2016 Search Strategies for Savvy SEOs

Two months into the New Year, resolutions may have been abandoned and the hope professionals felt just 30 days prior might be waning.


As an important practice within digital enterprises, this shouldn't be the case when it comes to a brand's 2016 search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives. While reaping rewards from SEO requires patience and commitment, professionals would be wise to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to maintaining or boosting their visibility in the result pages. To continue the New Year momentum, let's turn to industry professionals for their take on what will change in 2016 and what strategies SEO pros can use.



Automate Processes

"A cool and interesting trend for small- and medium-sized businesses will be access to a new breed of powerful apps that allow them to optimize their SEO and digital footprint themselves with far better results and ease than before. The larger ecommerce platforms and hosting providers are now integrating such apps into their app stores.

"For example, toolsets like Positionly provide a website owner with specific, actionable suggestions to gain more traffic and improve their search rankings. Another impressive app is RankingCoach; it delivers on-page, off-page, social media and local SEO measures, all very much tailored to your business sector."

- Richard Stevenson, head of corporate communications for ePages.com

Further reading, "Shiny New Search Tools to Try."



Think Smaller for Bigger Wins

"SEO will continue to move further and further away from algorithm chasing due to advances like Rank Brain and more fluid search engine technology. SEO strategies will become less about static one-size-fits-all content and more about micro-moment audience-oriented content. Being findable in 2016 and beyond will require more data to derive the right insights about those audiences as well as agile content capabilities to appear in the locations, devices and moments people are searching."

- Dave McAnally, director of SEO at Resolution Media

Further reading, "Are You Ready for Rank Brain?"



Concentrate on Mobile

"Nowadays people prefer to use mobile devices over PCs in their daily lives. This behavior is telling us as SEO professionals to concentrate on optimization for mobile devices. Marketing strategies should be mobile-first with respect to SEO, and brands should also focus on developing mobile apps for getting greater reach. Mobile is the future of digital marketing and thinking in this manner will certainly boost your brand's ranking."

- Yana Kotrutsa, PR manager (Spain) at SEMrush

Further reading, "App Indexing and Deep Linking: What You Need to Know."




Hangout with Google

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, conducted a Google Hangout in Dec. 2015  and shed light on search strategies for 2016, among other topics.


He indicated Web professionals will hear a lot more from Google about accelerated mobile pages (AMP) as well as mobile in general because a lot of sites are still not doing that properly. While those are some of the bigger topics the search giant is expected to further address in 2016, Mueller also mentioned that Google will look at how to better handle JavaScript sites in search and likely make better recommendations for developers. Further, Mueller confirmed the importance of high-quality content and user experience, adding that Google wants to bring people to the content that is useful to them.

"If your content is really useful for users, then we want to bring that to people, so if we can recognize that your site is doing everything right then that's something we'll try to reflect."

Further reading, advice on creating useful content.