kind of a big deal these days.

But seriously, I think 2017 is officially the year marketers will put mobile first and desktop a distant second.

Here’s proof:

image02

This is a graph from Moz.

It’s a little hard to read, but at the bottom, it explains that blue represents desktop search from 09 – 11/2016 and the orange represents mobile search from the same period.

As you can plainly see, mobile search is much more dominant.

Furthermore, Moz points out that, “20 industry niches out of 24 see mobile as their first source of traffic.”

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should abandon desktop completely. Of course, there’s going to be a sizable number of your visitors still coming through desktop.

But I truly believe that 2017 is the tipping point where SEOs should have a mobile-first mindset.

What exactly does mobile-first SEO entail?

  • Using responsive web design (RWD) if you haven’t done so already
  • Getting rid of interstitials (these will actually be penalized in 2017)
  • Simplifying your web design
  • Minimizing redirects

This article from Search Engine Land offers more helpful tips.

Go warp speed

Having a website that’s just fast isn’t fast enough anymore.

It needs to be warp speed, lightning quick—you get the idea.

While it was definitely important to have a fast site in 2016, I can’t stress enough how important it will be in 2017.

Research suggests that “40 % of online shoppers will abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load.”

image05

This is especially true with the emergence of mobile where users expect a fast and fluid experience.

If your site is behind the curb, it’s going to hurt your number of visitors, leads, and inevitably conversions.

Google even launched the Accelerated Mobile Pages or (AMP) project, which “is a stripped-down version of the mobile web which runs on a reinvented version of the language used to create web pages: HTML.”

Long story short, this is a tool that helps websites speed up their load time dramatically.

I recommend checking out the AMP project and learning more about it.

You can also get my take on it from this post I wrote.

I also suggest going over a previous post on Quick Sprout that discusses how to make your site insanely fast.

Address voice search

If you’ve ever seen the movie Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix, where his character falls in love with his AI virtual assistant Samantha, you’ll know just how big voice search has become.

In fact, “Google says that 20% of mobile queries are voice searches.”

Just look at how the popularity of voice commands has grown over the last year:

image04

And this is a growing trend that’s only going to continue to grow. I know that I find myself using voice search more and more these days.

It’s just more practical and efficient than typed-in search. And if you’re driving, it’s simply a matter of safety.

That’s why I think voice search is most definitely something you’ll want to work into your SEO plan for 2017.

But how do you go about it?

Well, for one thing, you may need to rethink the way you approach keywords.

Here’s what I mean:

If someone was searching for a pet store in Albuquerque on their desktop, they might type in “pet store albuquerque.”

But if they were doing it through mobile voice search, they would probably say something like “Where is a pet store in Albuquerque?”

The point here is that focusing on longtail phrases involving questions is a logical strategy.

This graph provides a breakdown of the growth in question phrases year over year:

image03

“Who,” “when,” “where,” and “how” are ideal question words to begin with.

I also suggest writing content using a conversational tone. It should flow naturally almost like you’re having a dialogue with your audience.

A plus is that this approach should help you come across as being more personable and will bring a sense of warmth to your content.

This is important for making those all-important connections and building equity for your brand.

Think scannable content

Scannable or “snackable” content kills two birds with one stone.

First, it improves the user experience because readers can quickly move through a large volume of content and find the little nuggets of information they’re looking for.

In turn, you can improve engagement levels, increase shares, maximize your CTR, and so on.

Not to mention it’s easy on the eyes with plenty of white space breaking up a wall of text.

Second, it’s very helpful from an SEO standpoint.

By including plenty of sub-headers, bullet points, bold text, etc., you help search engine bots decipher your content and figure out what it’s all about.

This should ultimately have a positive impact on where your content ranks in SERPs.

I have written about the topic of scannable content in a few different places, but I really recommend checking out this post on Quick Sprout.

It will fill you in on the details.

Conclusion

I get the feeling 2017 is going to be an interesting year for SEO. I feel like the whole landscape is going to be shaken up like never before.

I also think that many of the formulas marketers have been following for years will be turned upside down and new approaches will be necessary for keeping up.

If you’re a mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar type of business, I especially recommend revamping your local SEO strategy to account for the Possum update from earlier this year.

The good news is that if you’re located outside of your city’s physical limits (e.g., Hialeah rather than Miami, FL), you have a better chance of appearing in searches including the actual city.

I also suggest being a little obsessive about your site speed. Increasing the speed even by a second can yield big rewards.

You can use the Pingdom Website Speed Test for free to see what shape your site is in from a speed standpoint.

