It’s 2016, a new year and a new opportunity to change some of your marketing strategies for your business. If you’ve tried SEO before and think that it doesn’t work, think again. With these new strategies, you can give your business a boost in the SERPs which means more money in your pocket. Here are a few SEO tricks you can try to improve your business this year.
1. Create an influencer who is a subject-matter expert.
An influencer is someone who people listen to online. When it comes to search engine optimization, having an influencer in your corner will mean more people link to your website, share your blog posts and trust your content. If possible, have an influencer who is a subject-matter expert head up the content creation on your website. This person can be you, someone from your company or someone you align with.
2. Develop a content-marketing strategy.
Every website should have a content strategy focused around your top keywords. When you create content such as blog posts, videos, whitepapers, research reports and webinars, it gives people something to link to. In addition, the content you create can rank by itself in the search engines. For example, if you write a blog post on “How to Pick an SEO Company,” there is a possibility it will rank for some of the keywords you use in the title and in the body post, especially if the post gets linked to from other websites or shared a lot on social media. It also helps if your website as a whole already has significant high-quality links.
This results in high domain authority, which translates into better rankings for all of your content. In addition, regular content creation shows Google that your website is alive and active. By sending this fresh content signal to Google on a continual basis, it will result in better rankings for your website as a whole.
3. Generate powerful backlinks to your site and pages.
Having an influencer and content marketing strategy will help you develop backlinks to your website, but it is also important to actively be seeking ways to get people to link to you. Some of the best ways to do this are to write for a large publication, do industry interviews and recommend your powerful content to people who matter. You can also hire a public relations (PR) company or an SEO company that has a strong digital PR division to help you with this initiative.
In addition, you can also use tools like Majestic SEO to see who is linking to your competitors. Once you identify the links to your competitor’s sites, you can analyze these links, learn how they got them and implement a similar strategy for your website. For example, did they donate to a charity causing the charity to link to their site? You can do the same thing.
4. Get your website mobile-ready.
In 2015, there was a major Google update known as Mobilegeddon. This meant that if you did not have a mobile version of your website by April 21, 2015, you lost a significant amount of your rankings in the mobile version of the Google search listings.
Moving into 2016, your website needs to be mobile-ready. There are three types of accepted options for a mobile site in Google’s eyes: responsive design, being set up on a mobile subdomain or use dynamic serving. Google also now ranks websites higher that apply SEO for their apps. So if you have an app, make sure you are taking the time to implement application SEO.
5. Move your website to HTTPS, a secure site.
Google’s Gary IIIyes sent this tweet on August 18, 2015, saying that, “If you’re an SEO and you’re recommending against going HTTPS, you’re wrong, and you should feel bad.” The “S” in HTTPS stands for security, and if your URL leads with HTTPS (https://example.com) instead of HTTP (http://example.com), then your website is secure. Google wants you to move your site to HTTPS so badly that they are now giving a ranking boost to websites that are secure. As we move into 2016, we will be seeing many new websites transferring to HTTPS.
6. Add schema.org markup to your website.
Schema.org is a type of markup that you can put in the code of your website. Using schema.org, you can tell Google which picture on your site is your logo, where your reviews are, where your videos are, what type of company you are, where you are located and much more. Google has hinted over the last year that schema.org will help your website rank better in Google search. Recently, Google’s John Mueller, said in a Google Hangout on Sept. 11 (at the 21:40 minute mark) that “over time, I think it [structured markup] is something that might go into the rankings as well.”
When it comes to SEO in 2016, these are some of the most important items you can focus on. Make sure you are adding fresh, high-quality content and generating backlinks. Also, make sure you website is mobile ready and fully secure. Outside of this, it is also important to follow normal SEO best practices.
You can also try:
7. Use unique images.
While images aren’t as big of a referral source in Google as they used to be, having unique images on your site is valuable, Shepard says. “The same image can show up in hundreds of places around the Web, but having unique content around those images is what makes it stand out. I’m not opposed to using stock images to illustrate a point, but any time you can create something that’s custom or use unique photography, that will pay off more in the long run.”
The most important SEO tip for 2016 is to focus on your audience, Shepard says. “In the past, it was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see that will give you an SEO ranking boost.”
Adds Laetsch: “The reason we’re doing optimization and want to show up in Google, Bing or Yahoo is not because we make money because we show up No. 1 or No. 2. The reason we want to rank well in the search engine is so that our audience, the people we’re trying to reach, have a great experience. It doesn’t matter how high you rank if your target audience goes to your site and they’re not happy.”
8. Focus on the user experience.
“Google, right now, is making 500 algorithm changes a year,” Laetsch says. “Every change is focused on making sure that when someone searches on Google, if they get the right result on the first few pages, they’ve got a great experience. It’s not, ‘How am I going to tweak the engine or trick Google, Bing or Yahoo?’ It’s how you make sure that your content is the best possible content on the Internet for the words that you care about.”
Thus, original content is becoming more important than ever, says Rhea Drysdale, CEO of Outspoken Media Inc., a Troy, N.Y.-based SEO consulting firm. “The more original content that you can produce—whether it’s an image or a video, or long-form content, anything you can put together that’s going to justify someone wanting to read it or share it—the better.”
While articles with a “top five” list format often are clickable, Drysdale suggests using them sparingly. “People like things that they can quickly digest, but it doesn’t necessarily have much weight with search,” she says. “You have to make sure that whatever comes after the number makes sense and is useful.”
Create an editorial calendar to appeal to your customers’ interests, Laetsch says. “That’s the most important thing that a marketer can do for SEO in 2016. Your content has to be original and targeted to your audience. If you curate content, take a paragraph from another article or site, and give them full credit and add an attribution, but add a paragraph or two in your own voice: ‘Here’s why I think it’s relevant.’ You’re adding a journalistic voice and making it your own.”
And finally to round the list up to ten, you can also include these tips into your 2016 SEO strategy:
9. Social signals ranking you higher in search results
After seeing sources like Mashable and Business Insider conclude that Google+ has failed, it seems like Google has given authority back to social signals. So the more your website is mentioned on social platforms, the more likely your website will rank in search results.
Although we don’t know the full implications of this yet since it’s fairly new, I’ve begun seeing hints confirming this is true.
Neil Patel provides an excellent example in a recent post:
Neil highlights that Etsy has zero backlinks, but are still at the top of the rankings for “handmade gift tags.” Could their social signals be increasing their SEO results? Looks like it.
10. Link disavowing
If you keep hitting walls with your SEO results (with strategies that should be working), it might be an ugly past haunting you. Many of the blackhat techniques and old school tactics from the early days of SEO are no longer relevant.
For your current SEO results to succeed, one strategy is to remove spammy, artificial, or low-quality links to your website with link disavowing.
This strategy removes links that are damaging your credibility with Google’s algorithm. Marie Haynes wrote the Start-to-Finish Guide to Using Google’s Disavow Tool to help you get started.
As you can see, there are many things you can implement in your business over the next few months to really improve the way your potential customers find you on the web. These simple strategies will certainly boost your rankings and, more importantly, your bottom line if you learn how to use them. It can be difficult though to run your business as well as find the time to put this SEO strategy in place (this is a full time job in itself) so if you want to hire a top SEO firm to do this work for you, get in touch with SEO Expert London or visit their website here: http://www.seoexpertlondon.com