The rules for search marketing are always changing. As soon as you find one strategy that works well, the engines change up their algorithms and leave you scrambling to find new ways to get the traffic you need.

Some strategies may continue to work even with the changes, but they may not be as effective.

It is important that you stay aware of all the latest changes in search so that you can update your strategies as you go along, ensuring that you get the optimal return for your investment of both time and money. Here’s a look at the state of search marketing 2016:

Increasing Use

As more people come online around the world, more people are using search to sort through the billions of sites that are available.

Google reported that it now has 2 trillion searches per year. With such big numbers, it can be hard to put them into perspective. But if you break down those searches, we’re talking about 63,000 searches per second or 228 million searches per hour.

What that means for you, as a brand or as a marketer, is that you have 63,000 chances per second to potentially connect with a user. Of course, not all of those searches are in your niche, but the point is that there is a huge opportunity to reach people online with the right marketing.

What People are Doing with Search

Your SEO can influence not only where you appear in search results but also what people do once they are on your site. With the right SEO, you will reach the right customers.

Not surprisingly, Google had a much higher visit duration for desktop users when compared to Bing and Yahoo! However, that gap closes considerably when you look at mobile users. The mobile visit duration was nearly identical for Google and Bing users, and it was about twice as high as for Yahoo! users.

Mobile visit duration was much lower than desktop visit duration across the board.

Overall, mobile search generated more traffic than desktop search on Google and Yahoo! Bing saw increased mobile users, but desktop still ruled for its searches.

Google searches resulted in an average of 17 pages per visit for desktop users, but Bing only generated eight pages and Yahoo! only generated six-and-a-half. Bing dominated for mobile, generating an average of 6.55 pages per visit. Meanwhile, Google generated 5.29 pages and Yahoo! generated 2.35 pages.

Bounce rate was much lower for Google searches for both desktop and mobile users. That could mean that Google is better at matching search results to users, or it could mean that brands are better at optimizing for Google search since it takes focus for most marketers.

The desktop bounce rate for Google searches was 16.46 percent, compared to 37.02 percent for mobile. The bounce rates for Bing were 34.82 percent and 41.64 percent, respectively, and for Yahoo! they were 24.13 percent and 62.8 percent.

These results also suggest that brands are not properly optimizing their mobile sites to ensure that the content they offer is best matched to searchers.

Other Search Opportunities

Appearing high in search results is not the only way to get the traffic your site needs.

Of course, investing in search advertising is a great way to get exposure, and it leads all other opportunities. Ads at the top of the page are getting even more clicks now that Google has removed text ads from the right-hand sidebar in an effort to improve mobile search and create a more simplified design.

You can get results from ads at the bottom of the search results page, but experts are finding that those ads generally create more impressions rather than clicks. This could be a cost-effective option for those who are looking to create more brand exposure, but not necessarily to generate higher sales for a specific campaign.

However, ranking in image search and getting great reviews for your brand are also powerful ways to generate search traffic.

Other fairly influential search opportunities include knowledge panels, HTTPS results and sitelinks, which appear under the main search results and suggest related internal pages.

Lower down on the list, but still worth pursuing, are opportunities such as the news box, local packs, related questions, shopping links, featured snippets and videos.

When you are creating your SEO strategy, it is important that you consider these other elements, as well. While ranking high in search results will get you exposure and clicks, it is extremely difficult to do so in crowded markets (which are most markets). By diversifying your strategy, you can make a bigger impact in a shorter amount of time.

It is also important that you are focusing on your mobile strategy, as this section of search is only expected to grow. Make sure you are getting everything you can from your search strategy.

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