Content & SEO Predictions for 2017

By Gregory Bortkiewicz, Account Executive
Last week I attended a webinar hosted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), where the three hosts discussed their content and SEO predictions for 2017. CMI’s founder Joe Pulizzi and Chief Strategy Adviser Robert Rose were joined by Conductor CEO Seth Besmertnik for an hour-long discussion which included audience input. Here are three predictions that stood out for me:
1. Your customer is your algorithm
In a nutshell, this prediction suggested that brands need to refocus on who their customers are and what they want, as opposed to over-reliance on keywords. Identifying and defining your customers will enable you to give them value, and ultimately this is the best way to succeed in search engine algorithms.
Creating personas and audience types is the first step; even if you have done this before, it’s worth revisiting on an annual basis as your personas will likely change and evolve just as your business does. Another great tip is to write your content for humans! This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to get carried away with cramming in keywords and jargon. Remember, your content will be consumed by real people, so it’s most important that you write it that way. You can optimize the content for SEO once it’s been written.
A great example of this is AAA, who made the simple modification in their online content of changing the word ‘savings’ to ‘discounts’. This was done after research showed that discounts was the word people were searching for in Google, and lo and behold, their traffic increased by 30% following the change.
2. Less content, less social
No marketer wants to create endless amounts of content, and there is good reason not to. There should be a focus on quality over quantity, or put another way, creating the minimum amount of content for the maximum amount of results. How can this be achieved? Concentrate on creating content geared towards specific audiences, and pick relevant channels to tell that story. Instead of using one blog channel for every blog piece, create separate blogs for different audiences and publish quality blogs every week, instead of average blogs every day.
The same goes for social media. You don’t need to be on every network, especially if you don’t have the resources to manage it. Do your research about where your audiences are, choose the right channels and make quality content aimed at those personas.
3. Integrated teams

Content creators, marketers and SEO teams should integrate so that they are aligned on common goals from the outset of a campaign. This will help cut down on processes – SEO teams will be able to advise on content as it’s being written, instead of having to rework a finished piece – and will ultimately help great content with visibility. In bigger companies, other teams may be a part of this integration, such as PR and paid advertising.
What are your content and SEO predictions for the year ahead? Leave a comment below or tweet me @greg_borko.

6 thoughts on “Content & SEO Predictions for 2017

  1. Greg, great thoughts here. I do agree that sometimes people forget and concentrate on the tactical rather than the strategic; as well as emphasizing quantity over quality (when it comes to content creation). The best advice is always to consider “how can I add value?” either for clients, customers or the general public. Cheers, David

  2. Greg,
    Thanks for the summary. There is so much content out there now and people can be overwhelmed by sorting through it. One technique I use now is not just think of keywords, but think of the questions that people want answered, how they would search for information in the form of a question.

  3. Greg – thanks for attending this webinar. Lots of useful takeaways above. The integration piece seems so obvious, but I’m not sure teams are really taking this action to drive better results.

  4. Greg, thanks for attending the webinar and sharing all the valuable insight. I completely agree that less content works best — quality over quantity always wins.

  5. Love the case study from AAA — funny how simple the change is, but how significant of an impact it had…

  6. Hi Greg,
    I always have been — and always will be — a fan of quality over quantity. Nine times out of 10, it’s less about how much there is and more about how good it is.
    Thanks for this post. David C.

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