We all know that SEO rarely slows down. It’s what keeps us busy, and keeps us on our toes. Google makes roughly 500 updates to its algorithm every year. Search engines are getting smarter, more complex, and more intuitive. That means your approach to SEO has to get smarter, and more forward-thinking. As we near the end of the year, we’re beginning to think about what’s next for SEO? What will be the dominant themes of 2016, and how can you get things in place now?
With the help of some up-to-date SEO training, we have identified the key search engine themes of 2016. In the last few days before Christmas, make sure your developers are on the case!
Social media has always played a tricky role in SEO. Google have publicly acknowledged in the past that social media had no direct impact on search ranking. We all knew, however, that the spread of content via social media did boost SEO. In 2016, social media will go from being an indirect influencer to a direct influencer in SEO. Google are already experimenting with embedded tweets in their results. Expect more of this, and a closer union between SEO and social media.
Most of Google’s algorithm updates in 2015 have focused on user experience. Google are putting less emphasis on traditional indicators (keywords), and more focus on UX. And they’re getting very good at it. The search engine is now looking for return clicks, and indicators that people found what they’re looking for. Work to lower your bounce rate, improve your time-on-site, and simplify your navigation. This is Google’s priority right now, make it yours too.
On-page SEO is getting longer
We already know that Google likes to index long content. In 2014, the optimal word count per page was 900. In 2015, it moved to 1,100. We can expect a little rise again here. If you’re writing content for your website or blog, focus on depth and insight. Look for long, useful information. Remember, Google is looking to provide in-depth answers to questions.
Google knows that mobile internet access is on route to eclipse desktop and laptop access entirely. With that in mind, they’re putting all their resources into mobile SEO. Well over half of all internet access and Google searches are made on a mobile device. So, Google is focusing its algorithm on mobile-optimization. If your site isn’t yet built with iPhones and tablets in mind, it’s time to reconsider.
Local search growth
Alongside the mobile growth comes the expansion of local search. When we’re on the move (on a mobile device) we’re looking for local results. We’re looking for directions, and the closest services. The last major update (Pigeon update) shifted Google’s focus to local factors. We can expect more of the same in 2016.
SEO techniques change at a lightning rate. Make sure you’re keeping up with Google as we move into 2016. Do you have any more questions about your SEO strategy in the new year?