Online marketers are gearing up for 2016 with strategies and plans to battle challenges that may present themselves out of nowhere. If you have been in the industry for a long enough time, you should be aware of how fast the rules of the game change. In fact, we saw a lot of big changes in 2015 when it comes to search and content marketing. Marketers can no longer focus on product content solely. Instead, they need to use social and search data when planning their content strategy. This new trend has become a crucial part of boosting brand engagement and content targeting.
Although it is clear that content plays a major role in conversions, marketers should know that they cannot overlook the more technical aspects of search optimisation. The industry has reached a point of maturation, as a result of which marketers need to pay attention to a lot of the back end action that will bring content into the limelight. This way brands can target the right audience through the use of appropriate content. In order to make the most of 2016, and to boost revenue generation this year, marketers should try the following tips:
#1 Start by optimising mobile apps
Mobile applications have become a significant factor in brand and search exposure. In 2015, we saw mobile search overtaking desktop search by a huge margin. People are becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices for Internet browsing and online shopping. That is why the use of mobile apps is also increasing. Therefore, these applications are going to become crucial for mobile user experience. It is estimated that 42% of mobile sales are generated through apps. That is why these apps need to be optimised to help customers better engage with the brands. The design of the mobile apps should reflect the brand identity and should also send the message that you are trying to promote.
#2 Focus more on structured data
Last year, Google introduced RankBrain, their new machine-learning technology. We also got to know of its usage. The A.I. system has been developed to understand the intent behind the users’ search query. Every user is different, and each of them poses a unique query every time they look something up on the Internet. The search engine often faces search terms that it has not seen before. RankBrain is especially helpful in figuring out what that query meant. Being one of the most important ranking signals in their algorithm, RankBrain has quickly become quite prominent.
Considering the current circumstances, it would be safe to say that this A.I. technology is going to claim an even more important place in 2016 and beyond. By incorporating machine learning, search engines will be able to develop smarter algorithms that will better understand what users are looking for. This will enable them to give users a better experience by displaying more accurate results. For this reason, brands need to understand this development, and they can only do that by focusing on structured data. Marketers can find structured data markup on Schema.org. This data will help websites to communicate the business message with the search engines. Instead of leaving spiders to crawl the website to figure out what the business is about, the website itself will present the required information. Consequently, the search engine will display the website on the results page.
#3 Don’t take site layout lightly
This year, user engagement will acquire the centre stage. The content battleground is becoming more and more competitive. That is why brands have to strive to increase engagement with its audience to keep them coming back to the site. If the user likes the content on the website, the possibility of conversion will increase automatically. To keep your website ahead of its competitors, you need to pay attention to one of the most important website features – layout! The layout of the website should be clean and user friendly. Remember that if the users have difficulty finding information on your website, they will not think twice before switching over to another one. Research shows that 50% of potential customers lose interest the minute they struggle to find what they are looking for. Therefore, you need to optimise the website layout in a way that is easy to navigate for the users.
#4 Try to get high quality and relevant links
If you thought, you could do without link building, you could not be more wrong. Of course, the old ways of spammy link building is out of the scene. Only high quality relevant links will survive. The big Penguin update is expected to hit in the coming weeks. Websites suffered hard when the last Penguin update took place back in 2014. The upcoming update is expected to solve some of the link problems that have cropped up since then. Online marketers everywhere are nervous about how the next update will impact their link building strategy. The best way steer clear of penalties is to follow Google’s rules of link building. Relevant links from reputed websites will have a positive impact on your website even when the new update hits. So, you should try and make the most of it.
#5 Make search optimisation more about overall content and online presence
In the past, search engine optimisation meant only one thing – getting high ranking. So, marketers did everything in their power to make their websites more appealing to the search engines. Optimising a site for the search engine comes with a major drawback – it lacks human connection! These websites often fail to engage with the audience. Since Google prefers websites that are focused towards user engagement, it is important for marketers to focus on overall online presence and content rather than just ranking.
So, these are the top 5 tips that you can apply to meet revenue expectations in 2016. The dynamic nature of search marketing is expected to keep marketers around the world on their toes. Only smart workers will find their way to the top. So, gear up and get ready to make 2016 your year!