Posted: 29 Jan 2016 Contributor: Sushil Kumar
Focus On These Search Engine Ranking Factors In 2016
The holidays have passed and a New Year has begun; it’s time to get back to work with a new, energized perspective.
Google is getting better day by day, by incorporating regular updates. And it’s not only growing faster than our expectations, it’s also becoming smarter and more intelligent. Which means, if you are using same antiquated methods of SEO then you might as well be committing website suicide with no chance of survival. Last year in 2015, Google made some critical updates. One of which deemed that “if your website is not mobile friendly, you would no longer be eligible for Google search”- Mobilegeddon. This was considered one of the most consequential moments in the history of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) after Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird updates. However, there are many additional factors affecting the ranking of your website as well.
Some noteworthy factors that are going to play a key role in 2016 SEO are mentioned below, along with relevant guidelines which are important for every website owner to know and understand, in order to make their website a member of Google’s higher set of standards. This information included has been collected from an in-depth study and analysis of various organic ranking factors, and trends that have recently come into play.
The keyword has always have been the soul of the search engine. The system would decide the content relevancy heavily based on the keywords as well their synonyms to decide the ranking of a website. The right keyword research for your business is the secret of successful content, which can easily then get noticed by the search engine crawler. The keywords or phrases are entered by the user on the search engine to find details for the query they may have. If a right keyword is incorporated within the content strategy, the probability that you’re content will rank higher in the search engine and receive maximum numbers of clicks. Keyword research is crucial for any SEO process, and is best handled by experts in the business. They alone are aware of which very specific keywords make the most sense for a business, and how to use and implement tools for gathering more information (such as Google AdWords keywords planner). Content has always been king, and it will continue to be in the future, so keyword research will remain a crucial task in 2016 from the SEO point of view.
Read these points to help find relevant keywords for your business
- Make a list of relevant topics and the category that your business falls into. Think about the keyword phrases that a customer is likely using to finding your business related information on the internet.
- Check the Google search results (organic and paid) for a one-word keyword that exactly represents your business focus, as well as a couple of phrase keywords (four words or more) that define the details of keywords used by the websites of a similar business (you can check their title and description).
- Check “Related Searches” as well, provided by the search engine, which generally appear below the organic search results. This will give you an idea about the related keywords commonly used by the customers.
- Keep an eye on your competitors, and notice the keywords they have used. You can check their page Meta title and description to find details that they have placed to define page content.
- And of course, before going through that extra mile to implement keywords and phrases into your SEO plan, be sure you understand and review the above guidelines to will help you to gather relevant keywords that make sense for your business.
MOBILE WILL LEAD 2016 SEO
Mobile devices searches have surpassed desktop searches in 2015, and the trend is continuing to skyrocket since then. Features like easy handling and anytime-access of mobile devices have made them a delight for web surfers. Google also rolled out a mobile friendly search algorithm ‘Mobilegeddon’ on April 21, 2015 – under which mobile friendly websites were getting higher priority than non-mobile friendly websites when the user was accessing the internet from a mobile device. Back in 2010, Google announced on its Webmaster Central Blog that site speed would also be an organic search-ranking factor. And, from early 2015, Google began showing ‘slow’ warnings along with their mobile search results to the websites that take too long to load.
The facts below show why you need to own a mobile friendly website
- 72% of consumers want mobile friendly websites – source: Google Research
- 40% of surfers will click on other results if a website is not mobile friendly – source: Icebreaker Consulting
- One in three searches on a smartphone occur right before a consumer visits a store – source: Google.
- Search is the most common starting point for mobile research; as per Google, 48% of searches start on search engines – source: Google
- 62% of organic searches display different results on a desktop vs. smartphone – source: Bright Edge Mobile Share Report
Undoubtedly, mobile searches are overtaking desktop searches, and this is likely to continue for, well – as long as people are still obsessed with their smart phones. That’s why it is important to have both a desktop website as well as a mobile website. Google has also developed a Mobile friendly website test tool that helps webmasters to verify that their website has met the mobile friendly criteria, or if not, webmasters can take action accordingly.
- Make your website mobile friendly. You can create a responsive website or can create a separately dedicated mobile website to get higher ranking on mobile devices.
- Keep your page load time at a minimum. Page load time is an important factor of organic ranking after the Mobilegeddon update it will became more crucial in the upcoming months.Make your website content, images, content copy font, and videos visible in both portrait and non-portrait mode.
- Make your website content, images, content copy font, and videos visible in both portrait and non-portrait mode.
Do not underestimate the Breadcrumb feature. As per the Google update which happened in April, 2015 – they will “display URLs in the search results to better reflect the names of websites, using the real-world name of the site instead of the domain name, and the URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs-like format” – Google. That means websites that have breadcrumbs on their pages will get noticed by Google, and Google will get information from the Breadcrumbs in order to display the same on their organic search results.
