One thing that we love about the SEO industry is that it is constantly evolving. There are always new things to learn and different ways to help keep our customers on top of their optimisation – and at the top of Google too!

As we approach the end of 2015 it’s a good time to take a look back at the year so far to see what changes and initiatives have affected the SEO landscape, and also to take a look forward to 2016 to see what’s in store for your website next year. So here is our round-up of the key issues that may have had an impact on your website and what you should keep an eye on for next year.

Mobile algorithm changes

In April this year Google launched a new update that became known as “mobilegeddon” in the SEO community. This update meant a big change to the mobile search engines. As more and more people are using search on their smart phones Google felt that it was increasingly important for websites to be mobile friendly, and therefore they changed their rankings for mobile search to downgrade pages that didn’t work well on a smartphone. Although this update did lead to some panic, we feel that it was actually a very sensible move and it was good that businesses were encouraged to look at how mobile friendly their sites were. After all, if it is good for your customers it is good for your sales! It was also a relief for businesses that the algorithm was run in real time so pages would be re-assessed as soon as they were made mobile friendly.

Long tail keyword phrases

Although it’s a bit of a tongue-twister we have seen a focus on Long Tail Keyword Phrases become increasingly popular over the last year. These are basically the more conversational phrases that customers use when searching online. So this can focus on the longer and more specific questions that your customers could be searching for on Google. This move away from shorter keywords means that it’s easier to create more natural looking content for your readers. However it also means that businesses need to work closely with their customers to understand how they are searching for their product or service so that they can get the phrases they are using on their website right.

Focus on user experience

We need to become much more focused on the user experience of a website and how easy it is for customers to navigate through a site to find the information that they need. Businesses are being encouraged to do thorough user testing when they launch their website, both to make sure that it fulfils their customer’s needs and to help them understand how customers are searching for their product or service online. Google is now becoming very aware of how relevant and helpful sites are to their users so it’s a double bonus for websites that get it right. Not only do they have happy customers who are more likely to purchase their products, they will also see a rise in their search engine ranking too!

Looking ahead to 2016

So what does next year have in store for the SEO community? Well, we predict an even bigger focus on mobile search and site usability as an increasing number of people want to search and make purchases from their phones. With a number of high profile hacking incidents happening in 2015 we also think that search engines will be looking at website security and will be changing how that is prioritised. We’re sure there will also be some more algorithm updates from Google as they focus on user experience and the relevance of content, and we expect to see the importance of social media shares and likes increase too. Whatever happens we can assure you that the Wagada team always have their ear to the ground, so watch our site for regular updates on the latest SEO news!