July 15, 2016
Any Internet-savvy small business owner or entrepreneur will have heard about SEO and how it can help their business’ chances. Optimizing your website to increase search engine results can earn visibility as well as traffic for your business. Doing SEO right continues to be a crucial piece in placing your small business ahead of the race, and that importance continues to increase in 2016. Some of the newest changes and adaptations being made are found below. Make sure you brush up and are prepared for what is changing this year.
What Hasn’t Changed
Google is still king. Not surprising, considering how this search engine created the SEO algorithm for ranking websites. As long as people rely on Google and other search engines for gathering information, you are going to have to become familiar with how it ranks and prioritizes websites. In other words, if a small business site sees only a handful of visitors, chances are there is not enough SEO-friendly content to generate traffic. Unfortunately, ranking websites has not gotten any less difficult in 2016. There are now specialists in writing SEO-focused content and the competition is intense. Like previous years, great content ranks better than generic, keyword-laden content. Consumers may have predictable spending habits and follow trends, but they are not robots. Target the appropriate audience with genuine, rich content and you will excel.
The other thing a small business still needs to be aware of is how legitimate and authoritative their appearance on the Internet is. Hacking and viruses have made consumers weary and, if no one is backing you up and giving testimonials, you will not have a shining presence online.
What’s New in 2016
Mobile and Location-Based Search
Responsive mobile websites that function well are key in 2016. Before customers could find local businesses via Facebook or directories like the Yellow Pages. Now people are dependent on Smartphones for handling such manners. Not only do small businesses need a decent website, they need one that’s optimized for mobile use. Consumers also want to know where you are located, when you are open, and if they swing by right now what to expect. They will use a GPS-based search like Google Maps and Yelp to find you, so make sure you are listed and ready to go.
Social Networking Services (SNS)
Social media marketing, blogs, guest posts, sharing, and eBooks are just some examples of how other people aid in your marketing efforts. The small business owner and employees should be active in campaigning too. Share coupons on Facebook then tweet, post pictures on Instagram, and promote partnerships through LinkedIn. Increasing interest in your business corresponds with your influence on search results. Reportedly, Google has also partnered with Facebook and Twitter to aggregate posts of live news events in search results.
Back in the day, words were the most important qualifier for SEO. Now, in 2016, the prominence of video has been realized. Vine, Snapchat, and other applications are partially responsible. Consumers are more likely to watch video than read several pages of content because of how effective video communication is. By including a brief introductory video, you already utilized one of the best SEO-friendly ways to connect with customers.
Long Tail Keywords
Think about how you search the Internet. You don’t merely say one word to Siri or Cortana or type a single word like “computer” as a search. Likely you say something akin to, “Where can I buy this brand of computer in this area?” You website should respond similarly. Use guest posting and similar content with keywords that work and will get you real results. Pages that contain colloquial content are now seen more often as SERPs.
SEO is evolving continuously and Web searching has become a more intuitive experience. In 2016, remember to use video, SNS and more human-oriented content. Understanding SEO trends and advancements, then incorporating them into your small business platform is pivotal in your success.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.