Regardless of the business, chances are its online presence contributes to the company’s success in some way. In the last few years, constant algorithm changes have kept companies on their toes – trying to keep up with the shift in focus of what Google is looking for when it decides where to rank you.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the updates and trends which appeared last year and what trends in SEO we can expect to see in 2016.
SEO in 2015
Here’s a brief overview of what SEO had in-store for us in 2015:
- Google made a number of algorithm changes to mobile rankings, meaning searches made on mobile devices would show mobile-friendly results including relevant app downloads.
- The Google ‘Snack Pack’ which configures the top three results for your search, complete with one-click contact/location details was launched in September.
- Google announced back in May that it would begin showing relevant tweets in the search results.
- The presence of mobile advertisement within a SERP rose to 50% in November
What marketers should prioritise in SEO in 2016
Local SEO & business listings
Local SEO and optimising business listings are great ways to drive traffic to either your website or business. The accessibility of contact information and location ensures that users can rapidly contact or locate you whether it be online or physically.
By claiming your online business listings, you’re showing that you’re a valid business and it helps to authenticate and build trustworthy foundations. It is crucial that information is consistent throughout various business profiles; so ensure that the details such as the telephone number, email and address is the same across all platforms.
Most importantly, is claiming your Google My Business page. Ensure that this is set up with all of the correct information, and it’ll be much easier for customers to get in touch with you or locate you.
If you do have different branches or stores, ensure that you’ve set up the correct information for each branch. It also helps for local SEO if you have relevant local landing pages set up, which are optimised with local keyword data.
Reviews are increasing in influence, especially for local searches. With 61% of consumers reading online reviews before making a purchase decision, optimising and monitoring reviews are an essential for ecommerce sites.
As well as being great for SEO purposes, a huge 74% of people say that a positive review makes them put more trust in a business. Reviews are classed as fresh, relevant and unique content so often rank highly for a business’ name.
A small number of negative reviews do not tend to be anything to worry about, as long as the majority are positive, and as long as they don’t contain defamatory or libellous comments.
In 2016, it’s likely that the influence and trust placed in reviews will only increase, making it essential for companies to have a review management strategy; ensuring that they are responding to all reviews and encouraging positive reviews.
The handling of complaints and negative reviews in the correct manner is something that needs to be covered within the review management strategy.
A mobile-friendly site
Although a PC/laptop still ranks as the most popular device to search the internet on with 91% of the share, smartphones are not far behind at 80% and this is only set to rise.
Having a mobile-friendly site has never been more important, especially now that Google has taken steps to rank those sites which have a mobile-friendly version.
With the high number of local searches being made on mobile devices, if you’re looking to attract local traffic it is important that you remember to incorporate mobile search into your search strategy.
This is something that will continue to be important for companies moving into 2016, therefore, if you don’t have a mobile-friendly site, chances are you are missing out on a chunk of traffic coming from mobile devices.
Whilst implementing all of the above, a continual focus on customer satisfaction throughout is key. All B2C interaction should be consistent and appropriate with information easily accessible in order to create the best possible experience for all consumers.
If you’d like to discuss any of the points above in more detail, please contact me in complete confidence on 0203 542 8689 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.