2016 is now officially here, so it’s time to share some insights into SEO industry that will be useful to all the people somehow connected with it.
First of all, you should understand that all the 2016 SEO tendencies are continuation of those we observed in 2015 rather than something completely new. But nevertheless, these tendencies are important and should be taken into consideration when planning your SEO activities for 2016.
1. Focus on semantic search
Do you remember these days back in 2003, for example? When it was enough just to use your exact keyword many times on the page and in meta tags? These days are gone and today Google thinks with concepts rather than with just particular keywords.
The tendency that began a few years ago and continued with Hummingbird and RankBrain will continue to grow and have its great impact on search results making them more relevant (at least I hope so).
RankBrain is something really interesting and challenging as it involves machine learning and artificial intelligence. It’s important to adapt your SEO efforts to these changes made to Google ranking algorithms.
2. Mobile usage will continue to grow
We have gone through Mobilegeddon in 2015 but that’s just the beginning. It’s not a secret that more and more searches are taking place on mobile phones. You can even think about yourself: I’m sure you are using your mobile phone for browsing the Internet much oftener than you used to even in 2014.
What does it mean for sites? This means that they should do their best to ensure seamless user experience not only on their desktop sites but also on mobile devices: smartphones and tablets. This is especially important for eCommerce sites as the number of purchases made on mobile devices is growing.
Mobile friendliness is already a ranking factor in Google. In 2016 Google can add more importance to it.
3. Schema markup will become more important
In 2015 Google gave us more markup opportunities, and I believe that in 2016 its generosity will continue. Who knows, maybe we will be given an opportunity to buy products right from the search results. It’s not like I want this feature, just guessing.
Try to add a knowledge graph for your brand. Of course, you can’t do it directly but you can create your profiles on sites Google uses as information sources: for example, a Google+ profile or Wikipedia listing. The latter is quite hard as you should have a strong and established brand in order to create a page here. Otherwise, your listing may be considered as spam and deleted.
Anyway, make use of different trustful sources to let Google know more about your company. If you still don’t use products and organization rich snippets, consider using them.
4. User experience
Sites are created to serve people’s needs. At least that’s how it should work. User experience shows how good you’ve coped with that task. If your site is easy to navigate and search, you’ll get a high grade, if not – you will be rewarded with high bounce rate and a low percent of returning visitors.
Google seems to know what’s important for visitors, so it will expect you’ll provide that. Clear navigation, reasonable amount of ads, easy-to-understand (and crawl) site structure – the importance of these factors cannot be overestimated.
My tip is that you should review your site structure and product pages. You can run some AB tests, they will give you a good overview of what you can change to increase conversions.
As you can see, the points listed in the article, are not new but still often neglected by SEO specialists and marketers.
Consider the mentioned tips again and create your SEO plan for 2016!
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