What’s the point of having a great looking website, filled with quality graphics and content, if it won’t be seen by its intended audience because you are following outdated SEO practices?

According to Hubspot, American surfers average a whopping 12 billion web searches every month. Furthermore, search is the largest driver for content sites, beating social media by over three hundred percent. These statistics make it clear that website owners and marketers must make SEO an important part of their marketing strategies.

But, recently we’ve witnessed a change in the way consumers are surfing the web, especially when it comes to mobile devices. These changes have blindsided many – leaving them unprepared to handle their digital futures.

If you are in this category – never fear – throughout the rest of this article, we will be discussing our list of the top SEO trends for 2016 and beyond.

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1. Mobile Optimization

The mobile revolution has changed e-commerce drastically. For instance:

  • 80% of consumers use their smartphones to purchase items online
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to an online action within 60 minutes.
  • Over 1 billion people use their mobile devices to access the web.

Even Google’s search algorithm has been updated to guarantee that mobile friendly sites will get a search ranking boost. This, in turn, makes it easier for consumers to find relevant, mobile optimized website.

This information makes it easy to see why mobile optimization should feature prominently in your online marketing strategy for this year. But, it’s important to note that, just because your website is able to be seen on a cell phone doesn’t mean that it’s mobile friendly. In fact, there are three types of mobile friendly sites and each one is used for different purposes:

  • Responsive: Out of the three, responsive websites are the most popular because they allow sites to be seen on virtually all devices, which makes them perfect for sites that have a lot of content and get a lot of mobile traffic.
  • Mobile friendly: Because they are designed to work on both desktop computers and mobile devices, these sites remain the same no matter how the content is being viewed. This is usually the popular option for websites with simple designs.
  • Mobile optimized: This option entails creating an entirely separate mobile website from the desktop version. So, when you want to update or maintain your site, both sites will have to be done individually. These websites are usually a smaller version of the desk model and it’s common to find a link at the bottom of the mobile site that takes users to the desktop version.

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2. Content is still The King

Did you know that social media profiles are usually among the top results in search listings? Or that, based on info from Kissmetrics, links to content on popular social media websites help search engine crawlers determine the credibility of websites as well as which ones should be ranked for certain keyword phrases?

But, this year (and 2017), among all the other factors that somehow affect rankings, social media content will be even more important, especially in terms of SERPs or search engine result pages. More social media content will be indexed on Google and other popular search engines which will cause the lines between social media and the web to become blurred, in terms of SEO strategies.

In order to succeed in this arena, you must make preparations to find, collect, and use your valuable social content for optimal visibility. In other words, do everything in your power to make your Twitter tweets or Facebook posts track higher on SERPs.

 

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3. Videos

Unless they’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, virtually all internet marketers understand that videos are an excellent way to keep audiences entertained and engaged. But, did you know that it’s possible to use videos to improve your ranking on SERPs? In fact, based on a report by Marketing Land, videos account for over 60% of all Google searches. And that’s not all:

  • com reports that videos get 50 times better organic page ranks in Google versus plain, static text results.
  • Video searches get over 40% higher click-thru rates when compared to plain, static text – based on information from Relesoo.com.

The best way to take advantage of the SEO power of videos is by uploading them to YouTube or through video SEO. Also, ensure that Google finds your video content – and indexes it successfully – so that it shows up when specific keywords are searched.

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4. Local SEO

Did you know that local searches influence fifty percent of mobile visitors to visit stores within 24 hours? Or that 50% of mobile searches are conducted because people want to find local results?

Local SEO has always been important, but ever since Google came out with its Pigeon update, it has gained a lot more prominence. As a consequence, it is essential for marketers and business owners to place their focus on a local level i.e. let Google know where you are located and what you have to offer to increase your chances on showing up on the relevant SERPs.

If you pay attention to local SEO, it can increase consumer interaction with your business as well as search engine page ranking. To do so, your local pages must include the address of your business, your phone number, and other relevant information. It’s also important to use location-specific keywords and personalized content based on the location of your target audience to stay ahead of your competitors.

The Bottom Line

The only thing that’s for certain about trends in SEO is that they will continue to change. Far from counting them as fads, it’s important that you pay attention to the ones that are relevant to your business, like creating quality and relevant content that you can promote across all social media channels. Doing so will improve your search engine ranking tremendously and help you stay ahead of your competition this year.

The post 4 Essential SEO Trends for 2016 and Beyond appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

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