SEO in 2015 saw a lot of changes, including the so-called ‘Mobilegeddon’ in April along with numerous algorithm updates. But the year is at an end, and now we turn our attention to 2016. It is time to look at the most likely trends that will shape the search landscape over the coming 12 months.
Mobile Takes Over
Jayson Demers in Forbes suggests that mobile optimisation will take over desktop optimisation in 2016. Desktop search has until now remained the standard, but following Mobilegeddon, things have changed. There is now a growing shift towards mobile, and mobile traffic will become more important over the coming months in a trend that will continue over the coming years.
The Rise of the Machines
Artificial intelligence is still a way off, but digital assistants are becoming increasingly intelligent – and useful. More people are using their mobile assistants such as Siri and Google Now to help them navigate the web, and when they speak a search query, the search language used is very different.
As a result, there is likely to be a focus on long-tail keywords that reflect spoken language. This could even see better results for pages that contain content in a conversational tone.
Social Content Integrated Further Into Search
Google already indexes Twitter content, but this trend is likely to become even more evident as more social platforms make deals with Google. As a result, your social updates will have a greater chance of showing in search, making now the right time to start placing more emphasis on your social activity.
Even More Local Search
Search is more local than ever, and it will continue down this road in 2016. As wearable devices are becoming more popular and the local indexes of Google become more sophisticated, we are likely to see more specific local results targeting people on their exact locations rather than the cities in which they live.
Focus on Interactive Content
Content has long been at the centre of SEO, but there is now a growing shift towards interactive content. This could mean placing more focus on surveys and quizzes that increase engagement, which can be especially effective for mobile users.
Growing Importance of Multi-Channel Content Marketing
People are increasingly using a range of sources to research businesses. They will read blogs, look at video sites, see what people are saying about your business on social media, see how you interact on social media, and more. It is therefore more important now to focus on a multi-channel content marketing strategy to ensure you have a presence where people look for you.
Greater mobile use means greater app use, and app optimisation is something you should seriously start to consider. Deep linking is going to become more important in 2016 to help your app show up in the search engine results.
Start Planning for 2016
SEO is always changing, and 2016 is likely to see many new developments. These trends are ones to look out for, but make sure you stay on top of SEO developments throughout the year so you can adapt your strategy as needed.
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