The rate at which the SEO industry changes is absolutely nuts. It seems as though we can hardly go a month without a new algorithm release that completely rocks the status quo.

What was once relevant five years ago doesn’t have a lot in common with what works today. The keyword stuffing and link purchasing of old has all but died. (Thank goodness!)

While the need to update your online presence might be frustrating, it’s actually a good thing. Today’s SEO best practices are focused on providing exceptional user experiences. So, put your customer first and you win.

To sweeten the pot even more, we’re fairly certain this “user-first” mentality will continue. This means, implementing best practices now won’t only help you today, it’ll help you year after year.

What You Need To Know About SEO

Mobile-Friendly Design is Essential

In 2015, mobile search finally surpassed desktop search. In response, Google unleashed the mobile apocalypse (also known as “Mobilegeddon”). The algorithm update places a higher relevancy rate on mobile-friendly websites – regardless of whether a user is searching on a desktop or mobile device.

How This Puts Users First: Have you ever tried to read text on a mobile phone from a non-responsive site? Enough said.

Local SEO Gives You Strength

Because Google noticed users looking for solutions within their area, they introduced the local 3-pack. This allowed them to deliver location specific results. By ensuring your local listings are up-to-date, your local customers will be more likely to find you.

How This Puts Users First: Searching for a Mexican restaurant? Chances are you’re not interested your New York options when you’re in Seattle.

The Relevancy of Content Curation Will Continue to Decline

In the early Internet days, being an information hub could give your website all kinds of oomph. Simply finding relevant articles and re-sharing them in a central location created a valuable resource. Today’s Internet is saturated with general information – making the practice of content curation all but obsolete.

If you’re going to be a content curator today, you need to bring something to the table that’s completely new, relevant, and useful for visitors. It’s getting harder to become the next Dave Pell – Google, Facebook, and Apple are already trying to do that with automated algorythms based of decades of demographic data.

How This Puts Users First: As a farmer would say, “It separates the wheat from the chaff.” Today’s consumer is educated. They’re hungry for information. And, they expect it to be readily available. When content curation doesn’t bring anything new to the table, it clutters the space with irrelevant information.

Social Media Continues to Gain Traction

Hate the idea of tweeting? We can understand the resistance to 140-character relationships. However, now that Twitter’s tweets are now embedded in certain search results, they’re more important than ever.

How This Puts Customers First: The two main benefits are, this meets customers in an arena where they spend the majority of their time and social media can offer customers real-time access to business.

Great Content is Still King

Ultimately, valuable content rules. Consistently deliver well-written, helpful articles and you’ll see the benefits over the long run.

How This Puts Customers First: It gives them the information they need!

Accelerated Mobile Pages, Apple News Format, Facebook Instant Articles and the Rise of Assimilated Content

We’re going on a limb here, but assimilated content, what we call the major players parsing and publishing your content on the web, is going to be a big change to landscape this year. There probably is a better official term, but to us it really sums up what is happening.

In the spirit of performance and usability, Google, Facebook, and Apple are publishing articles and blog posts into their own streams and infrastructure. We think it's great – there is a lot of potential for everyone to get their content out to new people.

In a nutshell, these services are really just fancy RSS readers. Google shut down Reader a while back, making these services even more relevant. It is amazing how a company can change the course of an industries by adopting or abandoning technology (e.g. Apple refusing to use Flash). Where the emphasis was once on RSS Feeds as content disseminators, now you can push it via JSON to Google, Apple, and Facebook.

All of the Big Three are investing in parsing web content and pushing it to people to drive new advertising venues and reach.

When you browse the Apple News App, you see articles written and tagged for Apple to parse and deliver. Again, this is really just an RSS Reader with a new coat of paint, but the results will be significant. It will give you new platforms to get your content in front of more people.

Google is introducing more rich snippets into search (event listings, business information, product pricing, reviews, etc.). Formatting your content for these news outlets will give new ways to improve organic search results. This is particularly true for Google’s new accelerated mobile page.

How This Puts Customers First: Again, it quickly gives them the information they need. And if you can get these features rolling now, you can be on the leading edge of content delivery in 2016.

Where to Start?

Need to create and deliver great content? Let’s start a conversation and make your business brilliant.