What You Need To Know About SEO in 2016

Today, everything is changing at a rapid rate, especially the world of Online Marketing! The same SEO strategies that may have worked for you in the past might not work just as well for you this time around. You will need to quickly adapt to the changes if you want to keep your brand strong.

Keyword Research

No matter the significant shifts within the SEO industry, this aspect remained relatively stable. The importance of keyword research has not changed because the framework just works!

Tips on how to do this effectively:

  1. Use keyword research tools to find popular keywords and phrases that aren’t hyper-competitive.
  2. Analyze your website analytics to narrow down the keywords generating traffic and sales. Use this to find new, related keywords, and/or build more content based on your findings.
  3. Look at your competitors’ top-ranking pages to determine their targeted keywords.
  4. Focus on long-tail keywords because natural language search has become more popular.

The one change we should take note of is that Google now analyzes search queries in terms of user intent and not just keywords. This means that you should focus on finding relevant topics to structure your content from and not only set your mind on one or two keywords.


On-Page SEO

Putting keywords aside for a minute, which on-page SEO strategies would still be relevant? Here are a few tips on how to structure content in order to rank:

  1. Word Count
    • The average word count for top-ranking content is between 1,140-1,285 words.
    • Focus on providing comprehensive overview of your topic, rather than short content that provides only minimal detail.
  2. Proof and Relevant Terms
    • These terms support and ‘prove’ relevance to your main topic, indicating to Google that you are comprehensively covering the topic.
    • Proof terms are essentially used for a particular topics; an example of a proof term for ‘SEO’ would be ‘search’.
    • Relevant terms are often used alongside a primary keywords; an example of a relevant term for ‘SEO’ would be ‘Google’
  3. Keywords Within Content
    • Incorporate keywords in your title, header and subheaders, introduction, and conclusion.
  4. Internal Links
    • Although this helps raise your ranking, the number of links isn’t as important as optimizing your page information.
  5. Header and Meta-Tags
    • 99% of the top 10 pages had a meta-description. This acts as an ‘ad copy’ in search engine results.
    • As much as possible, ensure their uniqueness and accuracy in describing your main topic.


Site-Wide SEO

Here are important site-wide elements to have in order to rank well in organic search results:

  1. A Mobile-Friendly Site
    • This has become a very significant ranking factor since a lot of users are now online while on the go.
  2. Quick Loading Times
    • Top-ranking pages load in an average of 1.16 seconds for desktop and 11,10 second for mobile.
    • Use an insight tool to figure out how quickly your site is loading.
  3. Proper Content Structure
    • This is great for both rankings and user experience.
    • Use interactive elements such as menus and buttons
    • Use unordered lists (bullet points) to break up content into manageable areas.
    • Use internal links to guide users and search engines through relevant content. External links also help by aligning your site to what Google considers good and relevant.


Mobile SEO

Google has recently announced that more searches happen on mobile devices than on desktop. Apart from having a responsive site design, here are a 5 things that help your mobile ranking factor:

  1. File Size and Site Speed
    • As mentioned before, these are important so that your users stay on your site. Mobile pages, specifically, need to be smaller in size compared to their desktop counterparts.
  2. Responsive Structure
    • Since mobile users are usually on the go, your content should be structured in a way that is easy to understand.
    • Use bulleted lists and larger fonts.
  3. Keywords In Content
    • Just like desktop content, continue to incorporate your keywords, proof, and relevant terms in your mobile content.
  4. Word Count
    • Generally, mobile content should be shorter than desktop content.
    • The average words count for top-ranking mobile pages in 2015 was 868.
  5. Ads
    • High-ranking mobile pages have significantly fewer ads compared to desktop because these can slow down loading times.


Link Building

Building a brand results in the kinds of links you earn through publishing high-quality content. A report from Searchmetrics explains “We are also convinced that links will continue to lose relevance in the age of semantic contexts and machine learning with a user focus. For search engines it is a question of ranking the best and most relevant content.”

The content types that are most likely to accumulate a high number of links are:

  • Research-backed content
  • Opinion forming journalism
  • Long form content over 1,000 words
  • List posts
  • ‘Why’ posts

These tactics remain viable for link building:

  • Guest Blogging
  • Promoting Content On Social Media


Content Marketing

Needless to say, content is the very heart of achieving high rankings in search. Without it, you wouldn’t have SEO to build.


To Your Best Online!

Ingrid Gee, Internet Marketing Consultant. Blue Dress® Marketing, an Internet Marketing Company headquartered in Knoxville, TN. Internet Marketing Developed, Implemented and Managed to Full Circle! Organic Internet Search Engine Guru. Turn Key Internet Optimization Programs Placing You Everywhere and Anywhere You Need to Be Online®
[email protected]


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