2016 will be a milestone year for the SEO industry due to the significant shift that has occurred to the search engine ranking factors over the last few months. We live in the Semantic ERA where search engines are mainly focusing on user experience and intention rather than keywords.
Moz, one of the biggest SEO consulting companies, recently conducted a survey over marketing professionals specializing in search engine optimization and concluded that to the most important factors for SEO impact in 2016 will be:

  • Mobile-friendliness (impact increase: 88%)
  • Analysis of a page’s perceived value (impact increase: 81%)
  • Site usage data (impact increase: 67%)
  • Readability and design (impact increase: 67%).

So are you going to use the same SEO strategy as you did last year? No! It is time to re-evaluate your strategy.

The key is to increase the quality of your traffic rather than the quantity. Relevant quality visitors are going to convert easier and produce higher revenue for your business.

Follow the below tactics and you will be rewarded:

traffic quality

1. Social Media are more Important than ever

Apart from the fact that social media signals have become a major ranking factor, in 2016 social posts will also be indexed and appear in search results. Google has already made a deal with Facebook and twitter. Social posts will carry a value similar to any web page. Additionally, brand mentions, not using any explicit link, and off-site reviews will be serving as new forms of off-site authority building.

Invest in a social media strategy and boost your SEO and your online reputation.

2. Improve your Presence in Search Pages (Data)

Recently Google announced the usage of Rank Brain. It is an artificial intelligence learning system designed to better understand the intent of searches and provide appropriate results combined with extra information such as reviews.

Make your website more appealing on search engine results pages and increase your CTR by incorporating an effective structured data mark-up language.

For Example, Meininger Hotel in Amsterdam uses structure data to generate review rich snippets that appear in search results.

Improve your Presence in Search Pages

 3. Focus on videos and Photos

Written content is still the king and a kind of baseline for most brands. On the other hand, videos and images are becoming prominent factors in Google’s vertical searches and a powerful tool in attracting the user’s attention. It is predicted that in 2016 videos and images will outpace written content in terms of engagement and effectiveness.

Build a complete SEO strategy containing image and video optimization and watch your rankings as well as site usage metrics skyrocket.

4. Optimize for mobile search

Search engines in mobile devices receive a number of voice search queries from digital assistants such as Google Now. A recent research has shown that:

  • 55% of teens use voice search daily
  • 56% of adults enjoy using voice search.

Optimize for mobile search

As a result, a new type of long tail keywords that mimic spoken language has emerged rewarding conversational content.

Do not hesitate to reform some of your mobile headlines into questions that include question words such as who, what, why or where.

5. Think of Local Search Optimization

As the competition in organic results continues to grow, winning over local search queries is essential. What can you do?

  • Make sure that google maps information is up to date
  • Create listing in local directories
  • Create listings in review sites
  • Write content for local keywords.

Local Search Optimization

6. Focus on User Experience and Website Credibility

Make sure that you provide the best possible experience for your visitors in every device. Crafting a thoughtful user experience ensures that users stay longer and see more pages. The Website user experience in 2016 will be more important than ever and Google will reward you for this!

Additionally, if your website is liked it will generate return visits, sharing, bookmarking, linking and all the signals that contribute to high rankings.

User Experience

How can you do this?

  • Check and improve your website load time – desired page load time is approximately 1.20 sec
  • Consider adding an internal search, particularly for e-commerce
  • Create blog post providing comprehensive coverage of a relevant topic
  • Use internal links both to enhance the user experience and increase ranking
  • Make sure that subcategories and navigation are easy to understand
  • Invest on a SSL Certificate. Not only will you increase your rankings but since it is also a credibility factor it will help you boost your conversion rates.

The Next Steps for your Online Business

SEO in 2016 should remain the backbone of your online presence as in many ways leads to higher quality traffic and trusted leads without paying for Ads. It is important to remember that SEO optimized web design is not a one-time project that can then be shelved. It is an ongoing procedure, continually growing, changing and adapting to new trends and needs. Make sure to take advantage of these opportunities with a successful SEO strategy.

Are you ready to speak with a SEO specialist to get your strategy on the right track?

Feel free to contact us at onlinemarketing@mozaik.com