Five Essential SEO Tips for 2016
The world of Search Engine Optimization has changed dramatically in the last 2-3 years. Gone are the days when working hard on your keywords and adding a few meta tags to your HTML pages used to give you ample control on your organic visibility. The rules of the game have changed significantly because search engine algorithms have become smarter, so much so that the user experience and traffic flow on your website are now the deciding factors in how much weightage your content gets.
Here are five things to keep in mind to maximize the SEO of your web assets:
1. Mobile readiness
According to Google, 94 percent of people with smartphones in the USA search for local information on their phones. Interestingly, 77 percent of mobile searches occur at home or at work, places where desktop computers are likely to be present. Whether your web traffic matches this trend currently or not, this is the present reality as Google perceives it. If your site is not responsive, and doesn’t function well on mobile devices, then it is not search engine optimized.
2. More content in one page
Used to be that the page depth on websites used to matter a lot. Webmasters would artificially inflate their website by creating a large number of pages, many of which would be thin on meaningful content. These days, however, search engines focus more on how much time users spend on each of your pages, and how often they return to your website. Even Google’s SEO 101 Guide stresses this fact: “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here.”
3. More interactivity
But just static content is not enough anymore. If your site does not have interactive content, it’s not compelling enough for search engines. Since user experience is getting increased weightage, webmasters need to incorporate tools and widgets that engage an audience in perceptible activity, such as watching videos, rating an article, sharing it socially, networking with other users, and similar.
4. Speed matters
Faster loading pages result in happier viewers. This is the reason why pages that are optimized to render quickly are also perceived as search engine optimized. Since 2014, Google has been considering site speed as one of the signals used by its algorithm to rank pages. In addition, a slow page speed means that search engines can crawl fewer pages in the allocated time per site, and this could negatively affect how well your site is indexed on its servers.
5. Social engagement
If your brand has a significant presence on social media channels, you may have noticed that your social media links show up in the top searches for your brand online. Capitalize on your engaged audience by closely integrating your social content on your website as well as by driving traffic to your website from your social media channels. Though social links may not directly boost your search engine ranking, it’ll certainly play a crucial role in driving traffic, which will increase the perceived value of your content to search engines.
In synopsis, though SEO is still a crucial mechanism in growing your organization’s reputation online, the techniques for optimizing your content are not straightforward any more. Responsive design, meaningful content and programmatically optimized sites will deliver this year and beyond.