With growing preferences for online transactions during holiday shopping periods, consumers and businesses are looking for companies that can fill their needs whether they're searching for them from their mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. That means online businesses have to focus on creating more effective strategies for putting themselves in the line of sight of their target audiences as they conduct searches for what they need.

Since 2016 is just weeks away, it's time to start plotting the best types of marketing strategies to implement. Here are two marketing strategies that deserve attention in 2016.

1. Internal Link Optimization

Internal links are the connection points within a website's fabric that create a stable and clear picture for the user. This picture also helps Google in understanding the logic and meaning of the website's content so Google can rank it properly, and point users to the exact place they want to be.

So, these internal links that help users and Google navigate a website, making them very important. To optimize internal links, create a clear structure where both humans and search engine crawlers are able to get to pages easier (ie, with fewer clicks). 

Sometimes, this can be easier said than done. As your website grows with pages, subpages, landing pages and more, this roadmap can become covered with internal links. The more pages you add, the more complicated it becomes to create that clear picture. Even with the various optimization tools available, it can be difficult to know if your site architecture is truly optimized.

Searchmetrics' Link Optimization tool provides help in this regard. It helps you identify the pages that have the highest traffic potential yet currently are the least connected via this internal navigation structure. The tool can calculate the revenue and rankings data of these pages and deliver a report of the ones that offer that maximum return. The tool also provides a way to understand which pages are link-givers, offering the ability to influence and drive traffic more than other pages do. In both cases, this tool leads to more informed decisions about the priority pages for optimization.

2. Detailed Reporting

With so much more data being collected about online marketing and search marketing efforts, there has to be an intelligent way to organize this information in order to identify the most important areas and deliver a clear framework for future directions in content and SEO strategies. This is where new reporting tools will change your decision-making processes in 2016 and beyond; by requiring less time to compile but delivering enhanced details.

One of the biggest challenges is getting the most appropriate information to the specific group involved in making marketing decisions. With the growing complexity in platforms and roles, there are more roles than ever - from the Chief Marketing Officer and SEO director to the content marketer, site admin, agency and performance marketer. While some of the information they each need may overlap, there are many user-specific data sets that need to be collected and organized. No one has that level of resources to create such user-specific reports, nor would they want to use the bulk of resources on this regular need.

To respond to this need, Searchmetrics also created a Smart Reporting tool to encourage a focus on more detailed, personalized reports. The tool delivers role-specific templates that funnel the specific data that each user needs into a report format quickly. Besides the speed, the main benefit here is the access to only the data necessary for each user to make specific decisions and change their content and search strategies accordingly based on the results.

Performance Enhancing Effects

Implementing these two marketing strategies in 2016 should provide quantitative improvements in your search and content strategy performance. With tailored reports that give you the data you need to make decisions as well as a tool that optimizes your internal links, your target audience will be better able to find your website, and specifically what they're looking for on it.

December 10, 2015

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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Search Engine Guide > Jayson DeMers > Two Marketing Strategies to Boost Online Businesses in 2016