5 SEO Trends to Watch in 2016

SEO TrendsThe field of search engine optimization (SEO) is always changing, and the best practices used even just a few years ago are not necessarily relevant in today’s SEO strategies. Even as the technological landscape evolves, so must businesses adapt to the developments in SEO and digital marketing. Here are 5 current SEO trends that experts predict will become even more important in 2016.

1. Quality Content Reigns Supreme

The phrase “content is king” has been tossed around for nearly two decades, but that in recent years that mantra has absorbed an important qualifier: the idea of “quality”. Quality content in SEO terms means longer texts that go in depth about a topic, rather short pages that only scratch the surface. This kind of “thick” content anticipates users’ questions and how they will use that information to guide their next steps, whether more research or a purchasing decision. Keywords are still an important part of crafting good SEO content, but they should occur quite naturally and often as you delve into the given topic.

2. Social Media Boosts Visibility

Data shows that having a robust social media presence and numerous social signals correlates to having higher organic traffic and ranking better. Despite Google’s avowal that social media is not a factor in their ranking algorithms, social media posts are beginning to show up among some search results, and this trend would indicate that social media will continue to play a role your SEO strategies for 2016.

3. Mobile Searches Outpace Desktop Use

Earlier this year, Google confirmed that more searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktop computers, and the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update in April 2015 eliminated the possibility that mobile is a passing fad. This means that if you aren’t taking mobile devices into account, your SEO optimization is only half-finished and you are losing out on customers.

4. Local SEO Becomes More Influential

Though online retailers warrant a watchful eye, the reality is that the average consumer still relies on local businesses in their day-to-day life for restaurants, auto repair, home cleaning services and many other industries. Additionally, as wearable technology becomes more mainstream and complements mobile devices, geographic-based searches and customer reviews will become increasingly influential in a user’s decision to visit your establishment or employ your services.

5. Long-tail Keywords Increase in Value

Search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated and capable of processing long strings of words in search queries to help users find exactly what they are looking for. Often these “long-tail” search terms arise when people use natural language in their searches, a method that is not only more convenient for users but provides an enormous opportunity to capture the top ranking spots in a niche market. Few people target long-tail keywords, so you could significantly increase your organic search results if you emphasize your SEO efforts where the competition is sparse.

At MLT Group, we can help you develop a comprehensive optimization strategy based on industry best-practices. Contact us today at sales@mltgroup.com or call 507-281-3490, and position your business for SEO success in 2016!