A year with so many changes that affected search engine behavior dramatically is about to culminate. The New Year is just a few days away. But are you ready for the changes that 2016 will bring to the fore? Be prepared as these shifts in SEO strategies are going to make waves in the world of Search engine optimization for the next 18 months or so. With an average of 12 billion web searches each month in the US alone, marketers are planning big to top the search engine rankings, according to Hubspot.com.
Who will not like to make his/her web page rank higher amidst the top 10 results for any keyword query run on Google? But for this, you need to know the up and coming SEO trends that will rule the roost in the coming months. To help you stay ahead of your competition, we’ve put together 5 most essential SEO trends that will rule the roost in 2016-17.
Have a look!
- More Social Content will be Indexed on Google – In the times to come, a post on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. will carry the same value as that of any independent page on the web. Even today, for instance, when you search for a brand or a news item, you will find social media profiles amongst the top results on Google or other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. An article in Seo-hacker.com explains that Google is moving towards a ranking algorithm that relies less on links and more on relevancy factors such as social media shares. Do you know that already 76% marketers use Social Media to support and boost their SEO endeavors? See what results we got when we searched for ‘Designhill’ on Google! We found company’s Facebook page, Twitter profile and LinkedIn page appearing as the top 4 result listing.
Moreover, a post published at Kissmetrics.com reveals that links to your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help search engine bots understand which websites are credible and which of them aren’t and basis this result the search engine ranks a website.
- Video Content Will Gain Prominence – We already know that videos are a great way of keep your audience engaged and entertained. It’s something that we have been reading about and experiencing for years. But who knew that it will overtake the power of written content in the years to come (we’re sure this wouldn’t happen before 2017). This is mainly due to the launch of new entrants in social media arena such as Periscope and Meerkat that have raised user expectations in terms of visual content.
Google is not far behind when it comes to experimenting with video ads in its search engines. According to a report by Marketing Land, videos make for 62% of all Google searches globally. Moreover, the giant search engine has started giving attention to blended results/searches. Don’t believe me? Have a look at some stats that will make you believe this fact:
- There are 3.7 Billion You Tube searches per day as of March 2010. (Source: Seo-hacker.com)
- Videos get 50 times better organic page ranks in Google as against plain, static text results (Source: Quicksprout.com)
- Video searches garner 41% higher click-through rates as compared to plain, static text content. (Source: Relesol.com)
Let’s check out the example of “777 built in 4 minutes” to understand what a blended search result looks like in the search result pages.
So, don’t keep wasting your time making your static content rank high. Upload your videos on You Tube and let the power of video SEO make Google find and index your video content easily and rank your video when specific keywords are entered as search terms.
- Mobile Optimization Will Become More Important – With more and more people surfing the Internet through mobiles these days, the era of desktop will soon go into darkness. People use all sorts of devices such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, phone watches, etc. Though many brands already went mobile-friendly in 2015, this shift from users using mobile more than desktop will continue in 2016-17. Moreover, Google’s algorithm update this year ensured that mobile-friendly websites would get a search ranking boost on mobile search. So, what are you waiting for? Plan to optimize your site to fare well for mobile searches. Let’s have a look at some stats that clearly indicate the user shift from desktop to mobile:
- The total number of searches on mobile devices has seen a 43% increase year-over-year. (Source: Neilpatel.com)
- 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. (Source: Convinceandconvert.com)
- 70% of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour. (Source: Socialmediatoday.com)
- Over 1.2 billion people access the web from their mobile devices. (Source: Mobify.com)
- Global mobile traffic now accounts for 15% of all Internet traffic. (Source: Newtarget.com)
- 95% of smartphone users have searched for local info. (Source: Adwords.blogspot.com )
But before you take a plunge and decide to make your website mobile-friendly, do well to ensure that everything on your site, from your logo design to your branding colors and from your content to the overall voice of the design, is optimized in a way that it resonates well with your target audience.
- Voice Search Function Will Become a Must – There has been a phenomenal growth in the use of voice search these days. It is because voice search is an easy and safer option when you are on the go. Typing is a pain for most people. It gained so much popularity that big companies such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple came out with their own versions of advanced voice-responsive assistants – Cortana, Google Now and Siri.
An article published at Marketingland.com states that for teens, doing a voice search while watching TV (59%) and while with friends (57%) are the highest use cases. Almost all mobile devices have voice search functions. Since people use conversational language on voice search, there are chances that site that optimize their keywords according to the way people speak or converse is rewarded with better ranking. For instance, Domino’s Pizza recently launched its ‘Voice-Ordering Option’ to make it convenient for its customers. This move from the company was met with tremendous response from pizza lovers. Here’s an image that shows how voice ordering option works for Domino’s.
- Local SEO Will Gain Solid Grounds – We sincerely hope that you have already worked on your local pages with the name of your business, address, etc. If not, create a page NOW! It is important that Google knows where you are located and what you are offering so that your chances of showing up on pages, especially in front of the relevant audience, increase.
After Google’s “Pigeon” update, local SEO has gained significant prominence forcing marketers to focus on the local tangent. With as much as 50% of all mobile searches being conducted in hopes of finding local results, it is essential to have a page about your business, according to Business2community.com. Your instant listing in the local pages will help you add batch of customers to your list and improve your rankings. For instance, check this example of three hospitals. The one that has the highest number of reviews ranks the highest.
Trends keep on changing! However, we predict that these 5 SEO trends will most likely dominate the scene in 2016-17. So brace yourself to expand your presence on social media and instill videos of your business in your content so that you get Page 1 ranking in Google. A good ranking ultimately helps you build strong impact amongst your target audience.
Nancy Kapoor works as a Blogger & Digital marketing Expert for Designhill.com, world’s fastest-growing crowdsourcing platform for custom logo design, website designs, banner, social media designs and a host of other graphic designs. With profound professional, technical and people management skills, she has spent 7.5 years of extensive experience in SEO, affiliate marketing digital marketing, blogging, and content marketing.