Google is constantly updating the components that affect a website’s ranking on its search engine. In order to stay relevant, it is crucial to stay up to date of any changes and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. 2016 is a new year and we believe these are the factors that you should take into consideration in modifying your SEO strategy for 2016.
According to Google’s research, approximately 70% of its searches are keyword synonyms but not exact keywords- Google needs to identify and direct its users to the right place.
Subsequently, Google is shifting its focus to user intent versus keywords used. This means that keyword search is more of a conversation. As a result, SEO experts need to work closely with editorial boards to develop topics and themes relevant to your audience’s interests while being mindful of creating content that includes all the different synonyms they might be searching for.
Creating content may appear like a regular task but it is important to stay up to date with Google’s changing guidelines for optimal content.
Searchmetrics lists factors affecting ranking in 2015 which includes word count, keywords distribution, internal links and use of headers and meta tags. Please take a look at the infographic created by Searchmetrics.
Cross platform compatibility and site speed are two UX factors which have been shown to affect search rank. Your team should also pay attention to proper content structure and useful internal linking. Although in the past, optimizing for search engines and website have sometimes conflicted each other, Google is moving to bridge that gap. Understanding the interaction of your website and content will be proven valuable.
The value of high quality citations are higher than ever since weak link building strategies no longer help in ranking and may cause penalties in Google search. It is very important that there are members of your team who are reaching out to publishers and influencers in your industry on a regular basis to build relationships and earning high quality links through valuable citations in their platforms.
As outlined by Moz and BuzzSumo, well-researched content, opinion-informing journalism, long form content, list posts and “why” posts are more likely to generate social shares and natural citations.
The biggest mistake that business owners are making are ignoring the importance of local search optimization. According to seoClarity’s research, local search rank number one 93% of the time compared to 25% of the time in older analysis. Without a local presence, it is increasingly likely that it won’t rank high in search results. Having a team member responsible for developing and maintaining local search presence such as local listings on your website and on third party platforms add value to a business’ competitive advantage.
Searchmetrics now indicates that Google is taking social signals (shares, tweets, +1s, etc) into consideration of search ranks. In fact, they found that the number of social signals on social media platforms such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest all correlate to a higher rank position in Google. Having a team member responsible for the social media strategy of your business helps not only in building brand awareness but also staying competitive in search.
The factors affecting search ranking is constantly being updated. Being educated in the what affects ranking is crucial to the success of any business.
As a boutique digital marketing agency in Toronto, we pride ourselves on delivering compelling, digital marketing solutions internationally. Our winning solutions and experiences help many of our clients interact and engage with their customers in the best possible way and increase their business conversion rates. We offer search engine optimization (SEO), web design, and other services tailored to our clients' needs.