6 SEO Trends to Watch for in 2016

These days, we often hear that SEO is no longer an important part of marketing your business. But don’t be fooled — it’s still important, and like many web skills, you can’t learn the ropes once and call it a day. SEO rules and search engine algorithms change year after year. Following the latest changes and making the necessary changes to your site is a no-brainer.

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This year, search engine optimization will be as powerful as ever, but search engines are getting smarter — and it’s harder than ever to use dodgy tricks to fool them. SEO in 2016 isn’t just about optimizing websites for search engines, but about making your site suitable for people.

If you’re interested in what SEO will bring in 2016, here are six tips that won’t let you down.

Content Marketing

So what is content marketing?

Content marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.

The goal of content marketing, in our case, is to provide value to visitors.

If you want to create a great content marketing campaign you should focus on providing answers. Every word you write should have value and give answers to the questions your readers might have. Take a moment to search Google for something you find interesting. You will see that many of the articles on the first page are how-tos and list posts. There’s a reason these posts get on the first page of Google: they provide value.

How-tos and List Posts

Before you start writing, think about what readers in your market want and try to figure out their questions. Some tools that help you find what your audience asks most are:

  • Quora. Quora is one of the most important resources for market research. In case you find your niche on Quora, you can see what people are asking and use that to your advantage. Try to write articles that give value and answer questions related to your topic.
  • Reddit. Reddit is not called the front page of the Internet for nothing. There are 231 million unique visitors and 36 million members who can submit content, such as text posts or direct links, and ask questions. Not only that, there’s a subreddit for every specific niche and interest out there. It’s a great place to discover what users want.
  • Forums. On the web you can find lots of forums for different topics and niches. One of the benefits to writing articles that answer questions commonly asked in niche forums is that you’ll probably find your piece cropping up in the threads if you do a good job.

The point is to figure out exactly what your audience wants — and give it to them.

Are your visitors going back and clicking on other search results, or are they finding the answers they’re looking for on your site? If the former is true, you’re on the right track. Longer, structured posts which provide value get better results from Google.

Mobile-Friendly Is a Must

Since May 2015, mobile search has surpassed desktop search in ten countries, including the US and Japan, and it’s a fact that this trend will continue. At this point, it’s a must for every webmaster to keep their website mobile-friendly.

Three tools that you can use to check whether your site is mobile-friendly are Bing’s Mobile Friendliness Test Tool, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, and mobiReady. The first and second are good, but they don’t tell you why your site is mobile-friendly or not. mobiReady is a more sophisticated tool. I recommend using it because it gives you an enhanced view of your website analysis and uses a rating system. When your site scores higher, the more capable it will be of providing a quality user experience on mobile devices. Furthermore, it gives you a detailed list of website performance failures, and why some of these factors lower your page result.

mobiReady

In order for your website to perform well in mobile-friendly test tools, follow these tips:

  • Avoid software that is not common on mobile devices, especially Flash.
  • Remember to make your site responsive if you are coding it from scratch, or use a responsive framework/theme.
  • Be sure the content fits within the screen viewport so users don’t have to scroll horizontally or zoom.
  • Format text in a way that should be readable without zooming.
  • Place links far enough apart from each other so visitors can easily touch the correct one.

In case you are using a CMS for your website, check these guides provided by Google.

Don’t forget: a mobile-friendly approach gives your site a great boost in Google’s rankings. A non-mobile-friendly competitor doesn’t stand a chance against a mobile-friendly site.

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Source: Sitepoint