a picture of a seo enhanced application

7 simple tricks to improve your SEO in 2016

Author: Mathias Van der Brempt
Date: June 1st, 2016

Each month 12 bln web searches are done, according to hubspot.com. SEO is very important for your site’s ranking in search engines. It drives quality traffic to your site. But now, it is more important than ever to use a good strategy to get your great content to your users.

It was only last year that the mainstream picked up on the importance of SEO. They aligned their content to the standard and used mobile optimization for better results. Important to know that 50% of mobile searches are done hoping for local results.

SEO is the process of driving traffic from the ‘organic’, and ‘paid’ sources to win the race of ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Wondering what SEO trends will turn out to be the major hits of 2016? Read the next few paragraphs to find out about the hottest SEO trends and developments.

  1. Social Content Will Gain Prominence

Already 76% of marketers use Social Media to support and boost SEO, cites an article published at Impactbnd.com. In 2016, marketers will do everything possible to make their Facebook posts or tweets rank higher on the SERPs. We predict that there will be more and more social media content that will be indexed on popular search engines. This will erase the line between search engines and social media, as content will be intertwined. For companies, social media profiles are already amongst the top listed results on serp’s. Blog.kissmetrics.com states that links to content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube and other social networks help the search engine crawlers understand what websites are credible and should be ranked for what keyword phrases.

  1. Videos Will Still Rule

Videos are the best way to keep your audience engaged and interested. Another good thing to know is that video can actually help you rank higher in search engines. A report Video makes up 62% of all Google searches  universally according to a study by Marketing Land. This means it is vital for your brand to have a youtube channel and the possibility to create great viral videos.

Now, the only way to appear in the video search engine pages is by uploading your videos on You Tube or through video SEO. It is important that Google is able to find your video content, successfully index it and display your video content when specific keywords are entered as search terms.

video content marketing
  1. Mobile Optimization Will Become Crucial

Your site has to be mobile friendly. If you don’t know how to be mobile friendly or how to create a great responsive website, you should really start looking into it. Your audience is no longer in one place. You have to keep in mind that people use up to 4 different devices to access your website. Plenty of brands went mobile friendly in 2015 so mobile optimization is now the norm. Time to create some SEO strategies for mobile searches!

Google’s update algorithm ensured that mobile friendly websites are now ranking higher than ever. It made it easier for the user who is on a smartphone to access good mobile sites, instead of old and stiff desktop versions. Here are 5 stats that will make you want to go mobile friendly in 2016!

This is why you have to make sure that everything on your site, from colors to fonts and from content to logo design, is mobile optimized.

  1. Voice Search Function a Must

These days, people who are on the go use voice search simply because it is more convenient and safer, especially when someone is driving or multi-tasking. It is becoming a huge part of mobile usage as it has taken away the pain of typing keywords to run a search query. Almost all mobile devices have a voice search functions. The popularity of voice searches has been spurred by Microsoft, Google, and Apple launching their own versions of advanced voice-responsive assistants – Cortana, Google Now and Siri.

People are into voice search. More and more people start doing it. First in private but now in public as well (check out these stats). Even Dominos Pizza has voice ordering. Google Study finds voice search mostly used to ask for directions. For teens, doing a voice search while watching TV (59%) and while with friends (57%) are the highest use cases, according to marketingland.com. Whereas for adults, voice searching is done the most while watching TV (36%), followed by when with friends (24%) and while cooking (23%).

voice search infographic
  1. Content Aggregation will get Bigger & Better

Knowledge Graph, wiki, local, maps, social media, news, images and videos make for 85% of Google search results, according to Digitalcurrent.com. These stats indicate that people look for sources that provide relevant information for a particular subject or topic. Content aggregation is a practical way of finding, collating, amassing, consolidating, presenting, sharing, and displaying content around pre-specified set of criteria to appeal target audience.

A great example of content curation is using the humble newsletter, Next Draft by Dave Pell, who has amassed over 160,000 subscribers to his daily email which shares the most interesting stories in business, culture, and tech, an article in Jeff Bullas explained. Another example is Inbound.org which was built by Moz and Hubspot to increase their reach even further.

  1. The Craze of Mobile Apps Will Grow

Mobile apps account for 52% of all time spent on online digital media, according to Tech Crunch. Another report available on the Internet reveals that users spend 89% mobile time using apps. This is the reason for more and more businesses planning to explore the advantage of mobile apps.

As discussed above, use of mobile for web search is on an all-time rise and apps just make the work easier. Just few more years and mobile apps are sure to overpower desktop and mobile websites. An article in searchenginejournal.com states that 85% of people prefer native mobile apps to websites. Feature your brand prominently in the app name and make sure you have proper links to apps for better search rankings Also, you must ensure that app optimization tops your list of SEO optimization. There are several brands that are benefiting from prominent mobile app visibility in Google’s organic search results. Have a look at what happens when you search eBay in Google. The app page URL presents a powerful opportunity to “occupy” the first page of Google SERPs.

search engine results page with an branded app name
  1. Local SEO to Become Even More Important

This trend is only going stronger over the years. According to Entrepreneur.com, local SEO is likely to gain solid grounds in the coming days. Let Google know where you are located and what you are offering so that your chances of showing up on pages, especially in front of the relevant audience, increase. Since Google came out with its “Pigeon” update, local SEO has gained significant prominence forcing businesses and marketers to focus on a local tangent. This means you have to have location specific keywords and personalized content on your site relevant to your target audiences’ location to stay ahead in the game in 2016. Check out some stats to know the benefits of ranking in local search results.

  • Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitorsto visit stores within a day. (Source: Searchengineland.com)
  • More than 60% consumers have used local information in ads. (Source: Business2community.com)
  • 50% mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results. (Source: Business2community.com)

Your listing in the local pages can increase consumer engagement with your business and your ranking. For instance, check out this example of three hospitals. The one that has the highest number of reviews ranks the highest. (Image source: Search Engine Journal)

To conclude, you must brace yourself in expanding your presence on social media, instilling videos of your business in your content so that you get Page 1 ranking in Google. A good ranking ultimately helps you build strong influence and enhance your brand name amongst your audience. So, don’t miss out on any latest update by Google and trends in search rankings to shine out in the crowd. The better SEO strategies you have, the more benefits you will have.

So, concentrate on creating fresh and quality content that you can and promote it across all social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. By just doing this, you will find that your search rankings have improved tremendously. The next step would be to sustain the rank by posting fresh and unique content and videos regularly.

Though trends keep on changing, we expect that these 7 SEO trends are most likely to dominate the scene in 2016. While some of them will become extinct like the dinosaur, some will evolve and outlast the rest. Nevertheless, we’re sure by embracing these trends, you’ll be able to spearhead the market in the New Year.

Follow @mattivdb on Twitter