SEO, as an industry that is predicated on technology, is constantly changing. Most of the best practices from a couple of years ago would kill your marketing strategies today. Within the past decade, a number of SEO tools have come and go. However, the resilience in the market has enabled the shrewd to survive the countless algorithm updates.
2015, in particular, was exciting. The Mobilegeddon updated penalised websites lagging behind in mobile compliance. Additionally, there was an overhaul to local rankings due to the local three – pack, and new quality algorithms were developed for content.
The focus is now on 2016. How will you, as a business owner or digital marketing expert, deal with the SEO trends and changes in the New Year? Read on to learn more:
If you have been paying close attention to the 2015’s SEO trends, you might have noticed that SEO and its description have changed. Often described as content marketing’ SEO will change drastically in 2016. This is mostly due to the emphasis Google has been placing on high quality content.
Effective SEO campaigns will need to incorporate other forms of digital marketing to work. This means that you will have to pay attention to your social media elements, to the successful building of organic links and to gain from your Google+ likes.
Remember, SEO no longer stands on its own. What is more likely is that more companies will start offering digital marketing services encompassing each of the above elements. Similarly, delineation will become less of a factor in 2016.
Bing has been posing major threats to Google for a couple of months now. This competition is likely to carry into the New Year, especially considering that Microsoft (which owns Bing) has been making a number of calculated moves in the recent past.
For one, Bing is already integrated with Cortana (which has, in its turn, been packaged with Windows on mobile and PC). Xbox will also benefit from the Bing’s and Cortana’s voice search capabilities.
Recent successes in Bing’s and Microsoft’s hardware development have also given the later a stronger foothold. This has all been happening at a time when Google has been making a couple of unpopular moves. Therefore, it is likely that Bing will become a more viable alternative for the most discerning online users.
Voice search is increasing in popularity. People are now using voice search more, especially when they are on the move. Instead of typing, you can simply ask Cortana, Google Now or Siri to find what you are looking for.
This has brought about a number of profound changes in how people search online. Rich snippets and structured data are also becoming more important as search engines try to answer questions directly by understanding the context in which they are asked. Presently, approximately 19 percent of queries provide rich snippets or direct answers.
Voice search and structured data both have serious implications for the SEO industry. Therefore, you need to start including such structured data into your website. Although you might not like it when search engines use your information without actively referring visitors to your website, it is better than being thrown off the “rankings train” entirely.
Of course, local SEO has always held a primary place in rankings. However, it will become even more important in 2016. With the increase in online competition, going local will enable you find your target audience faster and easier in the sea of results.
Local search provides clear synergy with voice search and mobile search. The recent Pigeon update from Google also demonstrated the commitment to this aspect. Consequently, you should prepare yourself by striving to be on top of all your local SEO efforts.
To do this, use smart keywords, app integration and Google Maps information. Keep in mind, also, that Google is now using data from mobile apps and showing it on search results.
Since the unveiling of the iPhone, mobile has been gaining dominance in the SEO market. However, it was only recently that mobile devices officially overtook PCs as the most popular way to access the internet.
Speculators posit that this trend will continue, which is why you need to ensure that your blog and / or website are perfectly optimised for mobile devices. Responsiveness is the way to go in 2016.
Google has even gone overboard by developing a mobile friendly test that you can use to check whether your website meets this criterion. Use this test as soon as possible and make the changes, if any are required.
In conclusion, the above SEO trends will come into play when the clock chimes and 2016 arrives. How prepared are you?
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