Search engine optimization has changed quite a bit since the early 2000s. What once worked before can actually result in your website being penalized by engines such as Google and Bing. Making sure the site is compliant with the best SEO practices can ensure that your business pages are still ranking high in the results page. What can be done to keep your site relevant for 2016?
Better Site Security
In an effort to make the Internet a safer experience for all, search engines are focusing more on the impact of security for websites. This means that URLs that are connected to secured socket layers score higher in the rankings. Of course more goes into being listed on the front page, but adding the HTTPS to your domain may be beneficial in the future. This helps visitors feel more comfortable as their information is less likely to be stolen.
In August of 2015, Gary Illyes of Google attested that security is a motivational factor for the search engine giant to score pages higher. Domains that are listed with the HTTPS suffix will more than likely begin to be seen more often on the front page of a search. The cost to include a secured socket layer may be worth the traffic per year. Learn how to easily get your SSL & enable HTTPS for your website.
Social Media Integration
According to SEO experts, social media has potential to play a more dominant role in the near future for search engine rankings. Although this is a work in progress, it’s an aspect that shows promise for building an online reputation. Sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are starting to appear in search results of some companies. What does this do for improving your business website?
- Improves the visibility of your pages
- Supports content developed on your site
- Demonstrates professionalism
- Boosts the online reputation of the business
Creating an authoritative website enhances SEO rankings. It’s all about developing a reputation for your business or brand. While backlinks can play a part in building site authority, there is more to the process than just a blog linking back to one of your pages. Ways to impact your authority rating include:
- Inbound links from blogs, forums and other websites
- Links from social media channels
- Reviews from other authoritative websites
- Enhancing your network of off-site authorities – such as making connections on LinkedIn and other platforms
Part of improving your site’s authority comes in the form of content marketing. The more engaging you can make your material, the more people will link to your content. Essentially, you want to convince others to share and distribute the material of your website with everyone they know. This brings us to the following point…
Focus The Content
Content is still the primary driving force to any given website. However, you’ll need to start creating material that is more focused regarding the topic to comply with the best SEO practices. Content that is generalized is becoming buried within the confines of the Internet. If you want to attract visitors or inspire sales and leads, you need information that is more focused. This can be done by:
- Creating more unique content
- Drilling deeper into the topic you’re writing about
- Delivering information that isn’t common knowledge
Search engines adore unique content. When you regurgitate facts and information on other sites simply to create content, it doesn’t perform as well. In essence, you’re in direct competition with potentially thousands of other companies online. You need your content to stand out.
Center On Geographic Location
Since the advent of the smartphone, search engines such as Google have been working to deliver search results that are tailored to a person’s geographic location. Statistics show that most consumers will research local companies online before making purchases. This has been greatly beneficial for businesses that have brick-and-mortar stores. For example: If someone in Chicago is looking for the best place to buy pizza within driving distance, he or she may not see the results for pizza parlors in Miami. It’s believed by experts that this localization will eventually drill down to specific communities. You can contribute to this development by:
- Writing about your immediate area
- Submitting to directories such as Google Business
- Contributing to local social groups
For businesses that are purely online, geographic locations may not play as important of a role. This includes Internet-based services and products from eCommerce. Both of these kinds of business roles may actually perform better by branching out to other locations through direct marketing.
Focus on Mobility
According to numerous studies, mobile access of the Internet has surpassed that of desktop computer systems. This means that every site will perform better if it’s ready for devices such as smartphones and tablets. Websites that didn’t have mobile versions by April of 2015 lost their ranking due to Google’s algorithm change referred to as, “Mobilegeddon.”
A large number of sites have already been revamped for this technology. However, the process needs to go beyond just having a responsive design. What needs to be addressed in order to optimize the site for smaller screen resolutions?
- Optimizing images
- Reducing site clutter from banners, ads and excessive images
- Removing HTML or other coding that is not conducive to a fast load time
Give your site a chance for continued success in 2016 by utilizing the best SEO practices. It can be difficult to keep track of the changes search engines make on a regular basis. Unless you invest in SEO services, you have to be vigilant about keeping current with optimization practices. As information technology continues to develop, so will changes to the infrastructure of search engines.