And as always, a successful SEO campaign requires perpetual maintenance, so be sure to keep up with trends as they unfold.

What do you think the most important elements of SEO will be in 2017?

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Comments

  1. Jerome Perrin :

    Hey Neil,

    By reading your article, I was asking myself following:

    but where is Albuquerque???

    🙂

    Cheers

    Jerome

  2. Wow, what an in-depth post.

    I would like to ask a question, are backlinks still relevant?

    http://trygamers.com/category/video-game-news/

  3. Neil Patel is inspiring many bloggers, sharing his marketing tactics, helping many companies grow sales target…It’s amazing….So I thought I should cover his fabulous life history.
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  4. Neil,

    I believe voice search will only add more volume to searches and will not kill traditional typed searches.

    I mean I have used it and some stuff just doesn’t make sense. I might start with a voice search and then extend my query on desktop.

    Another question is how will Google run their multi-billion dollar business on this platform, if the ads are gone, publishers are not making money and pretty much a loss for everyone.

    So while voice search is great and will help a lot of people (while driving or if you are blind). I don’t think it will get rid of typed searches.

  5. Awesome detailed Article Loved it

  6. Mohammed Anzil :

    Hey Neil,

    Great article again. Thanks for sharing :).

  7. Thanks for the information, I would like to hear more around the voice search in detail. I’m struggling to come to grips on how to write content for it, as in how does one structure it? With an answer to the question, or by repeating the question and then followed by the answer? E.g user search – where is pet store in Albuquerque ?

    Would you be answering, we are a pet store in Albuquerque , assuming the words “pet store in Albuquerque ” or is there more to look into and should one be creating content or blogs asking more of the question and providing answers to be picked up as snippets.like reviews.

    So article “where is” the best “pet store in Albuquerque” then answering, with a billeted format on why woofles store is considered the best in our opinion.?

    Ps let’s hope by the end of this that your article does not become the best pet store in Albuquerque:)
    Pps.. your email field in your comments doesn’t except new tld’s example .institute etc ” worth looking into”

  8. Its really amazing blog with very much helpful information, thank you so much for writing this blog here for us.

  9. Rakesh Satapathy :

    Superb Article. 😀
    M Gonna Follow This. 🙂

    https://www.rakeshsatapathy.com

  10. thanx for share your article

    https://gyanbook.in

  11. Thank you for this post. I have gathered action points to work on

  12. Thanks for this useful information; this will help me a lot. And inspire to create something new.

  13. Wow Neil, After reading this article I found that I have done nothing for my website http://www.froggyleap.com regarding Voice Search and seriously how important it is … You have shown me a ray of light that how can I optimize my website for voice search in 2017. Great, I will start it from today .. rather from NOW.. Thank You so much …

  14. Neil,
    I have used amp for my blog and it dramatically crashed my CPC revenus. AMP pages are loading very fast comparing to ad blocks which are not seen by users who already scrolled vertically to read content …
    As is it my only source of revenur in my blog, and there are no known solution for the problem, I shot down Amp pages and made a redirect to normal pages … google deindexed Amp pages and my revenues where restablished at normal level.
    Do you think that i did well ? Amp shutdown, redirects …

    By the way, Thanks for your awesome voice search tip.

  15. Thanks.. That’s a amazing article. I think I am too late to haven’t a look on this..

  16. Superb Article. I will Follow This.

    Also follow for various course

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  17. Amanpreet Singh :

    Your post is so clean and neat to underatand each step of seo. Thankyou very much for wonderful info about seo. I am gonna use it my blog
    http://www.jobsgovind.blogspot.in

  18. Hey Neil
    That was a good read. The voice search can change the face of SEO. The new devices/Gadgets like Google Home, Amazon Echo etc. are launching every month with better AI and Voice Recognition.
    But, Google always give more preference to famous websites which are very Big Networks
    I hope Google Webmasters someday in 2017 said “Let’s give a chance to prove new blogs” 😉 which I know it would never happen.
    Anyways, thank you for giving new ideas

  19. Tunde Sanusi (Tuham) :

    I think the this year most important element of SEO would be a website’s speed. It hurts me to see a site i’d like to read contents from, only to find out that the pages are too heavy and takes forever to load.
    http://www.netsocialblog.com

  20. mu above explanations are clear, but may I ask you neil, how do you think neighbor content optimization, seo backlinks for 2017 if this is not a big impact

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  21. I started a Indian Blog at http://www.promocodeadda.com . This Article surely help me to make a good SEO plan . Thanks Neil.

