SEO and marketing has changed in 2016. They are more closely interlinked than ever before. You have to bring together your SEO and marketing teams in order to gain the most traffic and most conversions for your company. This guide will introduce you to a number of ways in which your company can make a success out of SEO and marketing in 2016.

Figure Out Your Keywords

This is one of the few aspects of old SEO that have continued into the future. Keywords may have lost their importance since Google changed the rules, but they are still an integral part of your strategy. You no longer have to spam them, but you still have to include them.

Research keywords and make a decision as to whether you are going to use them based on how much competition you have and how much reach you can expect.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

This goes for both SEO and marketing. For the first time, research has concluded that mobile searches have finally surpassed desktop searches. Google already implemented Mobilegeddon, so you have to do two things at this point.

First, your website must be responsive. It has to be visible on both desktop and mobile devices. Thankfully, most new themes already have this built in so you may not have to worry.

Secondly, you have to market to mobile users. This means you have to shorten your content and make the long pieces of content a thing of the past.

Images and Videos Are King

Every year it seems that attention spans shorten. This is no different in 2016. Written content is becoming more and more intolerable for marketing, although it still remains a factor for SEO. Images and video content have taken over for both SEO and marketing.

For marketing purposes, images and video explicitly target mobile devices. It makes sense because when someone is on the move they don't have time to read through a thousand words of content. A video can tell them all they need to know.

Refocus more of your efforts towards images and videos.

Focus on Social Media

It's practically impossible to target SEO directly. Google does not want companies to do this anymore. They want you to focus specifically on users. This means that social media has gained new prominence. Social media is a reflection of genuine popularity, so something that's popular on social media will become popular on Google's search rankings as well.

Social media should become a core part of your marketing and SEO campaigns. Consider a high level of engagement on social media as important to SEO as it is to general marketing.

Analytics for Both

Since marketing and SEO are so tangled with each other, the data you receive from marketing will be just as relevant to your SEO term, and vice-versa. Use data from both sources in order to determine your strategy or the next six months.

Tell a Story

This guide should have demonstrated to you the importance of engaging users. You have to tell a story. Your brand should have a story that customers are interested in. Make sure your brand is telling a story at all times. If they engage with your brand's story, this should boost your SEO as well.

Pay to Play

So many platforms are giving preference to paid advertisers. This goes as much for Google as it does for Facebook. Be willing to pay for advertising for enhanced results. With the destruction of organic reach on social media, soon this may be the only way to gain any significant results.

Nevertheless, paid advertising is like learning a whole new language, so start with small amounts.

The Time Issue

SEO and marketing sounds incredibly simple when it's written in this form. Make no mistake that there's nothing easy about marketing your brand both on Google and directly to customers. It requires time and effort. If you become a success in six months, this is considered an extremely quick turnaround.

As you continue to function, you must go out of your way to test. A/B split testing is the key to turning your business into a success story. Try new things and find out what works and what doesn't. What works for one company won't necessarily work for you.

The message you should carry forward in 2016 is the same message you should have carried throughout any other year. Hard work and constant testing will pay dividends in the long-term.

Published on: Feb 18, 2016