2016 will harbor a new year of changes to Google's search algorithms, as well as your SEO strategy. 2015 was stuffed to the brim with Google's Mobilegeddon, a Panda update, and plenty of content debate. However, if you're looking to rise to the top of Google or simply maintain your positioning, take note of the following trends you can expect to see in the SEO industry for 2016.
Mobile Search Will Continue To Gain Traction
Webmasters have historically focused on developing content to attract desktop users; however, this trend has shifted dramatically in the past 15 months. In early 2015 mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time. Google has suggested that desktop searches will fade into obscurity over the next several years, so it’s essential now more than ever before, that you address the need to have a responsive website for mobile devices.
You may wonder how to tell if your website is mobile friendly. So far, Google is offering two tools which allow you or your employees to test your website to get an idea of how well it performs on mobile devices. You can find the first tool, a Mobile Usability Report, in your Google Webmaster Tools. The second tool is a Mobile Friendly Test that you can use to see if a specific page URL is mobile optimized. To gain a more in depth understanding of how mobile-friendly your site is, use these tools to assess where your challenges are.
Video Is Heir To The Content Throne
Written content has remained the industry standard for many companies; however, there has been an increase in video content traffic over the past two years, and now there are numerous services that offer video hosting services. In addition, the use of video content in blogs and social media posts have increased dramatically.
This transition makes sense too, especially considering the transition to mobile searching: video content boasts advantages against written content in that it engages audiences on a deeper level by engaging their sense of sight (a sense that the written word is not adept at provoking). So, in 2016, it is important to use video content not only to augment the overall look and feel of your website, but to bolster your content strategy, which makes your content more valuable both to readers and Google.
If you realize that video is an important aspect for your 2016 SEO strategy, but you're unsure of how to start, check out our "Tips For Developing Your Websites' Video Content Strategy."
More Focus On Local Search
Optimization for local searches was a major trend in 2015 and will remain a trend for 2016 SEO as well. According To Google, “72% of consumers who searched for local information on a mobile device visited a store within 5 miles” (Source).
If you haven’t already, it’s important to claim your business on Google Local. It is also important to make sure that your businesses’ name, address, and phone number are included in relevant website content. If you have completed all of these tasks, then you should look to add schema tagging to ensure increased visibility in 2016.
Accommodating For Voice Search (Siri, Cortana)
Search terms have become increasingly conversational as people are using digital assistance like Siri and Cortana to search Google—this change is adding a new layer of nuance to SEO. Queries from spoken language tend to be much different than manually typed searches, which present many new opportunities for long-tail keyword queries. Therefore, as a result, you should begin to focus on new long-tail keyword queries, especially those that parrot spoken dialogue. This trend may reward pages that include colloquial content. Quite naturally, 2016 will also see businesses working on their social SEO techniques to get rank higher and increase their visibility in the voice search engine result pages.
ImageWorks, LLC | Search Engine Optimization in CT
Never depend on search engine optimization alone for the growth of your business. Often the businesses that fail are the ones that depend on SEO alone for the entire growth of their business. The companies that survive and thrive are the ones that have a solid approach and market in a variety of ways both online and offline. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.
By integrating all of today's Web tools including SEO, social media, pay per click, and premium blogging content, ImageWorks can provide a level of permission based marketing that will turn your site into a lead generation tool. With continued nurturing programs, you become a trusted source, and convert prospects to customers.