  22. Really nice article.

  23. Website Designing Company in India :

    Nice post!
    Helped me to plan my seo strategy for the year.
    https://www.mplussoft.com/digital-marketing

  24. Excellent guide Neil Patel, Thanks For Sharing This Guide!
    I have a good news, I have a gaming website, where I post PC games download file links, Road To Gaming this is the URL of my gaming website, I am running it as you have explained in this article, I am getting awesome results, Thanks for sharing this guide, will share the case study of it, when I will get good traffic on this PC games website.

  25. Kamaraj Mathiarasan :

    You are inspiration to many SEO’s like me. Keep rocking bro. ?

    I am promoting a Loan provider in Alabama location and now working for Title Loans in Alabama keyword, this post will help me prepare the plan for promotion. Thank Neil.

  26. Great blog,I have gained a nice plan to builds a website traffic easily which provides new seo skills to improve the business quickly.

    Best Dental Clinic in OMR

  27. Great blog,

    I will start plan for my business also.

    Thanks for sharing

  28. Hi Neil,

    It also gives me motivation to make any adjustments I need to be a better marketer.

    you have written above line about motivation but can you explain who’s motivation better for marketer?

  29. Awesome article neil,
    Your articles always helps to me move forward in blogging

    http://itechrock.com

  30. Firstly I’d like to tell you honestly that I’m new to the blogging community, and like everyone we all do our researches online. So I looked up the top bloggers in India and randomly clicked on someone.. And believe it or not, it happened to be you. This was about a week back. And now, I’m back here, reading your article! I think I’ve learnt a lot in the past week and would like to thank you for indirectly being a mentor. And now, I make sure to read the blog in full and understand the blogger’s view and message before I comment. Thank you, really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

  31. Hi Neil again,

    It also gives me motivation to make any adjustments I need to be a better marketer.

    you have written above line about motivation but can you explain who’s motivation better for marketer?

    There are two primary types of motivation

    Ist: Rational Motive 2nd: Emotional Motive

  32. Hi Neil,

    if you wanna make a killer “SEO PLAN” you need to be a focus “Emotional Motive” which is better for every marketer.

  33. Top Management Consulting Firm :

    Really great post. Now i learn new things in the social media opportunity to growing business. Thanks for this article.

  34. Amanda debbarma :

    Hi Neil
    Great Post, through your post I’m learning new things that can give some boost in growing my business through social media. Thank you once again fro sharing such great article. Cheers!!

  35. Hi Neil,

    Really great post. I have just started a new blog and this is extremely useful. Thanks very much. Hoping to implement this on http://TheNakedInternetMarketer.com and will mention and link your site as the information source.

  36. Hey Neil,
    Great write up. Do you recommend Amp for marketing agency site? Or just big piblishers?
    Thanks!

  37. Mojster Profesionalec :

    Hi!

    I don’t agree with this local search result that google is trying to force us.
    Don’t get me wrong, i mostly agree with your post, but still, if someone is used of buying online and is search for an example new fridge and he is looking for best price, he doesn’t really care if the seller is coming from the neighborhood… He could buy the fridge from a guy from a different county or also country :))
    I know, because i do a lot of shopping online, also i run a webshop – https://www.misaron.si/
    One day google will understand this, i hope so :))

  38. samsung support :

    Hi, Thanks for the sharing nice posting with us. i’m really impressed.
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  39. Thank your for this! I’m doing well on getting traffic from social media but I’m struggling with SEO. The most visitors I get on my website http://AdventureAddict.us from google is 4 per day.

  40. Hi Neil
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  41. Thanks Neil for sharing killer SEO plan! Keep it up, looking forward for your future blogs! https://www.webpixeltechnologies.com/seo-packages/

  42. Web Rifer Technologies :

    Thanks for sharing this post. I will make a note.
    http://www.webrifer.com/

  43. Hi Neil
    Thank You for sharing this awesome article. I will follow this in future.
    https://www.easytechtrick.com/

  44. Management Consulting Company :

    Wonderful articles in this post it’s very beneficial for me. Thanks to share this post.

  45. Cavalier English :

    Hey Neil,
    Thanks for sharing a Good post.

  46. Hi Niel! Please I need your help. I just made this games blog after reading many things about SEO and backlinks. But I don’t seem to get it. I am quite Stressed. If you can help me by giving just one min look to it? I’ll be very thankful to you.
    https://games12.net/

  47. Great post Neil! But would you agree that SEO is slowly dying? Search engines are so smart now and great content always wins.

    SmartBlogIncome.com

  48. Thanks Neil Brother

    Awesome Article & Too Helpful .Now i can improve my Website Ranking

    http://www.tattoosbasket.com/category/tattoo-designs/

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