The year of 2015 showed drastic change in search and content marketing, and the New Year brings it to a whole new level. The trend towards the use of search and social data to guide content creation is more powerful than ever. Here are three key SEO trends to pay attention to in 2016.
1. Optimization of Mobile Apps
The development of mobile apps is growing to be a significant factor for search and brand exposure in 2016. The year 2015 already saw mobile searches outdid desktop searches, and the use of mobile apps has been growing exponentially. These apps are going to become essential for the mobile user experience.
To keep customers engaged with the brand, these mobile applications need to be optimized. Well-designed mobile apps should completely align with the brand, messaging, and service your company is promoting. Its important to keep in mind that when people are searching within the app store, the first thing they see is the app icon and minimal information. All images used with the apps, particularly the icon and screenshots of the app opened up, should be engaging while encouraging users to learn more or download. It is also vital to keep an eye on the ratings and reviews as the app is getting more users. User retention is key – and if users aren’t having a good experience and complain, address the issue immediately.
2. Bigger Emphasis on Site Layout
The New Year also brings a deeper focus on user engagement. Website features- and the overall layout- are increasingly becoming more important when standing against industry competition. When users are struggling to find the information they need on a website, they are likely to just click back to search results to find their answer elsewhere. Potential sales can be lost due to customers abandoning your website search.
When it comes to user conversions, easy navigation is key. Take a look at your site and check the behavior of your users. What are the pages with the most and least visitors? Do users quickly leave the site? That may mean that people aren’t finding what they’re searching for- take a look at the visitor behavior to make any necessary website navigation modifications. Some things to consider are the subcategories – make sure that they are easy to understand and navigate. Drop-down menus are also helpful as they minimize clicking for the visitor. Having an internal search bar is always a good idea, especially for e-commerce sites, to help customers find what they’re looking for even faster.
With all of the above said, it is crucial to keep in mind that easy navigation and site layout applies to mobile devices. The best way to optimize for mobile devices is to gain a strong understanding of your customer’s behavior on your site. One key thing to have on a mobile optimized site is a call to action at the top of the page. Having a link to “call now” or to send an email instantaneously will increase engagement and potentially lead to more revenue for your company. That being said, it is vital to look at your site’s analytics to see how users are behaving on the site, and customize accordingly.
3. Less Emphasis on Website Rank And More on Content
Marketing success in 2016 will most likely become less defined by the website’s ranking and more on the overall online presence of the company. Social media plays a key role in this aspect. Brands have to be prepared to optimize their online presence on social media, which means that the content posted on social media needs to be ready for these searches.
This concept requires paying close attention to both the posts made and how the profiles themselves are completed. Businesses should make sure that they describe themselves as precisely as possible within any “About” sections and use engaging text and imagery. Use vocabulary that customers employ and data-backed keywords. Articles should also be mobile-friendly and include link-backs to the website and blog. As a takeaway, is that brands need to stop thinking of website development and social media marketing as two different entities, but one working team of the brand presence instead.
As online marketing continues to transform and grow, successful marketers are the ones who stay on top of the latest trends and developments. 2015 has been a transformative year for online marketing – specifically in search – and staying ahead with the latest trends will help step your company ahead of the competition.
Here at Kraus Marketing, we stay up-to-date with the latest trends in online marketing and SEO. Need some help developing an online marketing strategy for your business? Contact us to learn more about our services, or give us a call at 973-998-5742.