Our SEO Predictions For 2016
With SEO being a common method for people to increase the ROI of their website, we felt it was time to share our SEO predictions for 2016. SEO is always in a state of flux as it has a direct relationship to technology which is constantly evolving.
That is why it is important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the different SEO ideas and best practices as they change. Even if you aren’t the type to make regular, small tweaks, knowing when bigger shifts occur is important as you can then adjust your own strategy to compensate as needed.
So what do we expect for 2016?
Bing Becomes a Player – Remember Bing? You know, Microsoft’s response to Google that a few people use? Well this is the year that Bing finally becomes an actual competitor. No, we don’t expect them to even come close to half that traffic Google has, but we expect them to firmly take over second place from Yahoo Search and close the gap with Google primarily because of the integration factor. Bing is integrated with Cortana which is packaged with Windows for both PC and mobile. Additionally Xbox will use voice search from Cortana and Bing. What that means is that your SEO strategy should focus on more than just Google if you want the greatest reach. We also like the new engine DuckDuckGo, but even though we expect solid growth from it in 2016, we still don’t see it cracking the top 3.
Voice Search Grows – People are getting lazier by the day which means Siri, Google Now and Cortana are in for a workout. Of course that also changes things from an SEO factor. Structured data and snippets become more important as these search engines look to answer questions based on an understanding of what they are retrieving. That means you need to start including structured data on your site or expect to start missing out.
The Semantic Search – A semantic search is an advanced data searching technique that is going to grow into something much more common in 2016. Basically the search query is looking at a combination of factors from the contextual meaning of words used, intent of the user, and finding relevant data others have found useful to better give you what you truly want. That means from a marketing perspective you need to push great content that can be understood, learn to use keywords effectively, use variations of words and companion words to help key-in engines, and make sure people reflect that your content is valuable if you want to compete.
Mobile Domination – I think we included mobile domination in almost all of our 2016 predictions because it has importance across so many levels of technology including SEO. Now being officially the most common way people get online and only expected to increase, although we are going to hedge our bets and say the increase this year will be marginal. However, that is still the dominating market share! If your site does not pass Google’s mobile friendly test there is a good chance they will start to bypass you on search results. You need to cater to the mobile user and focus everything from design to marketing to CRM to e-commerce from a mobile perspective or you are going to lose customers to competitors that do.
Local SEO – Google has made a push into local indexes. When you add to that the wearable devices that will utilize local searches for important data, you can see why local SEO will become a bigger player compared to prior years. Plus, competition on the World Wide Web keeps growing; by staying local you are offering something to customers that global companies or those out of the area can’t. We feel there will be a strong connection with voice search and mobile search for local first which means if you are a business that wants local traffic you need to stay on top of your local SEO marketing efforts.
Great User Experience – We feel that search engines are going to evolve to include user engagement metrics. The user experience and usability of a site are going to directly relate to engagement as well as things like popularity, which is often considered a sign of quality. By focusing on a great user experience it is more likely happy users will share, link, bookmark and come back to a site regularly which in turn will reflect a quality site and higher rankings.
These are our SEO predictions for 2016 and we feel that site owners and marketers will need to keep them in mind and include them in their strategy to stay competitive and successful.