SEO in 2016 – What’s In And What’s Out

As long as there are people using the internet to find the things they want, there will be search engine optimization. How it’s used and the trends and strategies it involves will probably change at some point, but it will always be around in some form or another. Some businesses don’t have the means or money to change their strategy every time a new trend pops up. If you are unsure of where to put your focus, here are some practical strategies for SEO in 2016:

Local SEO is IN

More than half of local-based consumers will visit a place of business within a 5 mile radius not long after doing a local search on their smartphone or tablet. Local SEO is becoming more and more important, and there is no indication that this trend is not here to stay, or is going to die down anytime soon. You should do some type of local search engine optimization, even if your business is entirely internet-based. There are plenty of factors to consider, in addition to the optimization itself: mobile CRM, mobile design, local social integration with your mobile strategy, and mobile advertising.

Mobile-friendly Sites are IN

Speaking of mobile strategies, did you know that the number of mobile searches now exceeds the number of computer web searches? If your site isn’t already optimized to fit on a mobile screen, it should be. It should be able to automatically resize itself to fit the size of the screen on which it is being viewed. As more and more smartphones and other small, portable devices with Wi-Fi capabilities are released on to the tech market, the number of mobile searches is only going to rise. People will continue to conduct Google and Bing searches at work, at school, during lunch, in a cab, on a train, and in just about every situation you can imagine. The average internet user now no longer has to wait until they get home to get on the computer.

Providing direct answers is IN

Google is working hard to provide direct answers to search queries. Just a couple of years ago, the search giant showed it was able to provide a direct answer for 4% of all searches. Now, that number has grown to more than 20%, and is expected to grow even more. Not only should you provide visitors with information, you should also aim to provide them with actual answers to their queries.

Always focus on creating content that viewers will find helpful and useful.

Guest blogging is OUT

For a while, guest blogging was all the rage. Bloggers were offering links in exchange for free content, and just about every webmaster on the internet volunteered to write blog posts for that backlink. Google now considers guest blogging to be undesirable for SEO.

However, there are still a few legitimate opportunities here and there. If you still want to do guest blogging, make sure that the sites you write for have never been penalized by Google for spam, and that they are actually relevant to your industry. If anything appears “spammy” with a guest blogging opportunity, you should probably avoid it.

Now that you know which trends you can expect to stay in 2016, review your website and see if you are ready to ring in the New Year.

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