A new year brings fresh beginnings, and for many small business owners and marketers that are eager to enhance their search strategies, the start of 2016 is the perfect time to do this.
As you well know, search engine algorithms are constantly changing, so you'll need to regularly revisit your search strategy and make tweaks when necessary for the best results.
Taking into account the latest changes to Google's search algorithm, here are 5 online marketing trends that every business owner and marketer should know for 2016:
1. Start a Business Blog
These days it seems that nearly every business large and small has a blog, and this is for a very good reason. The statistics show that businesses with a blog generate 126 percent more leads and create 97 percent more inbound links than businesses that don't blog.
While starting a blog for your business is step one, the way to get real results from your blog is to publish new content frequently.
Experts agree that your search strategy will benefit greatly if you publish 16 or more high quality blog posts each month. Creating a content calendar is a great way to hold you accountable to your content creation goals.
And, if you don't have the capacity to handle producing blog content in-house, you can always outsource blog content to an agency.
2. Mobile-Friendly Website Design
We've talked on several occasions about the importance of mobile-friendly website design and how Google now gives preference to websites that have been enhanced for mobile-friendly viewing and browsing.
In 2015, research indicated that mobile would influence e-commerce sales to the tune of $76.79 billion. In fact, a quarter of all US retail sales were said to be impacted by consumers using mobile devices.
The facts are in. You can no longer afford to push back your mobile strategy in 2016. Mobile-friendly website design needs to be a priority for your business in the new year; otherwise, you can expect to see your sales and online visibility slowly evaporate.
3. Personalized Marketing
Every aspect of your marketing--from emails to social media--can benefit from personalization. To show you the positive impact that personalization can have, research indicates that your business could see a 208 percent increase in the conversion rate from your emails alone simply by making them targeted versus batch-and-blast emails.
To learn more about personalized marketing, be sure to read our post that shares 4 ways you can begin personalizing your email marketing.
4. Upgrade Your Website Speed
With so much content to compete with on the internet, your audience is not going to wait for a slow website to load.
Did you know that 47 percent of consumers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less? Even more, 40 percent of consumers will leave a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
When was the last time you checked to see how quickly your website loaded? Since research shows that consumers' attention spans are shorter than those of goldfish, you'll lose a lot of business in 2016 for having a slow website.
5. Position Your Content Front and Center
You can enhance your search strategy by making sure the content on your website is front and center and at the top of the page versus being hidden behind a scroll or ads.
Considering this is criteria that Google has admitted to using for ranking websites, you'll get better results by making your content more prominent on your website.
Take these 5 online marketing trends for 2016 into account in order to build a successful search strategy for the new year.