Professional SEO firms need to watch out for some key changes in 2016 and the coming years that could alter their SEO strategy.
The Mobilegeddon update and a new content quality algorithm were among the many developments that dominated the SEO news waves in 2015, and 2016 is also set to witness a few landmarks being set.
Mobile SEO Will Outpace Desktop SEO in Importance
This is a no-brainer. Weâ€™ve already seen the trend shifting for a few years now. eMarketer reveals that mobile ad spending has been consistently rising since 2013, but from 2016 would make up the majority of the budget set apart by companies for digital ad spending. In 2015 it made up a little over half of the digital ad budget.
This coincided with the first ever instance of mobile searches surpassing desktop searches. Google used the Mobilegeddon launch to proclaim that mobile traffic and desktop traffic are relatively equal.
This shift could take a decisive turn in 2016 with mobile traffic becoming more and more crucial for ROI. Google has also claimed that it wouldnâ€™t be necessary any longer for businesses to have desktop-specific sites. Googleâ€™s commitment to the mobile experience was revealed with the adoption of a local three-pack for local rankings.
Video Content to Deliver more ROI than Written Content
Video content could also provide greater ROI than written content for brands and industries in the B2C category. Currently other media, including videos, images and infographics, are interspersed with written content but they are only additions to conventional written content. 2016 would see a situation where video overtakes written content in user engagement, reach and thereby ROI. Google is already trying out video ads in the search results, and unless you have regular feeds your business could be considered outdated. Blame it on the video apps such as Vine and Snapchat.
The Age of Voice and Conversational Search
The other big development will be the soaring importance and popularity of voice search. Google Now, Siri and Cortana have already given a taste of this and Google is heading to launch voice recognition search on Google apps. It has already been seen how faster this is than type search. Integrating voice search with mobile search would only make the Google search engine more efficient and user-friendly. Voice search perfectly complements conversational search that has already made its presence felt. Users who want quick answers to fact-based simple questions would find this extremely time saving, so this is really something you must focus all your energies on. Itâ€™s the next big thing out there.
Greater Indexing of Social Media Content
Social media content will get indexed more, as you can already see when you do mobile search for some news item on Google and tweets appear in the search results. It is reasonable to expect that social posts will now have a value similar to a web page and there will be heavier indexing of social networking platforms in search engines.
Aggregated Content Changes the Content Marketing Game
Twitter Moments is bringing aggregated social media and news content into the picture. This does narrow the content marketing field but provides new opportunities as well. Tutorial and editorial news content is sure to get more important in terms of search visibility because those are the kinds of content that will be aggregated by Twitter for users to immediately access. News articles must be automatically sourced by Twitter to be visible. Users, whom you target, themselves become content creators and become firsthand witnesses of current events.
Facebook has its Instant Articles while Google has launched Accelerated Mobile Pages that perform the somewhat similar task of aggregating content on their networksâ€™ mobile versions. These innovations are set to make social network presence more important than SERP performance for organizations banking on news and knowledge-based content. For users, they donâ€™t have to log on to multiple websites – they just need to be on any of these social networks.
Google Ranking not the Only Factor for More Clicks
Better Google ranking will not be an automatic indicator of greater organic clicks. The click-through-rate will also be influenced by factors such as paid ads, carousel results, local packs, rich snippets and knowledge graphs. Besides, Mediative conducted a study that revealed that usersâ€™ interaction with SERP results varies based on the query.
Even Greater Specificity of Local Search
Local search is set to get even more specific, thanks to Googleâ€™s local indexes getting even more localized and the arrival of wearable technology such as the Apple Watch. It wonâ€™t be long before rankings could be generated in terms of neighborhood rather than city or state.
Professional SEO firms need to have an eye for trends to make sure theyâ€™re up to the mark for their clients. 2016 could be the year of branching into new directions for SEO strategy.