How to Perfect your SEO in 2016

SEO is quintessential for your online presence. Working on SEO is a perennial exercise and you have to consistently improve your website to stay ahead in the game. The major search engines of the world keep making subtle and substantial changes to their algorithms that directly affect your rankings. While Google and Bing among others have not made any massive change over the last two years, there have been many little changes which directly impact your ranking. In 2016, much of what you did last year will remain relevant and should be unchanged but you must also work on a few aspects that demand more focus now. Search engines have clearly shown their penchant for these elements and thus you need to account for them to perfect your SEO.

User Experience is Everything

Google has always iterated that it does not focus on what you have to offer but what the users need and if what you have to present suits the users and is of help, then you would be succeeding with your content strategy. Likewise, Google has made it imperative for a website to offer a convenient user experience. The website cannot have an interface that is complicated, the design of the website must enhance the browsing experience, the fonts and the presentation of the content must make sure everything is readable and users should be able to access a website on all devices. A website cannot look perfect on a desktop and then odd on a tablet or mobile. A website should be mobile friendly. It could be a dedicated mobile website or a responsive design. Google and other search engines are flexible with that. But you must have a mobile friendly website. Google has segregated desktop rankings and mobile rankings. The algorithm for Google’s mobile search favors sites that would be perfect for the mobile platform. 

Significance of Mobile App

Having a mobile website can be enough for mobile rankings. But you would do better if you also have a mobile app. Until now, mobile app has been used by companies to reach out to their customers and stay hooked. And, it has been used as a product itself, either for free or paid. Not only would a mobile app allow companies to stay connected with their customers or target audience but having a mobile app is also being taken into consideration for rankings. There is also the mobile app optimization which is basically needed to rank apps in the search results within an app store. More people are resorting to apps and it is obvious the search engines will factor in the popularity while displaying search results. 

Unique Content is Quintessential

As more content gets uploaded every day and the indexed virtual world gets over flooded with information, search engines will only get pickier. Unique content has always been important. The first page of search results and the highest ranked websites will always get you information that is helpful and original. If there is nothing new that you have to say or how you say it is just spun from what already exists, then that would not be of any impact. Unique content is as quintessential as having a nice website design. 

Target the Rich Answers

Most companies assess the quality and impact of their SEO by the website rank. Where or which page the website or a webpage gets listed, the improvement in overall website rankings and in the specific category, the increase in traffic and eventual queries or leads are typically what companies focus on. Right now, the first page listing on search engine results should not be the ultimate goal. The ultimate objective should be to have your website quoted in rich answers. These are the highlighted contents that appear on top of search engine results. It does not happen for every search but for more than a fifth of all searches, Google lists some highlighted content. It is usually a straight answer or a list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the context. You must try to appear on the rich answers as it would not only enlarge a part of the specific webpage right on the search engine but will also redirect traffic just like normal results. Rich answers easily establish a company as a brand. Credibility of a website or a company gets an unprecedented boost with rich answers.

Loading Speed

Data speeds have increased, websites have become faster, browsers are more advanced and even the processors powering the devices allow for quicker loading speeds. However, there are websites that pack in too many features and a lot happens in the background when a page gets loaded. From graphics to embedded videos, slideshows, different kinds of pop-ups and a plethora of other little stuffs. When a website goes overboard with these elements, the loading speed takes a hit. The attention span of people browsing the internet today has reduced from twelve seconds to about eight seconds in the last fifteen years. All you have is five to eight seconds to ensure that your audience is already reading the content. If that doesn’t happen, then you need to improve your website loading speed. This should happen for all browsers on all devices.

Link Building 2.0

Link building as we knew it is dead. It is passé and archaic now. Search engines have become too smart for you to hoodwink them with some smartly placed links anywhere on third party websites. Unless a link is organic and in the form of brand mentions it is unlikely to get enough traction. Links are still important and they can redirect traffic. However, they may not have any immediate or eventual impact on search engine ranking. And if those links are questionable, then there’s no reward at the end of the road. Brand mentions, user generated links and high quality back-links are what you need to work on. 

Promote your Content

The purpose of generating content is to promote your business. But the content too should be promoted. People are looking for information but there’s plenty so your content needs to find the airtime or exposure to be found.