Google changes its algorithm around 600 times per year. Seems disgusting, right!
Don’t worry! Not all changes are major. There are lots of minor changes each week. Google changes their algo to ensure better search experience. But in most cases these changes seriously affect many websites. They cause to lost rank and business. It can be yours or mine too. We can’t control their algorithm changing habits. We just need to find how Google search engine works and act accordingly. We can make our site SEO friendly and get desired organic traffic.
In 2015, SEO has undergone lots of changes and no doubt 2016 will be same. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for SEO campaign the way Google algorithm works.
Check Google official Search quality guidelines.
Let’s see how to do SEO in 2016
Keep Focus on Long Tail Keywords
In normal thinking, we feel that we select keywords for our business. But we are wrong! In reality our customers select the keywords for us. They search with their own habits to find solution of their problem. We just find that phrase and work accordingly.
If you check through Google keyword planner, or any other keyword research tool, you will find long tail keywords searching habits are increasing. People now search for the very specific information they need. You will be surprised to know that in every minute 68000 new blog posts are being published and 571 websites are being created. The more pages or sites will be building; the more specific information people will get. And in reality, people know the basic things now, they need something specific to buy / know.
So make sure you are targeting a good amount of long tail keywords for your SEO campaigns.
Focus on Branding Opportunities and User Behavior
Google is going to be smarter every day. They track every single possible detail and calculate site’s authority. They are not limited to check content quality by just checking its sentence structure, they also count visitors behavior. They count visitors number, their page viewing time, bounce rate etc. More satisfactory data means more possibility of Google ranks. When a site gets desired authority, you can expect good rank for every single post or page it has.
Let’s check the following two screenshots for two totally different keywords from different niches.
Keyword: how to increase productivity
Forbes is ranking on 2nd position for this search term.
Keyword: travel Gifts
Forbes is ranking on 7th position for this keywords.
Look, both keywords are from totally different niches. They dont have much backlinks (according to Opensiteexplorer). But still forbes rank well for just having better authority. This is how they are getting ranking advantage for each of their post without any additional effort.
Be Serious about Your Content Quality and Intention
As I just said, Google now calculate every single data, so you need to be very serious in coming year. You need to have a solid and better plan for producing quality content. Quality content has no limit, but you need to try your best to make it as useful as possible.
To create quality content, at first you need to think, why and for whom you are creating this content. How you can make them satisfy and keep them in your website. Your unsatisfied visitors are more harmful than if you had no or much less visitors. The more satisfied visitors means more analytic advantages, more page viewing time, less bounce rate, more social shares followed by more back-links.
So whatever you want to achieve, you should start from your content creation. Content creation should get greatest priority. A good content is what meets visitors’ needs and optimized for technical SEO benefits.
Appropriate Keywords Placement
As I just said about technical SEO benefits, keyword placement is one of them. You need to know where you should place your keywords that satisfy both visitors and Google.
Here are the few parts where you should place your keywords.
- Title tag
- Heading tag
- Image alt tag
- Body Content
Keyword placement also helps in getting better CTR. Here is an article to learn more about keyword placement with live example.
But the good news is that, Google can understand synonyms. So by targeting one keyword can also help you rank on other synonymous keywords.
Produce Long Length Content
Few days ago, I received this message on Google webmaster tool. Then I realized, I am not the only one. Lots of other Amazon affiliates faced the same issue. Unfortunately, my site received a manual spam action. And the reason was “Thin content on my site that provides little or no added value”. This statement was according to Google, but in reality I was getting lots of traffic and sales.
But whatever it was, I lost the rank and sales. And the reason was thin content.
Here are few additional statements for you.
In 2015, the average length of top ranking webpages was around 1200, where in 2014, it was around 900. So it is a clear indication that people started producing more lengthy content. Lengthy content can give detail overview to their visitors. This is true and this is how Google believes. So in 2016, you can expect people to produce more lengthy content.
Ensure Mobile Friendly Web Design
Check the above screenshot. In April 2015, Google had a mobile search algorithm update where they introduced mobile friendly label in mobile search result. This label had major impact on CTR. In 2015, many sites have changed their structure and ensured responsive web design. Same thing will happen in 2016.
