Finding ways to stay on top of SEO technologies is vital for your website’s exposure. You want your customers to find you, after all, and that means adjusting to the latest SEO trends.
You can create the best service or product, have the perfect website design, and produce great content, but it’s no use if no one can find you. Search engine know-how is increasing in sophistication, like Google’s RankBrain technology. Developers aren’t just trying to determine search patterns, but why such patterns come about in the first place.
Keeping up with these latest developments is important if you don’t want your online presence to be drowned out. So here are some of this year’s top search engine optimization developments to help you determine the path to more traffic and exposure.
You Have to be Mobile-Friendly
This one’s a no-brainer. Up until recent years, desktops users have been responsible for the majority of Internet searches. 2015 was really the year when mobile phones and tablets were being used by billions of people to get online. This means companies had do adjust and optimize themselves for mobile devices.
Hosts such as GoDaddy or Wix have also been offering easy ways to optimize websites for mobile access, while Google’s Mobilegeddon update was introduced last year to give preference to websites that have adjusted to cellphones and tablets.
Fast is Good
Loading time doesn’t just affect your customers’ mood. It also determines your SEO rankings. Up to 40% of users abandon a site that takes more than three seconds or so to load, while top-ranking sites take only about a second. Most sites are between these two extremes, but faster sites definitely do better in terms of traffic and exposure.
Use tools like PageSpeed Insights, offered by Google, to analyze what you can do to make your site load faster. These tools actually show you what you can improve on, and have a scoring system (0 to 100) to rank how different sites are doing in terms of speed.
Social Media is Key
2016 is the year where we’re seeing a lot of the barriers between social media and search engines fall when it comes to SEO. Since Twitter reached a deal with Google early last year to show Twitter profiles on search result pages, Google has been indexing more hashtags, profiles, and tweets.
Other social media platforms are likely to reach similar agreements in the future. It’s going to be interesting to see how search engines change once they start utilizing more and more of this kind of social media data.
Once someone shares your post on social media, it’s likely that more people will notice it, like it, or maybe even share it again. This has a direct impact on traffic, which increases through things like Twitter and Facebook mentions.
Visual Content is Taking Over
No high profile page on the Internet lacks images and videos. Websites that do particularly well have relevant imagery and videos on practically every single webpage. This sounds like common sense, but it’s shocking how many sites still ignore graphics.
Social media and instant messaging services are capable of carrying high-quality visual content, including videos. Just look at Periscope, Snapchat, or Vine. This has increased the prioritization of high quality photography and videography when it comes to getting your message across. It’s easier to refer to a graphic or to watch a short video than it is to read a bunch of paragraphs.
This doesn’t mean you should get rid of all your written content. No, written content will probably remain the core of websites for many years to come, but they key is to supplement it with the right kind of graphics. And who knows—one of these days, the written word may very well take a back seat as visual content increase in popularity.
Any chatter that predicted the death of SEO technology in 2016 has so far been wrong. This kind of pessimism has been around for a while now. Granted, trends change and 2016 is not the same as 2015. You can’t just build webpages and strategies around “keywords” anymore.
This year, your SEO plans should utilize different strategies and approaches to drive visitors to your page. That means providing as much value as you can to users.