Are you deploying the same Search Engine Optimization approaches and strategies as you did last year, or the year before? If so, it might be time to reevaluate your strategy. We experienced pretty major shifts over the months as it pertains to search engine ranking variables, and success with SEO does not occur without the skill to rapidly adjust to changes in the business.
This guide is going to supply all you should understand about essential SEO in 2016. We’ll cover:
Keyword research: Is it still needed in 2016?
- On-page SEO: How can we integrate keywords into our content?
- Website-extensive Search Engine Optimization: What structural components are essential to accomplish organic search presence?
- Cellular Search Engine Optimization: Which components are essential to rank in mobile search?
- Link construction: How do inbound links change Search Engine Optimization, and how do you get them?
- Content marketing: How do content marketing and Search Engine Optimization intersect?
In my Authoritative Guide to SEO in 2015, I made the following statement: “Although much has changed in the last year as it pertains to Search Engine Optimization, the principles of keyword research have stayed comparatively constant.” To a point, this really continues to be accurate today.
The basics of performing keyword research never have changed. We however need to seek out words and phrases our prospects are employing to seek out our company and merchandises. There are various ways we can do this efficiently:
- Using keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, SEMrush and Searchmetrics’ Key Word Analysis program to locate popular key words and phrases that are not hyper-competitive.
- Assessing your web site analytics to determine which key words are already creating traffic and sales. It’s possible for you to take advantage of this information to discover brand new, associated key words, or to construct additional content based on these sorts of terms.
- Looking at your opponents’ top ranking pages to discover which key words they are targeting
- Focusing on long tail key words as natural language search becomes more popular and pervasive.
While these strategies can all really be quite successful at locating important key words, we’ve undoubtedly seen a shift away from the one to one relationship between using these key words and attaining high positions.
Google has become more complex, and instead of looking at search queries only in relation to key words, those queries are examined when it comes to user intention. So, what exactly does this mean when it comes to keyword research?
When performing keyword research, focus on locating related issues and subjects to structure your content about. Rather than going through the procedure to be able to select a couple of words or phrases to write about, use your findings to find out more regarding your audience as well as their needs and interests.
Think about search intent. If tthe one to one relationship between particular key words, user queries and search positions are gone (or at least significantly decreased), how does on-page Search Engine Optimization operate in 2016? Without key words, which on-page strategies and approaches continue to be applicable?
Searchmetrics’ 2015 Position Variables report provides us with significant insights into how we should be structuring our content to be able to rank. Following are a few crucial findings from the report, along with how it is possible to integrate them into your own content.
Word Count: We’ve understood for some time that Google reveals a trend for longer, more complete content. Based on the report, the average word count for top ranking content is in the reach of 1,140-1,285 words. This is up from 902 words in 2014. When creating content, concentrate on providing complete coverage of your subject, rather than composing shorter content that just brushes the surface of your subject.
Evidence and related terms: All these are terms that support and ‘show’ relevance to the chief subject of your content. Using them indicates to Google and to your subscribers that you are comprehensively covering the subject. Evidence terms are words and phrases that basically must be utilized for a specific subject; for example, ‘search’ will more often than not be utilized when writing about ‘Search Engine Optimization’. Related terms, on the flip side, are words which are frequently used alongside a primary key word as a way to supply holistic coverage of the issue. When discussing ‘Search Engine Optimization’, related words might be ‘Google’, ‘Panda’ or ‘positions’. Years past, Search Engine Optimization professionals used the term “LSI Keywords” (Latent Semantic Indexing) to refer to these kinds of key words, but I haven’t seen that term used extensively in a couple years.
Key words within content: Key words still ought to be integrated into your content; particularly in the name, header and subheaders, opening paragraph, and conclusion paragraph. Overall, based on the Searchmetrics report, top ranking pages found a rise in the absolute amount of key words used in the body of the text; nevertheless, this didn’t apply to the very best-ranking pages. Continue to utilize your desired keywords during your content.
Internal links: The amount of internal links on high ranking pages has grown since 2014. In line with the report writers, the amount of links you include in your content is not as significant as optimizing your entire link structure: “What counts isn’t the absolute amount of internal links, but instead the optimization of the internal construction and page info so that the user (and additionally the search engine) is optimally directed through the supplier’s content and to ensure that the user remains on the page and is met.”
Usage of header and meta tags: 99% of top ten pages had a meta-description, and 80% used an H1 tag. While the meta-description will not always help your content rank higher, it does act as a kind of ‘advertising copy’ in the search engine results (SERPs). As much as really possible, ensure your H1 tags and descriptions are unique and precisely characterize the principal subject of your page.
Website-Broad Search Engine Optimization.
Ensuring each bit of content is correctly optimized is essential; yet, with no correct website-wide components set up, your on-page Search Engine Optimization will not do much good. This section will cover significant website-wide components you need to have in place to be able to rank well in organic search results.
A cellular-friendly website: Since Google’s mobile-friendly upgrade before this year (generally called Mobilegeddon), cellular-friendliness is now an important position variable. Should you haven’t already, ensure your website uses a reactive layout, or that you’ve a committed cellular website or program in place.
Fast loading times: Your website must load fast on all apparatus; yet, together with the substantial upsurge in cellular use, it is especially crucial your website loads fast on cellular devices. Searchmetrics found the top ranking pages loaded in a mean of 1.16 seconds for background results and 1.10 seconds for cellular. Google’s PageSpeed Penetrations instrument can assist you to determine how fast your website is loading (only remember this software works on a page-by-page basis, not on a website-wide basis). Pingdom supplies another trusted tool.
Appropriate content construction: Structuring your content rationally is great both for positions and for user experience. There are several methods by which you can offer an ideal arrangement for your content:
- Use interactive components like menus and buttons
- Use unordered lists (bullets) to break up content into manageable chunks
- As already mentioned, use internal links to direct users and search engines through related content in your website. Using external links are often advantageous, because it may align your website within what Google considers to be a great or useful area of similar-themed websites.
Cellular Search Engine Optimization
We have already touched briefly on the significance of optimizing your website for cellular. It is no longer enough to optimize for background and blow off cellular telephone users. The truth is, Google recently announced that more searches occur on mobile devices than on desktop devices. If you blow off cellular optimization, you possibly alienate over half your website’s visitors.
Apart from having a mobile-friendly, reactive website design, what other variables are significant for position in mobile search? This next section will provide some essential insights from Searchmetrics’ 2015 Cellular Position Variables report.
File size and website speed: Unsurprisingly, all these are both significant factors for position in mobile search. Cellular pages must load faster, and ought to be smaller in size than their desktop counterparts.
Mobile-friendly format and arrangement: Because cellular users in many cases are getting the internet while ‘on the go’, your content ought to be structured in ways which makes it simple to read and understand. Using bulleted lists can help with this, as can using somewhat bigger font sizes (top ranking cellular pages used an average font size of 15.63 above the fold and 11.44 in central regions).
Key words in content: As with background content, continue to integrate your keywords into your content. Evidence and related terms are also significant for your mobile content, although their use is somewhat lower than in their desktop counterparts. This really is probably because of the truth that background content is usually longer than mobile content.
Word count: Generally, mobile content needs to be shorter than background content. The average word count for top ranking cellular pages in 2015 was 868, compared with only 687 the year before. Nevertheless, these amounts are much lower in relation to the typical word count for top ranking background pages.
Advertising: If you are using advertising in your mobile-optimized content, remember that high ranking cellular pages often get significantly fewer advertisements than their desktop equivalents. Advertising can slow down loading times even more significantly on cellular devices, so keep your advertising to a nadir.