seo-fundamentals-of-2016Search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved so much since it was introduced in the late 1990s. As the online community continues to grow, search engines have to regularly revise and upgrade their algorithms and the way they rank webpages to ensure that only websites with quality and relevant content are returned to the users.  As a result, webmasters must constantly review their site’s rankings and re-evaluate their techniques.

Here are some SEO fundamentals in 2016 that are significant to ensure that website is optimized:

Keyword research

This oft-mentioned tip remains to be a vital part of SEO. It is important to determine what words or phrases are being typed by users to find certain information. To find a list of popular and competitive keywords, it might be a good idea to use certain tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Searchmetrics’ Keyword Analysis.

It is important to target keywords that are not highly competitive. Focus should be on long-tail keywords or specific niches to limit probable competition.  From there, content should be developed on topics that are relevant to the target keywords.

One of the areas in which Google has improved is in how it analyzes search queries. The search engine no longer concentrates on keywords alone but analyzes these to anticipate user intent. Because of this, website owners have to be more creative in creating and structuring content.

Keywords should be incorporated into the page’s content. It is recommended that they especially appear in the title, subheadings, introduction, and conclusion rather than just throughout the body of the text.

Page content

Word count is an essential element of page content. Google tends to assign higher rankings to pages that contain more than 1,000 words. Thus, articles on a given topic should cover it comprehensively.

The way a topic discussion is presented is also crucial.  A broad subject may be broken down into sub-topics to appear logically organized and well-structured.

Internal linking

Incorporating links to other pages that contain relevant content provides readers with more options. It also helps to improve rankings because Google assesses those pages with quality links as trustworthy and credible.

When using internal links, it is important to make sure they are placed logically so that the user and the search engines are properly guided through the content.

Load speed

Google takes loading speed into consideration, and very seriously at that. Ideally, it should take a page no longer than a few seconds to fully load. Otherwise, it isn’t likely to get a high ranking on SERP.

Several site speed tests are available online to test if a page is loading as quickly as it should. Webmasters should pay close attention to speed test results and do some changes when necessary.

Powerful backlinking

One of the strategies to ensure off-site SEO is to get backlinks. A website owner should aim to get backlinks from trusted authorities in the same or related industry, or – in the case of informative sites – on a particular subject matter. This is a valuable aspect of SEO because it lends credibility to the website.

Mobile SEO

With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, websites should be optimized to ensure that they are accessible on devices other than the desktop. Users should be able to conveniently browse through or download content from their mobile phones.

In creating the mobile version, webmasters must consider some important factors that will affect loading time on the devices. For instance, content should be cut into shorter paragraphs and presented in an easy-to-read form. Here are some worthwhile mobile SEO tips:

  • Use fonts that are slightly bigger than those used on the desktop version.
  • Images should scaled to a smaller
  • Keep ads to a bare minimum as these tend to slow down the loading time and disturb the mobile user’s experience.

Conclusion

Note that many of these SEO tips are age-old techniques that have endured the test of time. However, because the world of SEO is always changing, be prepared for the future possibility that some tactics may not work as well a few years from now. At the risk of suffering from the effects of lower rankings, you should take the time to re-assess your SEO strategies in order to take these concepts into account.

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Author
Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the CEO of Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives at Ocean Beach in the Outer Sunset Neighborhood.

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