This is the time of year when a plethora of blog posts predict the latest trends in digital marketing for the year ahead. 2017 is no exception with 2017 predictionsmany experts explaining how things may change this year.

I’ve chosen a few posts, mostly for their not too techie explanation discussing search engine optimisation (SEO) techniques, and a post discussing social media trends.

There’s a common thread between many of the articles, notably that mobile search will continue to be favoured by Google over desktop search results. This has been a recent development in search, due to increasing numbers of people searching from a mobile device, so it comes as no surprise that Google is favouring mobile results. Desktop and mobile search results differ as Google’s mobile algorithm isn’t the same as it’s desktop algorithm. As a business or website owner, you need to be aware of these changes and ensure your website is mobile friendly and fast loading. Voice search also continues to grow as more people are searching from their mobile phone saving them typing in a search query. This could become a challenge for online marketers as keyword research and traditional on page SEO methods are likely to evolve.

Content is still one of the most important aspects of digital marketing. This includes not only the written word, but images & video. Since Google has been clamping down on content spam and poor content experience for users (and will continue to do so), writing and creating quality content for your audience is more important than ever. Planning your content with a strong marketing plan around it will ensure your message continues to reach the right audience and positions you in your sector.  Beyond that, Google’s universal search can ensure your content is found across the board (e.g image searches, video, shopping, etc). Schema markup can also help your products or services to stand out in the search results for reviews and ratings.

Finally, security (HTTPS) is becoming an increasingly important factor in operating a website and in search. It’s widely known that Google looks at site security as part of its algorithm (such as https rather than plain http). However, many businesses still haven’t secured their website, using the https protocol, including myself for one! I haven’t seen this as important as none of the content on this website needs to be secure, such as checkout pages or information forms. However, more and more businesses are likely to secure their entire website over the coming year and beyond, and a very recent important announcement from Google is that non https sites will be labelled non-secure in Google Chrome if they take credit cards or have a login area. This is from the next release of Chrome due 31/1/17. You can find out more about this here: https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2017/01/chrome-56-ssl-https-wordpress/

Preparing for SEO in 2017: yes it’s that time already – via SearchEngineWatch.com

SEO trends to prepare for in 2017 – via SearchEngineLand.com

5 SEO Predictions to Improve Your Results in the New Year – via SEMRush.com

Predictions 2017: SEO – via Tamar.com

5 Predictions For Social Media Marketing In 2017 – via SocialMediaToday.com