[Guest post by Manas Kumar]
Nothing remains static in life and so it is with SEO trends. In 2016 as in the years before, businesses will continue to invest heavily in digital marketing and create a wide array of digital content. And as they do this, search engines will move away from content and focus more on devices being more usable to the general public.
The need for more web activities and having a digital presence across a variety of platforms will continue to rule, though in 2016 too, this cannot assure any business of being ahead of the competition. In order that you are prepared for all the changes buzzing around you, you need to be aware of the SEO trends likely to make their appearance in 2016.
Here are the chief among them:
#1. Mobile optimization will become all the more important
With people using all kinds of devices to access the Net, it became imperative in 2015 to design business sites for tablets, laptops, Smartphones, phone watches, etc. In 2016, more businesses will find their way onto mobile websites. Mobile optimization will take center stage, so it’s time for you too to create SEO strategies especially for mobile searches. And, with Google making mobile-friendliness a prominent factor in ranking sites, it pays to have a mobile-friendly site in 2016.
#2. Page speed is now a factor for high ranking
If the speed with which your site loads is going to influence your ranking on Google, Yahoo and Bing, you’ve got to work hard to see that this is in place. This obviously means that if your pages load slowly, it will eat up more of your site’s time for crawling it. If you have a large For a bigger website this means that the slower your pages load, the fewer of them get indexed by Google Voice Search: Following on the idea of mobile, voice search is about to blow up. All three major smartphone manufacturers have solutions, and it won’t be long before they get those voice search features up to speed.
#3. Apps, apps and more apps:
With the overwhelming popularity of mobile phones worldwide, several companies are into producing apps, thereby creating a market for App Store Optimization (ASO) to compete against each other. Since speed is now of the essence, mobile users are now trying to find information faster by using search tools like Siri instead of conventional search engines like Google and Yahoo. If businesses want to draw in mobile users, they must develop and market apps so that prospective customers go to their official apps rather than to the website.
#4. In-depth articles
Google’s preference for longer articles has now come to the forefront with an average article size of high-ranking content hovering between 1,200 and 1,500 words. These articles rank high in searches. Now, no longer will 300-400 word articles be entertained because it is believed people should be given articles that can give them a comprehensive view and knowledge on a particular topic.
Such articles are best written with sub-heads, images and bullet points throughout the text so that readers can easily read and understand it. Besides, people are now sharing these long articles on social networking sites and alluding to them. The more in-depth articles are, the higher they could rank on Google.
#5. Mobile search is ringing in:
With mobile search assuming greater importance, the demand for voice search is also increasing. People are now using this feature on their Smartphones to find products, services and businesses according to their needs. The applications of this feature extend to using it to help people multitask while others find it faster to get the information they are looking for rather than type it out. For all voice search’s many uses, businesses that want to stay buoyant need to optimize their websites to hold on to existing customers and drag in new ones. This means businesses now use search-oriented phrases rather than conventional keywords.
#6. Keyword searches are passe: Enter your intention
In 2016, you do not need a keyword to give you a definite and relevant search result. Now nothing depends on what you type into the search bar. Now, search engines go beyond the click of the mouse to see just people interact with a particular website. Rather your intention is determined from the time you click the mouse to see if you return to the particular site or what exactly you do with it. What is your intention? Search engines will determine this and provide the most truthful results. Website searches by major rankers like Google and Yahoo will now become more perceptive, thus saving everyone a lot of time and effort of browsing.
#7. Intersperse unique images with your text
It’s now become important to have unique images along with your text so that it stands apart. Using unique photos makes for a better impression rather than stock photos. Even if the photo you use has been used elsewhere, the text that your photo comes with is different and that’s what will help boost SEO and will set you apart from all those who’ve used the same photo.
So, don’t consider copy pasting images you find in the results pages of searches. Instead, search for unique photos from high-quality professional photographers and graphics artists. After all, give this one a thought: Photos and graphics are the most shared on social media platforms. So, if they go with your articles, you can imagine how far your articles travel at the click of a mouse.
Every time an algorithm is updated, Google is better prepared at handling all the tricks webmasters use to rank their sites better. Now, the unethical practices of the past will no longer work–in fact, sites who behave unethically could well be punished for what they do and experience a low ranking.
If you feel you may be ranked lower by Google for some unethical practice, here’s your big chance to make relevant changes. That’s the only way ahead for you in 2016.