The New Trends in SEO That Will Matter Most This Year
What will search marketers need to focus on in the coming year to stay ahead of the curve What are the most important new trends in SEO that will impact your business revenue this year?
Does your content marketing and social media advertising strategy support your search engine marketing (SEM) tactics? If you’re looking to increase your targeted audience reach and amplify brand engagement, you’re in the right place.
Digital marketing is an extremely powerful part of your business marketing mix today. Inbound content marketing is a major tactic in which SEO and social media are tightly intertwined. Content creation today is trending towards being based on social and search marketing metrics.
Many local businesses and larger national companies are not paying enough attention to data – to the their search and social media marketing metrics in particular. From what I’ve seen over the years, many companies are also missing out on proper technical SEO optimization of their business website.
5 New Trends in SEO You Should Use in 2016
With the recent major changes with Google and them moving the Panda algorithm directly into the core algorithm, SEO and overall website optimization needs be a priority for any business website in 2016 and beyond.
With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of 5 new trends in SEO in 2016 that will prove to be useful and lucrative, if implemented strategically on your website and in your overall SEO strategy.
1. User Experience Becomes Even More Significant
For the last few years we’ve heard content is king and that is still certainly true today. In fact, these days and moving deeper into 2016, Google is essentially telling us that high quality, long-form content (2000+ words) is what will give your content the opportunity to outrank your competitors content.
Your goal with high quality content is to drive relevant and qualified users to your website and to convert them into leads, opportunities, or regular returning customers. This is why user experience (UX) becomes significant in 2016.
When users land on your website or promotional landing page, engagement should be your main concern. You need to make sure your page gives the user exactly what they came for, for what they clicked for, exactly.
Page layout, navigation, and prominent calls to action should all become an important part of your web developer’s strategy in creating good marketing around a good UX. Search optimization is one thing, but optimizing websites for the user is the key in 2016.
Data shows that customers who have trouble locating the information they came to a site looking for will likely click back to search results and choose the next best option. BrightEdge.com estimates that 50% of potential sales are lost because customers cannot find what they want on your website.
2. Get Hip to the New On-Page SEO
There’s nothing new about on page SEO strategy but there are certainly new on-page SEO metrics that many keen SEO agencies are using to outrank and out strategize their client’s competitors.
What’s the first go-to for most traditional SEO consultants when it comes to on-page SEO? It should be obvious tactics like content optimization, focused keyword strategy, improved site performance/structure, and a logical, useful internal linking strategy.
Of course you can’t ignore those basics, but in 2016 your business must utilize experienced and professional SEO services to look deeper into what users are doing while they are on your website.
User oriented SEO metrics like click through rates (CTRs), page engagement, time spent on each page, and the all important social signals (LINk) are all extremely relevant metrics for you to pay close attention to in your SEO reports.
If you track and measure these on-page SEO metrics you’re digital team will be able to see what areas of your website need to be improved. If Google and other search engines use these on page metrics when considering ranking web pages, shouldn’t you pay close attention to them as well?
3. Google Analytics is an Excellent Tool to Craft Your UX Strategy
There are so many things I love about Google Analytics (GA) but the biggest thing I love is that it’s free! You, or your SEO company, should be analyzing your website analytics with GA as well as Search Console (formerly webmaster tools).
Here are some questions you’ll be able to answer after a bit of time in GA. The answers should help you improve your website’s UX. If this blows your mind and you have no idea how to find this info, let alone make sense of the data, get your professional SEO company or consultant do an analysis and provide a practical plan of action. It’ll be worth it.
- What are your site visitors doing when on your website?
- Are they visiting some pages more than others?
- On average, how many pages does each user view per visit?
- Do some pages have a higher bounced rate than other pages?
- How much time are the spending on your website, on average per visit.
Once you’re able to get answers to those basic metrics, you’ll be able to understand if your website is providing value to visitors (low bounce rate, multiple pages viewed/visit, increasing time spent on site, etc), or if users are landing on your site and are leaving quickly because they can’t find what they’re looking for.
Site organization may be obvious but it’s easy for a website, or even a home page, to become crowded and unorganized over time, especially without a solid website content strategy in place.
It’s important to take a look at how your site is organized, particularly in terms of site menu and navigation.
For example, if you operate an ecommerce website, having a site search or a product search field, easily accessible throughout the site, is a simple function that provides an extremely useful tool for your site visitors to find what they want to buy.
4. What About Your Mobile UX Strategy
When it comes to UX, it’s mobile first, always these days. It’s no secret the world is proliferated with internet/wifi connected personal mini-computers we call mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous and that means your UX and SEO strategy needs to follow suit or be left behind.
Marketing Land says that “understanding what customers are doing on your website can help you optimize your pages to meet their needs. You can design your mobile pages to make the common activities of mobile viewers easier to access, making it simpler for customers to move around the site and find the information they seek.”
Makes sense right? But in order to do this effectively, as mentioned in point #2 above, you need to be certain you understand what potential customers are doing on your site. For example, if a user is searching for your business on mobile, contact info, locations, and business hours are the top likely details they are looking for.
Having knowledge of this will allow your web developer or SEO company to understand this user intent and therefore they’d design the mobile website such that vital company information and calls to action are front and centre to the mobile experience.
5. Mobile Apps Need SEO Too
I may be saving the best for last. Mobile App optimization is a “thing” in the SEO world, and if it’s not an official “thing” yet, you can bet it will be very soon. We already know mobile search has officially overtook desktop search and the use of mobile apps is most certainly on the rise.
What this means is that mobile apps will continue to grow to be a significant part of a mobile user’s experience. Some would say that mobile apps are already an essential part of a smartphone/tablet user’s experience.
What does this mean for mobile app SEO? It means that SEOs will now have to effectively learn to optimize for the App Store or the Google Play Store. It also means that companies should ensure their content is optimized for mobile app search.
What is mobile app search? This is something I’ve been paying a ton of attention to lately. Mobile search is not just a Google search on your smartphone or tablet. These days users are able to search in a browser, with a native app.
Sometimes, users don’t even go to Google to make their search because the app they are using, allows them to search google, while remaining in the native app.
So this means that if content is optimized for Google search, what about in-app search? Mobile app search is heavily reliant on the app image – the thumbnail. “Remember that when people are searching for apps in the app store, they are just going to be seeing the icons with minimal information. All images used with the apps, particularly the icon, need to be visually engaging and encourage people to click to learn more.”
Mobile App optimization tactics also require monitoring comments in the app store. For example, you should keep an eye on the ratings and reviews of your app so that if customers complain about any bugs or performance issues, you’re able to publicly acknowledge the complaint, fix the issue, and let people know all is good.
As you can see, SEO trends in the coming year revolve around the user and producing high-quality relevant content, with a high-quality user experience, will get your website pages outranking your competitor’s.
If there’s one thing I’d appreciate you taking from this article, it’s that SEO and search is less about having a high website rank and instead is now much more about your website’s overall content strategy and overall optimized online presence.
Since 2009 I’ve firmly believed that a comprehensive and optimized content + search + social marketing strategy must revolve around, and be fully integrated with, a strategically optimized website.
What this means is your company’s growth and digital marketing success shouldn’t only be defined by rankings alone. Instead, the overall online presence of your brand is what matters most in the years to come.
One last piece of advice I’d like to offer is to stop thinking of website development, search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing as different departments, entities, silos, or whatever.
Instead, think about these marketing elements as the essential parts of your entire brand’s overall web presence.
Please share this article if you found it useful. Feel free to reach out if you’d like help crafting your SEO strategy.