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How to become better at SEO in 2016 – SEO Factors to Consider or Ignore

Digital Marketing Philippines has researched to help internet marketers to understand which SEO quality factors should consider and which factors should ignore to rank better using SEO in 2016.

Over the past few years, there have been several changes in the strategies used for getting better and more effective in SEO. With billions of web searches performed by users each month, 12 billion web searches in the US alone, your business can potentially benefit greatly if you can tap in to this market through SEO.

How to become better at SEO in 2016 - SEO Factors to Consider or Ignore

Content Summary

Understand the most and least important ranking factors for 2016
Optimize for Mobile Search
Focus on User Intent
Going local is still a good way to go
The longer the better
Site security and SEO
Make you content searchable through voice

Gone are the days when SEO was still all about focusing on mere keywords. Search engines are getting smarter, that’s how industry leader David Amerland puts it, and they’re getting better in understanding more of user’s intent and how they can provide with meaningful.

Still, merely stuffing your site with articles and cute graphics won’t cut it unless you learn more about these strategies and become better in SEO for 2016.

Understand the most and least important ranking factors for 2016

It would be best to start off by understanding which search ranking factor will work, and which will not, for the SEO arena in 2016. And what better way to learn about it than the studies conducted by Moz Inc.

According to Moz, SEO factors with the biggest impact:

  • Mobile-friendliness: 88%
  • Page’s Perceived Value: 81%
  • Usage Data: 67%
  • Readability and Design: 67%

SEO Factors predicted to decrease in impact:

  • Paid Links Effectiveness: 55%
  • Anchor Text Influence: 49%

Optimize for Mobile Search

According to Neil Patel, these is a 43% increase year-over-year on the total number of searches made through mobile devices. Mobile search is fast becoming the norm as these figures would attest:

  • 4 of 5 consumers use mobile
  • 70% of mobile searches led to an action within the hour
  • 1.2 billion internet users get online through mobile devices
  • Mobile traffic worldwide accounts for 15% of all internet traffic

With the ever increasing proliferation of devices like smartphones and tablets, your audiences are practically moving targets – so it would be best to connect with them by optimizing your sites for mobile search.

Focus on User Intent

As mentioned earlier, there was a momentous focus shift in SEO from keywords to user intent. One-to-one relationship between keywords and high rankings doesn’t hold much juice now as it did before.

Search engines have evolved and are now more equip to understand user intent. So, what should you do?

  • Focus on a more natural language when doing keyword research. Make use of long-tail keywords.
  • When doing research, focus on relevant topics and themes where you can build your content, and not just on mere keywords.
  • Make use of your website analytics to check which phrases are generating traffic. Understand what your targeted audiences need from these phrases.

Going local is still a good way to go

With mobile search moving up to top notch, local search would definitely be tagging alone, and this is what predicts in the coming periods.

Just check out these stats to get you convinced:

  • Local search drives 50% of store visitors online to actually go to the physical store within the day.
  • 60% of consumers rely on local information they see in ads.
  • Finding local result is the primary reason that drives 50% of mobile searches.

So, how can you improve your local presence in search?

  • Be listed in the local pages of Bing, Google and Yahoo.
  • Make sure your listing includes your business name, brands you carry, address, contract numbers and other information that would help consumers engage with your business. This is called a citation or NAP and it’s extremely important for ranking in the local SERPs.
  • Personalize your content for local search by including location-specific keywords.

The longer the better

Back in the earlier days of SEO, most marketers limit their keyword-enriched content to 200 or 250-word articles and posts. But in 2016, size would matter, as ideal post lengths are getting longer and may reach figures of up to 2500 words per article.

Just look at these figures gathered from data researched by HubSpot:

  • Content greater than 2000 words generate more backlinks and social shares.
  • Content with lengths between 2250 to 2500 words generate better average organic traffic.

You might say that 2000-word articles may too much and too difficult to produce. The following are some tips from the SEO Specialists at that might help you create those long posts:

  • Analyze your chosen subject and find out why anyone would care about this subject.
  • Identify experiences in your past that are related to this subject. Share such stories to make your post more interesting.
  • Try to answer questions your audiences might have about the subject.
  • Begin your article by creating several smaller post ideas related to your subject. Combine these smaller related post ideas to create big-idea sections.
  • Further break down each smaller post idea into main points, each with their own headline. Expand each main point with text, data and supporting images.

Site security and SEO

The “S” in the acronym HTTPS stands for security. Adding extra site security by moving it into HTTPS is what Google prefers and they entice web owners to do so by giving an extra boost to your rankings once your site is secure.

More websites are moving to this secured format this 2016 and eventually this will be the norm to follow.

Make you content searchable through voice

Mobile devices have gone so advanced that many of the new devices coming out have inclusive voice-responsive assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana, Google’s Google Now and Apple’s Siri.

These virtual assistants provided a wide range of functionalities for their owners but for SEO purposes, the greatest of these advanced applications is their voice search functionalities.

These provide a convenient hands-free way for making search queries, a feature most wanted by owners who are now used to a fast-paced, multi-tasking and always on-the-go working environment.

According to a Google study, most voice search users apply this functionality to ask for directions. Both teens and adult users use voice search while watching TV and while they’re with friends.

To use voice search to your advantage:

  • Design and produce your content to make them voice searchable.
  • Use long-tail keywords similar to spoken words users would most likely say when using their devices for voice search.
  • Include data that users would most likely look for when making voice searches.

SEO is always evolving and the strategies you may have used last year may not create the same impact or result this 2015. Re-evaluate strategies by incorporating some or all of these tips in your campaign – and be better in SEO this 2016.

Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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