PAGES WITH MARKUP SCHEMA WILL RECEIVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER OTHERS
Page content schema or schema markup is the newest way of increasing the visibility of a website, as Google gives value to the structured data. Many websites haven’t used schema markup on their site pages to tag their products and other features, and are suffering loss for it. So now is a good time to utilize this feature to get advantage over other websites. Instead of just identifying data of your website, schema lets the search engine understand what it means, thus providing more informative data to the users. Schema markup is invented by keeping the benefits of users in mind, and letting users (real and bot) understand what a website is all about. Content schema is available for different categories of data such as articles, business, restaurants, movies, software applications, book reviews, products, and more. When a user searches for specific data on a search engine, websites using markup schema get higher priority because the search engine can easily understand the content tagged under the markup schema.
A recommended procedure to follow while using Markup schema is mentioned below
- Browse Google’s structured data markup helper from Webmaster Consol.
- Select the type of data you plan to post, and paste the URL of page you plan to markup.
- Select the type of elements to be marked up.
- Continue adding markup items and create the HTML.
- Add schema markup to your web page and use the testing tool to see how your page will look with added markup, and make sure it’s what you were going for.
SOCIAL MEDIA WILL LEAD
Social media has always been an important platform for sharing information and spreading awareness about a business, because it can be accessed by such a large number of people. But now, these social media channels are overshadowing other online marketing activities. Sharing the right information related to a niche domain or business on social platforms can prove to be the key for its success. It is also a very important platform for creating closeness between the business and it’s customers, where direct interaction can take place between them. The power of social media can affect a business in both positive and negative ways, if it can take a business to the top, but can also ruin its reputation quickly, and very badly. Because of this, managing social accounts of a business is not as simple as it may seem to be.
Keep these points in mind while managing the social media campaigns for a business
- Planning is always important for a successful execution. Make an appropriate social marketing plan to make your business flourish.
- Connect your social media profiles to your business’ website to generate inbound backlinks. It will help you to get noticed on social media platforms. When a user visits your business website, they will also find details of your company’s social media platforms, and will start follow and share your social profiles.
- Always stay interactive and engaged with your followers, answers their queries, reply on their doubts, and make them believe that your business really cares for the customers. And do it in a promptly manner, the new generation does not like to wait.
- Regularly share important updates about the services on website social profiles to keep the audience updated.
- Schedule your content in advance so that you don’t miss any chances to publicize your business.
- Use different analytical tools for measuring the success rate of social profiles on different social platforms, and keep a track of your success graph. Each platform normally provides analytic insight for your running profile, and the same can be used to know the growth. Google analytics tool also can be used to track performance of your business website on the social media profiles.
CONTENT MARKETING IS THE NEW SEO
The trend of content writing, formatting, sharing, and marketing has changed completely. Less than the highest is no longer acceptable, as it will be taken over by richer quality content. Keyword stuffing is a matter of past that doesn’t work in the present scenario. To get a higher ranking, it is mandatory to have high-quality and informative content that can provide some value to the readers, so deliver only the best possible content to your readers. Want to make sure you stay ahead? Be sure to follow the shortlisted guidelines below for a fail proof plan to execute your SEO strategy for the New Year.
- Keep long-phrase search terms (3 or more words) in your content copy to make it more searchable and to avoid keyword stuffing. Buyers use long phrases to find products and services online, and this will give you the advantage of a higher ranking if you have incorporated such long phrases in your content copy.
- Instead of emphasizing more on content length and keyword density, keep the content concise and relational to deliver valuable information to the user without the extra fluff.
- Keep content post longer to engage more people and receive a higher ranking. In 2016, longer content copy will triumph because search the engine interprets longer copy as synonymous with quality copy. This does have a cap, and posts should still not exceed 1200 words.
- Use of Images, Infographics, and videos within the content copy will receive higher user engagement and increase your chances of going viral on social media.
- Avoid making any grammatical mistakes, as it may undermine the legitimacy of your page or website.
- Share your content on social media platforms as much as possible, as it generates more inbound links and creates higher awareness.
- Re-use your content marketing material on occasion, to get support from your best content of the past.
- Be precise with the inbound and outbound links within the content copies. Excess use of links in your content copy can affect the value of your content.
Above are the top five factors predicted to lead SEO in 2016. And the importance of SEO cannot be underestimated. As per a research company, Chitika – “the websites that come on the first page of Google search results get 91.5% of traffic from Google search engine”.
We hope that the information mentioned above will be helpful for you to understand the importance of SEO in 2016 and to make your 2016 SEO strategy a smashing success.
We would love for you to share your opinion about this post to help us deliver the information that you’re searching for. Was this helpful to you, or were there any points you felt were missing? What factors do you feel are going to play an important role in 2016 SEO?