There’s no denying search engine optimisation is crucial for any startup business. For a start, SEO helps them to get noticed by their target audience online. It also keeps them updating their site with fresh content, ready for their readers to devour.

The unfortunate nature of SEO means that trends come and go all the time. Companies like Google may start or even adopt some of those trends. That’s why it’s crucial to keep abreast of the latest happenings in the SEO world.

SEO technology and processes will continue to change and new approaches will emerge every year. Though it is hard to tell exactly what specific changes will occur, consultants providing superior SEO services will follow trends and change approaches to be able to accommodate new requirements.

Now that 2016 is well under way, what does the new year bring for search engine optimisation? Here is a list of some trends to look out for this year, and what to expect from them:

1. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, videos are worth a million

Most people know that the key to a successful SEO plan is to take advantage of various mediums. Written content, images and infographics are just three of many examples used today.

It’s worth noting that 2016 will be the year video offers considerable SEO significance. For instance, did you know that Google is planning to experiment with video ads in search results? Video is also useful for demonstrating products. As an example, the automotive industry uses videos extensively.

2. Quality content will be king in 2016

In 2016, a shift from just any content to quality content marketing will be a growing trend.

One of the best ways companies are establishing authority and gaining trust with consumers is by consistently creating valuable content through a variety of channels. And content marketing is also significant for SEO purposes. Content marketing has brought a whole new meaning to digital advertising for both advertisers and publishers.

3. Mobile SEO will soon be more important than its desktop counterpart

It’s no secret that many of us have a smartphone and use them to go online each day. They are portable computer systems – just in a compact format!

Google already demands that webmasters SEO their sites with mobile usage in mind. Any SEO company worth their salt will also tell you the same thing. 2016 will be the year where more mobile emphasis occurs.

Related: These 4 Trends Are Shaping the Future of Digital Marketing

4. Mobile assistants will tear up the SEO rulebooks

Devices like smartphones and tablets are in almost every home and office you visit these days. Many of those mobile owners use their device’s digital assistants to carry out tasks. For instance, iPhone users might ask Siri to send someone an email. Windows Phone users will do the same with Cortana.

It’s likely that those digital assistants will converge and be commonplace on desktops too. Windows 10, for instance, already bundles Cortana. And we’ll probably see something similar with Apple’s OS X soon too.

With the rise of digital assistants, one thing is for certain. The way in which we think about searching for stuff will change. And that means new changes that must get adopted by webmasters for their sites.

Social Media Optimisation will become more important in 2016

When you search for something online, it’s likely you’ll come across social networks results. This will be the year where search engines like Google place greater emphasis on SMO.

In layman’s terms, the content you put on your Facebook and Twitter pages will be more accessible. That also means the content your fans (or foes) will too be more available in a search. Now there’s another reason to sort your social network profiles out!

5. Penguin to become real-time

According to Nick Fettiplace, SEO director at Jellyfish, Google’s Penguin algorithm is likely to also create a fair amount of chatter in early 2016 – so brace yourselves!

The forthcoming Penguin update had originally been slated for late 2015, however Google announced recently that it would be delaying the roll-out until early 2016.

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups. Contributor at Entrepreneur Magazine. Curator at Postanly (a free weekly newsletter that delivers the most insightful long-form posts from top publishers)