SEO predictions for 2016 from around the world

SEO predictionsAs the countdown for 2016 has already started, SEO experts and technical wizards around the world are following the biggest SEO predictions for 2016 that could change the way online businesses function.

Some of the hottest SEO predictions for the year ahead include the following

Mobile and voice search will play a key role in SEO.
Google is emphasizing on direct answers to the queries of the users. Mobile searches are likely to overtake desktop in 2016. According to eMarketer, 2016 will see smartphones and tablets handling the most of the business clicks rather than PC and laptop.

So the marketers will be busy making their sites mobile friendly and responsive for not just the customer queries but also in the page layout and product pages in general to ensure a pleasant browsing experience for the users. In the days to come, businesses will have to plan their budget for mobile marketing strategy; mobile e-commerce and mobile payment, mobile CRM and mobile coupons among others.

With Google coming up with an algorithm update for penalizing websites that are not optimized for mobile gadgets, Google is turning its attention to the on-the-go consumers more than never before and wants to ensure a better online experience for the consumers. Online businesses should make sure that the online users get the most relevant information they search for easily.

A few tips:

• Make sure your business is featured in Google Search, Maps, and Google+ as customers make use of these data while choosing a store. For instance 72% of consumers search for local information on a smart phone to find a store within 5 miles* (Source: Google, May 2014)
• 50% of consumers visit a store within a day of searching on a smartphone and mobile search is likely to have a major impact on retail stores, cafes, hotels and restaurants among others.
• Businesses should make sure that their website has a comprehensive listing of services, videos, reviews and images.

Prediction 2: Desktop Optimization has hit the backburner
Forget about the traditional optimization methods like meta tags and meta descriptions as these do not have any importance in getting the mobile users engaged. Search engines will invariably require the business strategists to cater to the ever increasing number of mobile users.

Mobile searches outweighed desktop queries for the first time in 2015 and this trend will continue to become more prominent in the year ahead. Google has made it clear that rather than developing desktop-specific sites, businesses should ensure an all-encompassing mobile experience that works well in all types of devices.

Prediction 3: Digital Assistants Will influence Search
Verbal communication and oral queries of Windows and Apple phone users through Intelligent assistants like Siri and Cortana will change the way users perform their search online. Verbal communication patterns will see the evolution of more long tail keywords and more accurate key phrasing strategies as more granular data regarding customer behavior will be available in this type of search. With Google launching voice recognition search features on Google apps, voice search will see an all-time high in the days ahead.

Voice searches and long tail keywords will be the popular search mode
Voice searches and long tail keywords will become integral part of SEO success. Though Google has not commented on the impact of conversation search on ad listings no substantial changes are expected immediately. Integrate content marketing with your SEO strategy as the long tailed keyword research will only be more effective when combined with the relevant content strategy, which could involve FAQs, Facts, Videos and How-to-articles among others.

Structured data and direct answers will be more popular
Direct answers will ensure the precise answer for the search query at the top of the search page. Though direct answers were not envisaged for the mobile, the requirements of mobile search have made it popular. Whenever a Google gets a query from the users, it will populate the answer in the search results. Business should ensure that they have short and crisp answers that are relevant to the users. As Google strives to ensure the most accurate answer to every user, adapting to this will be the biggest challenges for SEO in 2016.

Prediction 4: Social Content will have a higher visibility in Search Results
Social media marketing is likely to assume more importance in the coming days as Google is developing a stronger professional relationship with major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and the news articles in these platforms will start featuring in the search results. By 2016, there is a high likelihood of the individual tweets getting indexed. Thus we will be seeing an overlapping between the web and the social media to ensure a dynamic experience for the SEO experts.

Reputation matters
Consumers these days are buying products after analyzing reviews and social media can be a great way to build your reputation. Businesses that succeed in engaging more customers will have a strong online presence that in turn will enhance the online reputation and goodwill of their website. Information that is validated and reviewed by human engagement in the social media will reach more online consumers than a published article that is never commented or shared by the consumers. Search engines will consider the various metrics associated with consumer engagement. Thus the more the shares, greater will be the online visibility and conversions. So, SEO experts as per their New Year business planning will be implementing more social strategies that will engage the users and encourage more followers.

Prediction 6: Local search results will be something to reckon with
Google updates like Pigeon has focused on providing detailed information for the users even for queries regarding desired services found within their local community. So, there is likely to have an exponential rise in the number of local searches. With the popularity of wearable smart watches like Apple watch, there will be a significant rise in the number of local searches.

Prediction 7: The SEO Community will have a busy and fulfilling time in 2016
As the New Year unfolds, the internet is likely to evolve as a social platform with an interactive user base. More and more people will join and share content through social media networks and video content will have a more important role in getting the brand message out.

So, as a new year unfolds, SEO industry will have to stay sharply focused on the changes and the challenges ahead and businesses that adapt to the changes quickly will have a greater chance of success.

Interested in formulating and executing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, including SEO, PPC and social media marketing? Contact us now!

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