It is time once again to make our predictions for what will matter most in the world of Search Marketing in 2016. Every year it is important to assess your current Internet Marketing and web site to see if they are in line with the trends for the next year. We are going to look into the crystal ball and predict what we feel will help your site gain the most traction in the coming year.
Quicker than Uber is taking down the taxi cab monopoly, Google is in full force in re-shaping it’s search results to reflect the new Dominance of mobile search. Google is not going to wait around for you to determine that your site is ready to “go mobile”. Along with last years’ direct updates to penalize sites that were not mobile compatible, Google is moving in the direction of favoring sites that go alone with their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) , which will likely start gaining benefit in February 2016. If you have not begun to ask your IT Department or Web Designer about making your site mobile you will almost have to in 2016. Google sees this as the eventual core of their business.
It is painful to continue to see sites that don’t take advantage of proper Meta Titles. After several updates Google began ranking some sites that had never seen the light of day before. These sites had titles such as “Home” or “Home Page” and so people began to think that perhaps Meta Titles were no longer important. This could not be further from the truth. Your Meta Title needs to be descriptive and to have your Site Name in it. Both from a perspective of a potential shopper and the fact that the Meta Title is an Important Factor in what keywords you rank for. With more and more websites created each year, neglecting the most basic function of a web page like the Meta Title is feckless. Google will need these important markers more and more.
The last few years were supposed to show the death of links as the Google algorithm Penguin Updates were harsh on many web sites. People began to think that linking was going to be replaced by “social signals” and that the algorithm could function on citations and those signals alone. This was foolhardy as Google continues to use Links as a strong signal of Domain and Site Authority. The amount of links on your site and what they say matter more, but moving forward on a site design or content strategy and expecting the site to rank in 2016 without links will not work. You are able in many areas to have links pointing to your website. It is never too late to improve the authority of the site even after it has been built and you should be looking to increase your links in 2016.
Don’t get me wrong a strong content marketing campaign is important for your business. Having strong content on your static pages as well as in your blog is important. The notion though that you should have a Content Marketing Strategy the same as Coca Cola is foolhardy. The thought being that if Coca Cola can get sites to link to it from its’ share content, so should Bob’s Discount Muffler Shop of Toledo, and this would thus replace the need for link building or any other off-site activity. Many smaller companies have been forced into this square peg for a round hole strategy in 2015 and they will realize that it is not as effective as they had hoped. Looking at the size of your business and the scope of it’s appeal is essential in 2016.
What does a company do if it can’t show up in the top 3 “map pack” searches on Google, when there used to be 5 or 7 companies listed? They can either wait around for Google to put them in the top or they can work harder on their organic SEO. The 2-3 spots that just opened up are now appearing in Organic and benefitting those companies that continued to work to improve their organic rankings locally. It will be essential for any local business to re-invest their energy into an Organic SEO strategy in the New Year. With Google being so fickle in determining how many ‘slots’ are available, it is essential that sites control their own destiny and work harder to improve their Adwords Ads or Organic listings.
How is your Google Authorship doing in 2015, how about all the effort you put into posting on Google+? These avenues have proved to be busts or totally discontinued. Marketers will begin to question new Fads put out as little more than what they are, wastes of time. Much of the trust that was given to Google for its’ new ways to reach clients has begun to fade away. Expect Marketers and Site Owners to have more of a wait and see approach to Google’s new offerings as they determine if they are in fact going to play out. Expect Google to spend more time on its’ core profitable area of Google Adwords.
2016 should be one of the more stable years in Search Marketing as the players in the industry have matured quite a bit. They have begun to learn how to keep both their clients (searchers) and their customers (Advertisers) happy.