SEO strategizing can sometimes prove difficult to keep up with. Algorithms often change, as do the guidelines that govern SEO practices. Although you may be publishing loads of quality content, inadequate strategies may barricade you from positive search results. Old SEO strategies can be what stand between your company’s website, and the first pages of Google. 2016 is signaling a few major shifts, and new strategies will be needed to better optimize your search engine results. Don’t fall behind, and check out some of these useful tips to keep up with shifting SEO metrics and ranking factors.

For starters, there is definitely a growing shift from technical SEO, to a more content and strategy-drive SEO. Technical SEO focuses largely on fixing issues, as well as optimizing sites for discovery and indexation by bots. Content-driven SEO is taking prominence, as more individuals and firms familiarize themselves with the field’s technical side. According to Benjamin Spiegel of SEO Land, there are two possible pathways for SEO practitioners because of this shift. The first being content-centric SEO practitioners, who will focus heavily on organic optimization and content creation. The second will develop into a more analytic pathway, analyzing and gathering data to spot and foresee consumer trends gaining prevalence.

A report from Moz – the most prolific of SEO community sites – indicates that a few new factors will be increasingly important in determining your website’s search engine effectiveness. Among the most increasingly impactful factors are Mobile Friendliness, Usability and Design, Usage, and perceived value of the page. More important than keywords, searches are now focusing on intent and usability. As Sheila Olsen of Business 2 Community puts it, “providing meaningful answers to users’ requests” is taking priority over keywords. The new Panda and Penguin updates focus primarily over these aspects of a google search. The three main intent categorizations are meant to bring you onto a specific site (Navigational), answer your questions (Informational), and to perform some web-mediated ability (Transactional). Engaging users, and ensuring that they are satisfied with the answers that you provide is of the utmost importance to search engines. Keyword stuffing and or strategic keyword placement simply won’t cut it anymore.

2016 will also place a major focus on mobile users. Last year’s Super Bowl was the first where the majority of searches conducted was performed from mobile platforms. That surely marks a paradigm shift, or a trend that will continue forward for years to come. Google data suggest rising trends within consumer culture as well. For example, half of consumers who conduct a mobile search of a store or product will visit that store or purchase that product within 24 hours. Another trend shows that 75% of consumers who conducted a local search of a store on a mobile device visited that same store only five hours later. Because of these trends, mobile friendly sites and stores will surely show significance for search engine results.

Finally, providing adequate user experiences cannot be stressed enough. Many of the changes Google is making to its algorithms focus on making sure that users reach the right content. Therefore, creating content that is informative, well-written, and useful is imperative. According to Sheila Olsen’s article, “How to articles”, “Numbered Lists”, “Explainer Articles”, and Videos, are the best pieces of content you can create for your site. Although short articles were more popular in the past, longer is better now because of google’s recent updates. The more words and images to index and rank, the better.

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