SEO in 2016: What to Expect

Written by: Jason Bayless | April 11, 2016

Over the last few years, the rules have changed somewhat in terms of what strategies make the most effective SEO. Experts continue to offer their tips on what business owners should expect for SEO in 2016.

Content is gaining more investment, but the only way to leverage that investment properly is to spend the time necessary to adapt to the new changes for SEO. Packing as many keywords as possible into your headlines are the tactics of old; nowadays, SEO strategy should focus on user experience above all

Twitter will become important again

Twitter hasn’t had the best couple of years, but it seems like it’s ready to pick back up in the next year. New CEOs often have some difficulty learning the controls of the new ship, so leadership can take a bit before the growth can happen. It may occur near the end of the year, but Twitter will likely improve on the stock market.

For you, this means that investing in Twitter marketing today can help truly pay off in the long run. Some may already know how to easily advertise on Twitter and build an audience, which is more important than merely promoting content–it needs to promote participation and learning on top of that.

2. Social media will become more important

This is a shift that has been coming for a while now; aside from Twitter, other social media content on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are liable to gain even more importance in search results. Most marketers already include social media in their SEO campaigns, but this is something all marketers should do for 2016.

Even more social media content will likely appear on search results pages, such as for Google, Bing and Yahoo. As far as SEO is concerned, this will probably begin blurring the lines between web results and social media marketing. In fact, you can already often see Facebook profiles as top search engine results.

3. Keywords won’t be everything

As important as it may be to add a keyword in your headline, it’s becoming less necessary these days. Google is better capable at understanding the purpose of content without having to rely on exact keywords. In the past, one would require saying a specific phrase several times in an article so Google would understand it; however, it is now capable of understanding related words and phrases. This allows you to speak naturally in all of your content.

4. Size matters

On average, longer articles containing 1,200 to 1,500 words tend to rank better on search engine results pages. Compared to a few years ago, this is a substantial change; once upon a time, 300 words was bordering on excessive.

People appreciate longer articles, and so these kinds of articles gain more traffic and do better with SEO. It’s not a hard conclusion to make that Google will place further prominence on lengthy, substantial content. With longer articles, there are more words and images that can be included, allowing for more ranking opportunities. Just be sure to break up the content with headers and bullet points.

5. Mobile optimization is more important than ever

Whether more people will shift to mobile use in 2016 is up for debate, but the fact remains that a significant number of people already do that. Because of that, it’s critical to ensure that you develop content that can be searched via mobile devices. Humans and Google both must be able to easily understand the content and interact with the website, so be sure your 2016 SEO campaign includes mobile optimization.