With 2016 quickly approaching, there’s a lot of talk among the tech savvy about the newest best practices of SEO for the coming year. While the use of title tags, keywords and traditional best practice of SEO will still persist, we’re more interested in engagement. Engaging the correct audiences will be the newest best practice of SEO and getting them to become loyal to your brand will be the biggest challenge in 2016.

Engagement doesn’t seem like it would necessarily be a best practice of SEO, but when users are actively engaged, it will drive more traffic to your website. Many Internet users, and Millennials in particular, site online reviews and recommendations from their friends as what drives them to buy a product.

Brand Trust

Online reviews have become a staple of the online search for new products and services. Whether you’re looking to buy a 150,000 square foot pond liner or a new pair of sunglasses, online reviews engage users and incorporate public experience with a product or company into the buying process across all industries. In fact, after reading this you’ll probably go check out the Savy Agency Google + page to read reviews about our work. Actively engaging you with relevant and authentic copy, paired with online reviews helps build trust in a brand and encourages engagement. Whether you’re looking to hire a digital marketing agency or order a new brushless motor to upgrade that drone you got for Christmas, you want to be able to trust the company providing the product or service.

The Fall of Traditional Advertising

Depending on your demographic, traditional advertising may still be the best bet for your business, but in most cases, engaging potential customers online through connection may be the best bet. Millennials, for example, are less impacted by traditional forms of media such as TV, radio and print advertising. Millennials, the always connected generation, has primary access to online reviews and is directly reachable through social media.

Engaging potential customers on social media with relevant content makes a big difference in creating brand trust and loyalty. No matter what generation you belong to, brand loyalty is huge. Odds are your grandfather still drinks the same brand of coffee he has for the past 50 years. If you know and trust the quality of a certain brand of makeup, why switch to something else even if it’s basically the same as your current mascara? Brand loyalty plays a large role in the shopping process and with access to brands directly via social media, users can reach out and connect with the company in the event of a problem or to brag about how awesome their new shoes are.

Building an online community on social media where you can share relevant content from your blog (yes, you should be blogging regularly!) encourages engagement, the newest best practice of SEO. Be authentic, don’t waste your time sharing posts about National Ice Cream Day (unless you sell ice cream). Feeling a connection with a brand and knowing other people have had a great experience via online reviews buildings engagement with potential customers and helps prove your authenticity.

Best Practice of SEO 2016 Checklist

  • Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on popular sites including Yelp, Google+ and Facebook
  • Engage with users on social networks with relevant material
  • Create quality content for your blog that’s user friendly, SEO-rich and well written
  • Respond appropriately to both positive and negative reviews, this shows you’re actively engaged in the user experience and builds trust with current and potential customers
  • Be authentic and truthful with your messaging, in the digital world someone will gladly out you if you’re not, which will destroy any trust you’ve built in your brand

Be engaging. Create content that’s worthy of being shared and engage customers through online reviews. When it comes to the newest best practice of SEO, engagement is sure to have the largest impact in 2016.