SEO has proven to be a very effective tool for any Internet marketing campaign. In 2015, there were several changes in how a business should effectively market its online presence, and in 2016, you can expect even more.
Google made significant changes in 2015 with Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates. Penguin ensures no poor quality links are rewarded, while Panda ensures great content is rewarded, and Hummingbird now has a better understanding of the words on each site and strives to deliver more accurate results in the searches.
SEO is constantly evolving and new techniques are created each year. While there is no way to predict the changes that will occur, a good business will follow the trends and keep up with the changes as they do occur. The updates in 2015 were aimed towards removing the ability to cheat your way to the top, so 2016 SEO trends are predicted to work in that same direction.
Here are just a few of the trends you can expect to see in 2016:
1. Social Media and SEO
Google has practically ditched Google+, so other social media platforms are now being enhanced for the searches.
Social media has been an important part of Internet marketing for several years, but now it has an even larger impact on SEO. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are playing an important role in SEO, is your site ready for the changes?
Google has worked out deals with the social giants to incorporate their content into their searches. So, the next time you send out something on Twitter with a hashtag, expect it to show up in the Google SERPs, if it’s worthy of course!
In the past, inbound links to your site were one of the most significant SEO strategies for creating higher page rankings. Today, the algorithms in the search engines are geared more towards understanding and appreciating the importance of social signals.
Having shares, likes, posts, comments, and followers will expand your business not only in the branding aspect of your business but the search engines as well. Actual interaction between your business and your targeted audience provides an extremely effective and beneficial organic SEO campaign strategy.
2. Multi-Screen Marketing
A 2013 survey revealed that 17.5% of all web traffic comes from a mobile device. The previous year's study showed only an 11.1% mobile-generated web traffic result. This trend proves that more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the web. This creates a huge demand for mobile-optimized content.
In order to compete in 2016, businesses need to look at mobile optimization as a necessity. With so many Smartphone and tablet users, you have to think about what that means to your email marketing campaign. If your website is not optimized for mobile viewers, anyone clicking your link from a mobile device will be greeted with an unorganized site that is impossible to navigate.
Create a responsive website design, so that visitors get the best possible experience no matter what device they use to get there. If a business does not create a responsive website design, bounce rates can become bloated and harm conversions.
The tools offered to mobile users are expanding with extreme popularity. When creating your mobile campaign, consider these options:
- Mobile Voice Search
- Local Search
- Google Maps
- QR Codes
- Social Network Integration
If mobile optimization and marketing are not part of your online presence, make it happen now! With more and more people turning to their mobile devices for Internet users every day, your business cannot afford to miss this strategy.
2016 is scheduled to be the year where mobile searches surpass desktop searches.
3. Content Creation
In the past content creation was designed to place keywords on a website. The type of content that was created was not as relevant as the keyword that was used. Today, that has all changed. As the algorithms became more intelligent, the need for quality content that offers value to the reader increased.
So, what type of content should be posted on your site in 2016?
Quality over quantity for 2016. High-quality content is outweighing large amounts of keyword-stuffed, low-quality content these days, and the future content remains on that path. Keywords are becoming less relevant as the algorithms are designed to read the content just as a viewer on your site would do.
Semantic search and knowledge graphs are squeezing out the relevance of long-tailed keywords. Hummingbird updates are in place to offer Google searchers the most relevant information, meaning the long-tailed keywords might not outweigh the quality content on other sites.
The length of the content has started to shift dramatically for 2016. Where an average of 550 words was standard for SEO purposes in 2014, 1000 for 2015, the average for 2016 is around 1,400+ words. There is a huge debate over the length of words that are needed for higher search rankings, but everyone agrees that the content should be high-quality and valuable to the reader.
Google is also offering more rewards to websites that offer content variety. Graphics, high-quality videos, white papers, and longer articles are recommended for a well-balanced site optimized for search.
Content that is used on social media networks is also proving the need to be unique, high-quality, and human-generated. As more and more updates are created throughout the year, expect Google to be watching…and reading everything you do.
4. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is considered to be one of the most effective SEO trends of 2016. It is a great way to build quality inbound links, build your brand and gain relevant traffic to your site. Be careful when using great blogging as part of your SEO campaign, what you say and where you say it has a large impact on your rankings.
- Use stringent criteria when selecting your targeted sites
- Leave high-quality content
Use the same high standards for content creation on a guest blog site as you would on your own site. Choose only sites that are relevant to your own for the most effective inbound links, as well as for the most relevant traffic.
The goal is to build yourself as an authority on the topic at hand, so tie in your social networks, Google authorship, website content, and guest blogging for one large amazing SEO campaign tactic.
5. Voice Search
Voice search is on the rise, especially with so many mobile users on the Internet, and Google is planning ahead, are you? Think about how you search for something when using voice search, do you use keywords, or do you ask a question? The reality is, most people talk to their phones as if they were friends, asking a question in short detail for the information they need.
Improve your local SEO efforts with a more conversational tone to your content, and you will more likely show up in these crucial voice searches performed on mobile devices.
Keep in mind that most people use short phrases when searching via voice, so optimize your keywords accordingly, adding more long-tail keywords for your mobile-designed sites.
6. Knowledge Graph
The knowledge graph pulls information from a variety of sources and displays it in Google’s SERPs. This information is included in a neatly bundled section to the right of the searches to give users a quick overview of a person, business, or brand. Over the next couple of years, this is expected to grow into something widely used by businesses and individuals who have created authority over the Internet on a particular topic. It will likely take over top queries, so make sure you are ready.
The SEO industry has seen major changes in the past years, and 2016 is predicted to offer some of the most significant changes yet. The trends have been on the same path for several years now, so predicting your direction is simple. Stick with solid white hat SEO tactics and pay attention to areas that offer the most change, such as mobile and social platforms. If you stay on course, you should have no problems generating visibility for your business in 2016.
Always look towards the technology that is changing in the world around you, this is always a good indicator of what will change on the Internet.