2016 was the year of mobile search. Back in April Google made waves by updating their algorithm to include “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal. The update was hyperbolically dubbed Mobilegeddon, as webmasters scrambled to ensure their sites fell within Google’s definition of mobile-friendly.
Similarly, near the end of the year, Google launched a new search result interface for tablets. Once again this is hardly surprising, considering 2015 marked the year where the number of mobile searches finally surpassed traditional desktop searches. Expect even more fine-tuning of mobile search results in 2016.
Now that having a mobile-friendly site has quickly become a necessity, one of the other major focuses has been continuing to improve site speed. Regardless of how the information on your website is displayed, it’s not going to retain any traffic if it takes too long to load. As Search Engine Watch cautioned back in May, “every second counts.”
With online reviews continuing to gain trust from consumers, reputation management became more important than ever. A June article from Search Engine Land offered 10 ideas for fixing a damning business review. Like I said at the time, sometimes bad reviews are unavoidable, but how you handle them goes a long way toward defining your business.
On the technical side of things, some SEO “best practices” continued to live up to their name. While guidelines for properly structuring URLs might not be the most riveting topic, it was important in 2015 and it’s going to remain important in 2016 as well.
Another topic that continued to generate significant attention (and isn’t going away anytime soon) was creating high quality content. Moz’s beginners guide to content marketing proved to be a fairly comprehensive resource for anyone looking to take their content to the next level. Of particular note was the section specifically dedicated to content creation.
Organic search continued to offer the best results when it comes to relevant traffic, and Search Engine Land wrote an article detailing 4 reasons organic search is still better than paid advertising and social sites. Oddly, despite its continued importance, SMBs still aren’t giving SEO the amount of attention it deserves.
Finally, as we look ahead to 2016, Search Engine Watch’s article asking, “will 2015’s SEO best practices carry over into 2016?” offered valuable insight into what this year has in store.
You can probably expect the usual amount of minor algorithm updates to continue in the months ahead. However, if you were already doing the right things in 2015 there’s no reason 2016 shouldn’t be another great year for your firm’s online marketing efforts.
About the Author: Jason Arango is the Director of Marketing for GJEL Accident Attorneys. He’s been involved in online marketing since 2007, and has worked with companies such as Village Voice Media and Clear Channel Communications.