If you check various theme related marketplace, you will find all new themes are responsive. All new sites are being build are responsive. Old Sites underwent redesigned to make them responsive. 2016 will be the same.
If you have an old site, and you don’t know if it is mobile friendly or not, then check it with this free mobile friendly testing tool.
Here are few ways to make your website mobile friendly.
Need help to make it mobile friendly, just contact me. My team can make it responsive by just 72 hours.
Add Schema.org Markup
In September, 2015 John Mueller said in a hangout that”over time, I think it [Structured Markup] is something that might go into the rankings as well”. After this statement we can guess that schema.org markup can influence your SEO rank.
If you are not familiar with this markup, then here is little information which might help you understand what it is.
Schema markup is an additional html tag that allow search engine to better understand your webpage. It helps tell search engine that which info to show in search engine result page. You can show some additional information in search result by adding schema.org markup. Check the below example for the search term “best pizza recipe”.
Here is a video which can give you better idea about schema.org and how to add this markup on your WordPress site.
Loading Time Optimization
There are few things you always need to keep in mind.
1) Time is money
2) Customers are always right
So whatever you are doing to grow your online business, make sure you are doing your level best within shortest period of time.
In this day, your customer will not wait for long to check your webpage. If your website takes long time to load, they will simply bounce back, and will try another site. Google treat the same way your customers treat you.
Here are couples of tools you can check your webpage loading time speed.
If you need to improve your websites loading speed, you can simply contact with me. My team helped over 100 businesses to improve their loading time in 2015.
Creative and Contextual Off page SEO:
Actually your SEO feedback will depend on
- Right selection of your keywords
- Best On-page Optimization
- Google Friendly Off-page Optimization
Off-page SEO is a vital part. Because doing wrong in this section can harm you badly. You can lose your rank through algorithmic filter or through manual penalty. So you should have clear idea how you should create your backlink. I have planned to write a detail article on it, but for this article I am going to share some important parts.
In 2015, people focused more on guest blog posting, and it helps them get ranks faster. Guest blog posting will still work fine in 2016. But I am sure Google will definitely give an update against bad quality guest posting. They will work very hard to detect PBN and de-index them. So in 2016, you should focus more on real guest posting opportunities from high quality relevant blogs. And to do so, you need to create high quality content and develop relationship building skills.
Brand reputation is the thing which helps in every parts of your business. It helps in mouth to mouth marketing. It helps in referral marketing. It helps in Social media and also helps in SEO. So make sure you have some plan to use your brand keywords throughout your backlink campaign. Don’t just go with your money keyword.
Keyword and target page Variation
Many people did this mistake in 2015, and lost their ranks. You should not keep building backlinks just for your primary keywords and primary page / home page. If your site is good, most of your pages should earn backlinks randomly. So getting all backlinks in one bucket clearly indicates that your entire site is not good at all. If it is not good, then why should Google rank this page? So make sure your backlinks have a good amount of variation. And also the deep pages of your site get good amount of links. Don’t create backlinks just for home page. Learn about six SEO mistakes that can destroy your SEO effort.
All backlink helps in two ways.
- By passing direct link juice.
- By passing passive SEO advantage.
While creating backlinks keep both factors in mind. Try to find backlink sources from where you can get some referral traffic. Those traffics will help you get passive SEO advantage by reducing bounce rate and increasing page view time.
Voice and Mobile Searching
People pass most of their time with mobile devices. So it can be easily said that mobile and voice searching will increase much on 2016 than 2015. So create a different plan for voice and mobile searching. In most cases, people write a short form in mobile. So keep that in mind while creating plan for mobile devices.
For local business, reviews act as a fuel. As people started producing fake reviews, Google will keep their concentration on verified reviews. Make sure you are asking your clients to post a positive review for you. Each positive review will help you get rank while earning more human trust.
- 12 Proven Small Business SEO Tips (Disclosed)
- 15 Small Business Tools Saved My Big Bucks (Part 1)
- 15 Small Business Tools Saved My Big Bucks (Part 2)
I hope this guide will help you to understand where to focus more in 2016. If you feel I missed anything, or if you have any different plan, let us know by commenting. Your feedback will be highly appreciated.