SEO Predictions for the Year 2016

This is a guest post submission from Tristan Jasper. He is a marketer, entrepreneur and a freelance blogger.

Search Engine Optimization—one of the biggest and most effective online marketing strategies—maintains a progressive evolution day to day.

And if online marketers and business owners alike would want to remain at the top of the game & relevant to their website viewers and potential consumers, they will make a conscious effort to tweak their websites according to how SEO has evolved.

Outdated Methods Could Hurt You

Should they fail to do this or should they continue to utilize outdated and obsolete methods, they run the risk of losing their potential customers to their competitors who have updated their techniques to match with the times.

Currently, we are halfway through 2015 and yet again, online marketers & SEO specialists are yet to experience an onslaught of changes in search engine optimization in the following year.

Naturally, this spurs all sorts of questions:

  • What changes could the SEO industry have that would potentially generate more traffic to my website?

  • Will Google substantially alter its layout?

  • And if they do, what would this mean for my website?

These are just some of the queries online marketers might contemplate about when they think about the barrage of tweaks and alterations in SEO for the year that is yet to come.

So instead of merely thinking about the potential changes Google might hurl at us, this article aims to predict three of the possible changes in search engine optimization that might occur in the following year.

google predictions crystal ball

1) MOBILE WILL REDEFINE THE FUTURE

Succinctly put, this means that mobile searches will surpass desktop in 2016.

As asserted by eMarketer, 2015 will have mobile searches reach the tipping point (the stage at which the majority of spend, organic traffic, and paid clicks originate from tablets and mobile smartphones rather than from the desktop or laptop search).

Perhaps, this is not so much of a prediction but rather a conclusion of where our current technology is taking us. It is only natural that mobile searches would be taking over, considering that the amount of people in possession of a smartphone keeps increasing.

Convenience

Moreover, a smartphone is a lot more convenient to carry around and it operates roughly the same as a desktop or laptop would. This means marketers should focus on having a mobile mindset for all of their websites and product based decisions apart from making their websites both responsive to all devices and mobile friendly.

2) VOICE SEARCH

Since the advent of Siri, Google Now, or Cortana, it is only inevitable that mobile searches would entail voice searches as well. Think of how this changes the way queries are crafted and how questions were structured.

google's voice search

Text based search is rather simplistic with the user simply typing “Hardware Store” into the search box and clicking on an address to find its location. Voice search is a bit more complicated as people are more likely to structure complete questions instead of keywords.

More likely than not, they will ask “Where is the nearest hardware store?”. There lies the difference—the usage of keywords and the utilization of complete queries.

How is this Significant?

Well, voice search is marked by the use of question words (Who, What, Where, Why and How). These question terms will define how marketers should change their search patterns on mobile devices.

3) TRENDS INCLUDE STRUCTURED DATA AND DIRECT ANSWERS

Showing direct answers are Google’s attempt to show users the exact answer to their search queries at the top of the search page.

Unfortunately, this was not originally designed with mobile phones in mind, but the requirements and restrictions of mobile search have pushed its growth.

The good news is that most direct answer platforms are not commercially valuable—most searches cannot be turned into a direct answer and about 75% of the time, links to the source are provided.

So in order to adapt, online marketers should provide structured data for everything that they can. It may sound a bit off putting, but it’s a way of tagging the data in web pages so that search engines can easily understand the data used.

In Summary

There is a lot in store for 2016. And though these are mere hunches, the possibility of these predictions becoming true is rather high. It is a persistent reality that mobile searches outnumber desktop searches, and from this, it can be inferred that mobile is the future of digital marketing.

With this information, marketers and website owners should put mobile on the forefront in all of their digital dealings. From this, you can have an effective mobile marketing strategy in place as you welcome the year 2016.

Author Bio:

Tristan Jasper is a marketer, entrepreneur and a freelance blogger. He’s currently working as a digital marketer at one of the top digital marketing agency in Philippines. Follow him on Twitter at @tristanjasperph.

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