Ah, SEO, it’s everyone’s favorite topic to discuss… or maybe not. If you’ve created a website of your own, you already know about the ever-evolving nature of SEO and Google Analytics. You may be tired of dealing with changes, but the reality is they’re there, and you should familiarize yourself with them so you can be better prepared for the future. Here are 3 SEO changes to be aware of in 2016:

1. Keywords are less relevant.

Many moons ago, if one stuffed their website content with keywords, it meant a greater relevance score, which resulted in a high search ranking on Google. However, Google has put the “kibosh” on that. Google now values quality content over quantity of keywords. Rather than implementing short keywords three or four times in an article, it’s much more effective to put the focus on the semantic meaning.

How can you structure your content so it ranks? First, make sure your content is centered on the intent of the searcher. Since keywords are more difficult to rank these days, use Quora to help you find important questions your target audience is asking. For example, if your audience is B2B companies, you could search for “sales B2B” in Quora. The questions that come up will provide you with article ideas you could include on your website. Other options are to insert longtail keywords in your article. Finally, increase your brand visibility by promoting your web content across multiple social media platforms, like Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

2. It’s all about mobile.

Does anyone remember the Mobile Apocalypse of 2015? Google put the smack down on all websites that weren’t mobile friendly. And while it was frustrating for those who weren’t prepared, it was actually an excellent move on Google’s part. More and more people are searching on their mobile devices for content, so it only makes sense that Google would want to level the playing field. Faulty redirects, lagging mobile pages, and blocked JavaScript all contribute to a bad mobile experience.

So to have a well functioning website, ensure that it is mobile friendly and responsive. Make sure your website layout and content appears the same on the mobile device, as it does from a desktop. Before integrating anything related to your website – be it design, coupons, ecommerce, or CRM – think: how will this element appear on a mobile device first? Always keep the user experience in mind.

3. Voice search is increasing.

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to accessing information online. More now than ever, people are using Apple Siri and Windows Cortana, etc. to quickly find answers to questions online. As you may or may not know, Google will be launching a voice recognition search feature on Google apps. This change will compliment Google’s mission to support mobile searching in a more effective manner. Embracing voice searching saves the user time, which ultimately results in a much more enjoyable user experience.

There’s a big difference between typing on a desktop versus using the voice search feature. For instance, if someone was searching for a bakery in Los Angeles, they might type “bakery Los Angeles” on their computer. However, if they were using voice search, they would probably ask the question “where is the nearest bakery in Los Angeles?” Voice searches always answer the questions, “Who, what, where, why and how.” So when implementing SEO on your own website, be sure to include headlines with questions that would answer possible search inquiries.

As a business owner, it can be cumbersome to constantly adjust your website to meet the varying technological SEO changes. However, don’t let it discourage you. Just remember these key tips:

  • Have a mobile marketing strategy in place and think “mobile” for all of your future digital dealings.
  • Focus on the quality of your content rather than keyword stuffing.
  • Make sure your site is authoritative to support the growing need of direct answers and voice searches.

If you keep the above tips in mind, you should see increased traffic to your site in the coming year. (And that’s always a good thing!)

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