As 2015 comes to an end, it’s been quite a year for Kickstart Commerce pertaining to SEO and Domaining.

The 2015 recap…

I’ve help quite a few customers determine that SEO MUST be aligned to the needs of their business as well as their overall marketing strategy.

I’ve successfully taught, coached and consulted quite a customers on what it means to always be continuously content marketing with an education slant and not selling.

I’ve also fired a few customers who only wanted to focus on buying reviews, buying links, or create content based solely on keyword focus in an attempt to sell and not educate.

Although I’m working with less clients, my stress levels are down, yet my overall value proposition has increased right along with profitability.

Where we’re headed in 2016…

I’m looking forward to 2016 and focusing less on SEO and more on domaining. I’ll still accept new SEO relationships with customers, but I’ll be more intentional with who I am called to serve and how to serve their business in the most effective manner long term.

That said, with my new found time in serving less customers, you’ll notice that there will be quite more posts about domaining in 2016. You may have already noticed with daily domain auction posts being made within the last week or so.

Nevertheless, the domain industry overall is growing at quite a rapid pace. Namescon, a growing domaining conference, is right around the corner is expecting nearly 1500 domain investors (aka domainers) to attend.

With the domain industry growing, I’m devoting more time to educating brands not only about SEO and content marketing, but adding to my repertoire the value-add services of educating customers about domain investing at a personal level for themselves as well as a professional level for their business.

With the new domain extensions becoming more relevant over the next couple of years, the time is right for me to transition with the vast market growth of the domain industry itself.

As we enter 2016, I want to leave you with my top 10 predictions for where I see both SEO and Domaining headed. At the end of 2016, we’ll see how spot on I was or was not. That said, here are my 2016 predictions…

1. Brand is all you and your business has

Depending on outside agencies to learn your brand and be outside the overall business strategy will stunt your business’ growth, if not kill it altogether.

Focus less on SEO gimmicks and tricks, and more continuity and alignment with the overall business plan and marketing strategy.

Focus less on keywords and more about educating the world about your brand and the role it plays in bringing added value to those who choose to become a customer of your brand.

2. Major brands migrate to new domain extensions

New domains have been out for the last 2-3 years, or at least there have been talks of the new domains extensions.

With over 11 million new domain extensions registered (see, I look for brands such as Cisco, General Motors, IBM, and more to make a concerted effort to use the new found virtual real estate.

Banks are already starting to make the jump to using .bank, which will add greater online security and lessen, if not eliminate, the opportunity for phishing scams. Won’t surprise me to see, or or by the end of 2016.

3. Domain investing will heat up as more markets follow China

China has really caused domain investing to heat up as millions of dollars are being invested in short .com, .net and .cc domain names.

With many investors seeing the parallel between physical real estate and virtual real estate, I look for many more markets to follow China into domain investing.

4. Consolidation of new domain extension registries

Many of the new domain extension registries will fall victim to quit a few domain speculators not renewing their initial investment into the new domain extensions.

Save what you can while you registries. Only those registries with deep pockets to creatively market until new domain extensions catch fire with the general market will survive.

5. Less domain investing in marginal names

Because renewal prices are skyrocketing with new domain extensions after the initial registration period, domain investors will be forced to drop either the new domain extensions and/or marginalize their existing .com, .net or focused upon domain name extension in their respective domain portfolio.

Because of this, I foresee more domain name investors, new and old, drastically increasing their activity and overall prices of expired domain name auctions in 2016.

6. Social media will play a direct role in search

Social media adds a level of legitimacy that has been missing in search all alone.

It takes quite a bit of money and energy to create relevant and living social media profiles. It’s not to say an army of people can’t be hired to fake, but it’s quite challenging for the masses to pull it off and pull it off well.

I look for relevant social media posts indexing to play a role in either crediting or discrediting search rankings and search results.

7. Bye Desktop! Mobile is the new normal for search…

If your website is not mobile-only or optimized to be responsiveness, then you can possibly kiss your rankings good bye. Either kiss search rankings goodbye, or you’ll lose opportunities to gain new customers via an ever increasing mobile search market.

8. Content specialists are in, Content generalists are out

With Google Now, Cortana, Siri and other digital assistants taking over the search market, websites with general content are irrelevant.

A concerted effort must be made to comply with semantic, intent based search results as well as voice search massively growing via smartphones. This means there must a more focused effort to write content targeting niches and specialized or unique topics.

9. A new standard of content brings about relevancy

Most of the world is quite familiar with search content. Search has made all of our lives more convenient to say the least.

But with much content saturation in the search space, video is ripe for a takeover in search. Video content will place a wide gap between brands that are relevant and those that are not.

Get familiar with video and low-budget methods of producing your own short and concise video content on the fly.

10. Apps will play a greater role in link building

Not quite certain on this one prediction. But with a vast number of apps and app ecosystems, my guess is that apps will serve as an additional search ranking signal as reviews are created and links within apps are used by users.  If you don’t have an app, get ready to be left behind.

That’s all I have for now.  We shall I see how my predictions turn out a year from now.

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.