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SEO Best Practices: Emerging Trends

Clint Butler September 26, 2016

 

SEO Best Practices: What are the Emerging Trends?

2016 has brought exciting change to the SEO world. It’s a fast moving game as what were considered SEO Best Practices change continuosly. Today we will list a few methods and techniques that have grown in prominence since the turn of the year.

Content Aggregation

It’s becoming increasingly clear as time goes on that users are not just putting in text searches anymore. The increase in video and image search means our SEO efforts need to adapt to this type of searching.

Content aggregation is a feasible and sensible manner of collating and displaying content through pre-determined criteria so that it is best suited towards a particular audience or demographic. A key point to keep in mind when it comes to this practice are the sources used. You need to ensure that you are working with sources that are of high authority and quality so that this reputable information feeds through to your sites ratings. With search engines and users alike rewarding quality content in the current SMM and SEO mix, it’s a worthwhile practice.

Mobile Optimization

You’re a fool to miss this one!

Any marketer with their head in this decade will know the importance and emerging influence of mobile. Its meteoric rise to the top of searches has caused a serious need for adoption when it comes to websites.

Customers are demanding in the modern world. A consistent customer experience throughout all channels is not a lovely addition – it’s a requirement. Users expect to experience the same level of quality and consistency on a website whether they are accessing it on a tablet, desktop or smartphone.

They are also quicker to complain should poor optimization throw a wrench in the works. Social media platforms like Twitter enable rapid response and backlash from poor customer experience can be a quick wildfire that’s hard to contain.

2016 SEO best practices are all mobile-oriented. With the vast majority of global traffic coming through mobile is rising monthly, it’s a factor we must cover.

This means that you need to have a consistent plan for all details of your website, down to the size and colors of your fonts.

Long-form Content

It’s debatable whether long form content is “emerging” or not this far into 2016. It is, however, such an important part of what is current in SEO that it’s worth including.

In the past few years, the buzz was all about content marketing, and this hasn’t died off one bit. It’s no longer the case that you can flood an e-commerce site with small pages jammed full of images and get SEO success.

Content marketing used to be the next big thing. Now, it’s not just the next big thing; it’s the current thing. But don’t stop there; look deeper into content and you’ll learn that 2016 is the year of long-form content. Short product pages with a few images thrown in are no longer going to cut it.

An excellent example of the power of long-form is the mighty giant Amazon. A key to their online success and presence over the last few years is that they’ve been ahead of the curve when it comes to their content. They’ve been using long-form pages for quite some time now. Amazon packed every single product page to the brim with specifications, reviews, and manufacturer information as well as customer reviews.

This level of detail and content is expected by users who increasingly scrutinize and research their purchases in great detail before parting with their money. The practice has now moved from selecting information to display to providing as much as possible, leaving the onus on the customer to pick what is relevant and important to them from a full and lengthy page.

Semantic Search

Semantic search has been on the rise since 2012. The launch of the Knowledge Graph cemented the drive by Google towards this and has grown in prominence since then.

It’s easy to see why.

Google has consistently pushed its algorithms towards the fluid interpretation of keywords with a goal of rewarding organic content and penalizing SEO. The heart of semantic searching is the ability for a search engine to interpret a phrase entered into it so that it can understand different contexts of that phrase.

Semantic search allows for the particularly intelligent understanding of a phrase and the linking of it to various phrases located on websites. Particularly of use with colloquial, technical, geographic or medical terms, this has broadened Google’s ability to provide the most relevant and high-quality content to its users at all times.

Connections

Intent is a big deal. As search algorithms advance in complexity, the notion of relationships is increasingly important.

A fascinating aspect on this subject is the ability of search engines to learn.

Connections are all about the use of advanced algorithms. Their intent is to analyze the context and co-occurrence of terms. Sometimes, entirely separate phrases are commonly used to reach the same website or page. Here, search engines such as Google learn this link and builds it into its library of context based connections.

It’s an exciting subject as it means that a string of text can be tied to an entirely different phrase so that relevant content displays for the user. The key point to understand here is that it’s not a singular process – the search engine learns over time as it builds up a greater library of connections.

Video

Ask us ten years ago if this was going to be among the SEO best practices and you might’ve received a different answer!

It’s shown that video content is knocking other forms out the park. It’s still a mixed bag when it comes to search. This is largely thanks to the uptake of various social media platforms. An example of these are Vine and Instagram which have brought video to the mainstream in a big way.

It’s also surprisingly cheap.

Small companies can make use of video by having actors read reviews of their products and placing them on their websites. While video search will arguably come after voice regarding uptake, you can bet that in 2017 and beyond SEO will have to incorporate yet another channel.

So what does this mean for us now?

We’ll be sure to keep you informed of the latest trends. With so many emerging themes in SEO, it can be hard to separate the theory from the practical. While these subjects are on the radar, not all need action immediately.

Filtering the wheat from the chaff is why we’re here. Stay tuned for what we see as the most critical information about the latest SEO best practices.