Written by Glen Maguire [ClickThrough] – 13 April 2016 (Submitted as ZAAAX Design Guest Writer)
SEO 2016 – The first quarter of the year has already come and gone. The new tech toys have been presented at CES and Tesla has just unveiled its affordable all-electric car. But some of the biggest trends and movements are happening in a space where touch and feel hold no power. We discuss what 2016 and the near future will mean for the world of SEO.
Social content will reign supreme
If you think that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn held power in previous years be prepared for the months and years ahead. Social media has emerged to be one of the most important tools, if not the most important tools, for marketers. Over 76% of them use some form of social media to support and increase SEO rankings. In 2016, this trend will continue its ascent as marketers will use every trick in the book to boost social media posts high on the SERPs.
The lines between social and the web will be blurred as Google, Bing and Yahoo start to index social media posts. SEO strategies will be mashed together to optimize your social content across all platforms and maximize the amount of eyeballs it attracts. As a bonus, when your content is on these trusted websites, search engines deem it to be more credible and increases its SEO 2016 ranking.
Video content still gets the most eyeballs
The days of endless loops of cat videos are gone…or are they. These days the public just can’t seem to get enough of videos on the web. Over 62% of all Google searches universally are for videos. Google has hinted that it is taking into account blended results. With this in mind, it would be to your detriment to ignore including videos in your content. Click through rate is a KPI for any marketing piece. With videos audiences are 41% more likely to click through compared to static text content. The most important search engine to pickup videos is Google and naturally the best platform to show your video is YouTube. Make sure to get your content on there ASAP.
Optimize for mobile … or die
If your business’ website is not mobile friendly be prepared for disappointment. Nowadays the number of users who prefer to jump on the internet using their smartphone, tablet or mobile device are outpacing those who surf using desktops and laptops. So if you already haven’t done so, make your company’s website mobile friendly right now.
As the number of searches made on mobile devices increases to the tune of 43% year over year, search engines such as Google have included mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. Still not sold on going mobile friendly? Just remember that:
- 80% of consumers use their phones to shop online
- 70% of mobile searches have higher click-through and action in under 60 minutes
- More than 1.2 billion people access the web via their phones and this number grows by the minute
- Of all internet traffic, 15% come from mobile devices
There are literally over a billion reasons as to why mobile optimization should be included in your SEO 2016 strategy.
Voice search and recognition – a rising trend
What started as a novelty feature, voice search and command has almost become mandatory on devices due to driving and safety regulations. Driving while texting can be fatal and being able to simply speak to your device, have it search for your desired information, while keeping your hands on the wheel, is essential to avoid accidents. So how does your content fit into this Siri, Cortana and Google Now world?
Make sure that your content is searchable by these platforms would be the first step. Take note of what people voice search for and see how your content or product can fit these searches. Finding directions takes the top spot followed by searches while watching TV and being with friends. Searching while cooking also ranks high on the list followed by searching while working out. It seems our propensity to multitask knows no bounds. So why not take advantage of it and provide your audience with activity appropriate content.
One stop shop – the power of content aggregation
Data, data, data. There’s so much of it online that some of it can get lost in the mix. Enter content aggregators. Whether they be lone individuals or big companies they do the work to amass, collate, sort and present people with content from all corners of the web. The main take away is that by doing the work for others and giving them a convenient way to view the information you can get a lot of eyeballs to your site and content. If you are looking to become a content aggregator make sure that you have your target demographic locked down. Be sure to present them with the best, most up to date and relevant information from trusted sources.
There’s no stopping mobile apps
Research indicates that users spend over 89% of their time using apps while on their mobile device. The truth is that people are facing their mobile devices more than their desktops and laptops combined. Apps give users a fun and convenient way to search the web. So much so, that 85% of mobile users prefer native mobile apps to websites. Getting your name and brand attached to apps will become critical to your success. Much like mobile optimization, app optimization should be a main focus in your SEO 2016 strategy.
Prevalence of local SEO rises
Google any business these days and the odds are that along with their website, a map showing their location, address and contact details will appear in the search results. There is a huge push in the marketplace right now to focus on local. Google, after releasing its “Pigeon” update, has taken into account providing local information and map details as a key factor in ranking results. You may be asking, But, is it really that important to have a pin on Google Maps or to give people your address and location, even though you already have a huge web presence? Here’s a couple of things you should know:
- Local searches have a 50% conversion rate from search to store walk-in on the same day
- Over 60% of consumers have utilized the information that they viewed in ads
- A whopping 50% of all local searches are made with the hope of finding a local result
Going local means one thing, engagement. It allows you to engage your local community to put a physical face to your business. If you live or work in a niche market, it allows you to deliver your content with a high degree of context.