At present, the SEO industry is quite volatile due to the plethora of algorithm changes in Google within a short time. The algorithm set of the search engine is changing by the month, and this extremely dynamic nature is keeping SEO professionals on the tenterhooks. It is one of the toughest weathers for SEO specialists to bear, and they have to constantly keep themselves abreast with new updates. Check out some of the new trends that every SEO specialist needs to look out for in 2016 to improve the performance of websites.
Optimize Website for Rich Answers
It is not enough to simply aim for high rankings on Google SERPs for target keywords. It is also essential to optimize websites for Rich Answers, which are actually the results appearing on the top of the organic search results. Stone Temple Consulting mentions that 19.45% of the 850,000 keyword queries on Google search results have rich answers being displayed. The number is only set to rise in the coming months. Given that Google has made it clear that it aims to offer value to users, the details which are the most relevant to the search queries are offered by rich answers.
Check Other Featured Content of Google
Take a look at the Mozcast Google Feature review to know about other content types which are featured within the results thrown up by Google. Here, rich answers are called ‘featured snippets’. ‘Related Questions’ is a similar type of feature, and displays how the questions should be covered by articles. Videos and images are other popular ways to gain top rankings for a few search terms on the SERPs. Check out which of these are essential for your type of industry.
Make User Engagement Better
For a long time, user engagement has been supposed to be one of the possible factors that help get higher rankings. This includes bounce rate, average time spent on website, pogo sticking and various other factors. It is an established factor for conversion and decides how effective are the elements of pages which influence the visitors’ chances to respond to your call to action messages. But the effectiveness of such factors is tough to assess in search engines due to lack of supporting information. Although user engagement is regarded as having an indirect impact on SERP rankings, SEO specialists should optimize websites even with this factor in consideration.
Various tools can be used to track visitor interaction and engagement with website pages. There are tools such as CrazyEgg and SumoMe Heat Maps which can show the links most or least clicked on, total number of clicks made etc. Based on such information, websites can be optimized by improving buttons and CTA links. Heatmapping can easily determine user interaction with pages from the number of clicks obtained from links.
Mobile App Optimization
At present, the mobile industry has become very huge. Google is constantly trying to find newer ways to offer a better search experience to mobile users. The mobile-friendly update of the search engine, also referred to as ‘Mobilegeddon’, is an effort in this area. It encourages website owners to develop responsive or mobile designs to make websites load faster on mobile phones and tablets. A faster loading website can retain users better.
There is huge rush to grab the attention of mobile users, and there has been a great rise in the number of dollars being paid on mobile advertising every year. With millions being spent already on mobile ads, as per eMarketer statistics show, Google is set to take a more important role in providing mobile users with new content. App store optimization will be a step in this way. In 2016, App Store Optimization is set to be the new SEO trend.
With an increasing number of people using their smart phones to read news, it is essential to make content mobile-searchable. Website owners and SEO experts need to ensure that Google can easily understand all the content, which can be found in the mobile app and leverage the app’s promotion with regard to SEO.
App Indexing is able to bring more search results on Google mobile search for search queries. In other words, website pages which rank for the targeted keyword will need to compete with many app pages as well. In search results, App Indexing is the newest development which would influence how website pages will rank for the keywords targeted. Apps are indexed through App Index at present on Google search. App search ranking falls under Deep Linking or App Index. In the coming months, marketers will have to optimize their websites for app stores as well as the organic search results of Google.
Unlike earlier times, images are not a very big source of referral on Google. But it can be really worthwhile to have unique images on websites. Although the same image can appear on hundreds of web search results, it is the really unique ones which can get top spots. Although stock photos can be good enough to make general points, unique or custom photography can prove to be very valuable over the long term.
The size of articles has a lot of importance in rankings. On an average, longer articles which range between 1,200 and 1,500 words in size tend to be better performers on Google SERPs. Even a few years back, a 300-word article was regarded as a long enough one. But the recent changes in Google algorithm have attempted to do away with articles having a number of keywords containing competitive search terms within small content. Naturally, longer articles are enjoying higher traffic and higher SEO rankings. It is essential to distribute keywords evenly and space them out through longer articles to introduce uniformity into the optimization process, and make articles easier for readers to go through.
Keeping the above SEO tips will ensure a smoother sail for your online properties even in this rough weather, and achieve better success for your own business.