We’re once again witnessing great changes in the SEO landscape and in 2016 there are quite a few ranking factors that Google has decided to leave behind. According to HubSpot, SEO is going to be completely different from what it is now in the next 5 years and marketers will have no choice but to adapt. However, this time, the changes Google made to their algorithm will force marketers to come up with completely new strategies. So with that being said, let’s take a closer look at these changes and how they’re going to affect you.
Mobile Internet Browsing is King
According to ComScore, last year mobile online browsing surpassed desktop browsing by a massive sixty percent. Because of that, you need to ensure that your website is properly optimized for all screen sizes. In fact, Google even released an algorithm last spring which penalizes websites that haven’t been optimized for mobile browsing. Even better news is the fact that based on info from a Forrester report, the majority of people are spending money in apps. Because of that, SEO marketers may need to greatly change their strategies. Namely, a great increase in in-app content and a lot more marketers linking to certain pages within applications.
Rich Answers are Gaining More Traction
Google is doing everything they can in order to improve their search. Thanks to its Rich Answers feature, they can easily answer search queries instead of just offering users a list of top sources that they can choose from.
Since 2 years ago, Rich Answers gained more traction in both utilization and offering. They basically offer answers to questions by way of:
- Slide Shares.
- Tables or charts.
- Answers generated by Google.
- Feature excerpts (pulled from third party websites).
For marketers, this translates into the fact that audiences aren’t actually required to analyze the search rankings in order to find what they require. However, if you want an in-depth answer, then you’ll need to do that.
In 2016, having your content indexed in rich answers should be a priority. While getting recognized as a source for information is not going to be easy, it is indeed possible. Better yet, you can also improve your website traffic if you decide to get the feature snippet spot.
Personal Assistants and Voice Search Have a Great Impact on SEO
A great driver behind changes in search engine optimization are personal assistants (voice activated), especially due to the fact that technology has now matured enough to allow for more accuracy. This means that instead of typing what you are looking for, you can just use your voice to do that.
Thanks to this option, you can search anything, anywhere and anytime. Better yet, these search assistants can deliver more accurate results by using your prior context and search history. For instance, if you’re buying clothes from the same online store and use voice activated personal assistants, then you may be provided with your favorite retailer as a top search results.
Lastly, it’s important to mention that there’s a lot more emphasis on local search engine optimization when using voice search. In general, people that use this type of search are in a rush and since they mostly want to find a nearby location, this is definitely going to become an important asset for any business that wants to rank in these queries.
Social is Becoming More and More Important
You probably noticed by now that when you click an article in Facebook that the article is going to remain in-app. You won’t be routed to the website where the original article was posted on anymore. In this regard, it seems that Twitter is adopting the same strategy. This is going to greatly impact SEO and that’s because you won’t get traffic from social media anymore. To actually increase your SEO ranking, you’ll need to get more social signals, including mentions, comments, shares and likes.
But long-form content isn’t where Facebook stopped either. In fact, it decided to add a search feature that gains Google about three point five billion searches per day, instead of 1.5 billion. This is a very good stimulus for marketers to focus more on social media.
How Will SEO Stay the Same?
Do you feel like SEO completely changed in 2016? Well, it’s not really like that. There are a few things that will stay the same, as following:
Content is Still King
You’re probably used to this, but we’re going to reiterate the fact that content is still king. However, since the market is getting saturated, length starts to become a lot more important. Since Google and its algorithms can interpret meaning a lot better than before and with earned media and social sharing becoming more important, you need to ensure that your content is share worthy in order to make an impact on your website’s ranking.
Videos are Becoming More and More Important
Video marketing is becoming even more popular and the search engines seem to love them. In fact, compared to text, video is about fifty times more likely to get organic page ranks via Google. This piece of information should be enough for you to make some pretty effective changes to your SEO strategy for this year.
User Experience is Still Top Priority
We spoke a lot about SEO, but user experience is still essential for ranking and even Google agrees with that. Because of that, they are paying a lot more attention to page layout and the landing page experience, too.
According to UX experts, it’s a lot more important to understand your users than Google’s algorithms. That’s because doing so, you have a much higher chance of getting more organic traffic, distribution and sharing.
In Conclusion: Learn How You’re Searched If You Want To Be Found
It’s very clear for a lot of people that technology is changing a lot and it directly impacts the way we engage with others. This is especially true when it comes to the way users interact with the info at their fingertips and their devices. And since Google’s algorithms are leading the revolution, you need to learn how to adapt in this never-ending race in order to make sure you don’t lag behind.