It’s 2016 and we are definite to see new SEO practices being adopted by the industry. If you are an online marketer and wondering what practices will dominate this year, then read on.
Revamped keyword research
SEO begins with keywords. Optimizing a page means optimizing it in respect to one or more keywords. In 2016 marketers will be coerced into applying new methods of keyword research because following the outdated strategies might invite penalty from Google. New ways of keyword research involve the use of long-tail keywords and additional key-phrases that are conceptually similar to the main keywords.
Let’s say you are an automobile brand and one of your campaign keywords is “auto parts manufacturer.” Use additional keywords like “auto-parts makers in price-fixing deal.” The latter is a long-tail keyword as well. Google Keyword Planner is a free, yet useful tool for keyword research.
Guess what! For the whole of 2014, mobile user-base breathed down on desktop user-base’s neck. In 2015, outrun desktop user-base. This year, the former is far greater than the latter. Millions of people now access the internet only from handheld devices.
Mobile SEO is no longer an optional consideration, but a must. If your site is not optimized for mobile devices, then the odds of getting visitors is overwhelmingly low. The mobile SEO checklist includes responsive web design in tandem with adaptive web design. It also includes optimal page-load time and smooth navigation.
An infographic on Kissmetrics suggests the optimal page-load time for mobile devices is 5 seconds and for desktop devices, it’s even less, only 3 seconds. Browser caching and image resizing in regard to the device being used are essential to reducing loading time.
The term was unheard of even a few years back. But in 2016, social SEO is so impactful that it can make a difference. Social SEO blends social media and SEO. Unlike conventional SEO, which prioritizes a top rank on search engine, social SEO prioritizes getting visitors and sales conversion.
For brands, the benefit of social SEO is it kills two birds with one stone for them. They don’t have to chalk out two separate plans, one for social media marketing and another for SEO. Social sharing is an important parameter. A report from BuzzSumo indicates 50% articles on the web get eight shares or less. Google considers these insights as quality indicators.
Social SEO allows marketers to measure their performance. A lead generation drive, caused by social media, a post or a video going viral and the ensuing surge in engagement are all signals that indicate the campaign is doing great.
Do I even have to mention that content marketing is the backbone of SEO? Perhaps not. It’d be a mere reiteration in 2016. SEO’s dependence on content marketing has become so high that quality content is now a rule of thumb for all online marketers.
Content no longer means text content. Images, videos and podcasts also qualify as content, perhaps more impactful than conventional content because such content formats are user-friendly and create engagement. On the technical front, quality content lets users find value in it and assures search engines that corresponding SEO efforts stand on strong pillars.
Google’s featured snippet is a leverage for SEOs. They can harness this feature only through content marketing. An analyst called Ben Goodsell explained how getting a featured snippet increased his client’s site’s organic performance by 516%. To get featured snippet, content of a page must be framed like the answer to an anticipated question. SEOs need to staff additional information to increase its visibility.
Last year, Google announced the doorway page update. According to Google’s announcement, some doorways have high chances to be considered as spam. In 2016, a marketer should make it his priority to dodge the doorway page update.
The workarounds for him include getting rid of pages that are thin in content, pages that serve no real purpose other than driving users to the lead capturing page and they should be very careful when executing the sales funnel strategy because Google’s blog on the update reads, “Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s).”
The target pages for sales funnel should have a clean and uncluttered look. Along with that, those pages should have a requisite volume of content. Interlinking is good but as long as it sends users to pages where they can get relevant information.
The visual culture is taking over the web. Websites that don’t have enough visuals are less likely to appeal to visitors. This is a content marketing must-do as well because adding images to a content can increase its effectiveness.
Audio-visual content or videos will rock the web all through 2016. We have discussed how explainer videos can aid in marketing as they offer information as well as entertainment.
As a marketer, if you are not using stock and original images, and videos for product promotion, then you are putting yourself back in the race. Start using visual and audio visual content from today to hurl forward.
We are in the first quarter of 2016 and it’s too early to predict anything. That being said, the practices discussed above has gained importance in 2015 and will make it even bigger this year. Don’t forget to follow these practices to get better SEO results.