What will Assist SEO Success in 2016?
2016 is here and if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to start planning your search engine optimization strategies for the year ahead!
Here are six significant insights to help your planning.
Social Media Engagement
One of the biggest shifts in SEO in recent times is that success in digital marketing is now so influenced by social media. Search engines algorithms are now fully tuned into social media audience engagement and monitored across all major platforms.
The engagement of website content and video’s in social media sharing is a major factor now impacting SERP results and those not adjusting to this will be left behind.
Several years ago, marketers that were the best at SEO and manipulating the intricacies of search engines got the cream. To succeed today, SEO and digital marketing professionals need to be masters of the nuances of all social media platforms as well as compliant SEO practices.
Long Term Focus On User Experience.
Google is placing an ever-increasing weighting on user experience. The website must be easy to navigate. Mobile friendly. Can visitors find what they need?
Google management goes to great lengths to convey the message that user-friendly websites that deliver authoritative content will get ranked higher in the search results. They measure this by the numbers of returning visitors and length of their stay.
In 2016 you simply can’t get away with not providing a great mobile experience. Google and Bing both give increased preference to websites that use mobile responsive design. These are website themes that adapt to the size of the mobile device screen used to access the site.
Bad mobile optimization leads to higher visitor bounce rates, which negatively impacts SERP results.
Inbound links are still a strong sign of authority; however, link building has become more controversial with Google taking an even harder line late in 2014 on those using un-natural back linking methods. Its been a hot topic in past few years and its unlikely to be any different in 2016.
Google management go to great lengths to convey their desire to have only naturally acquired linking and manipulated methods will not be tolerated. They have also sent out a strong message that high authority back links from relevant and related peer niche sites will be given more weighting. This is becoming clearly evident to the seasoned SEO observer.
It is also important to ensure that your site is giving visitors the opportunity to progress to higher authority sites via out bound links. Wikipedia is a fine example of being rewarded for this practice.
Key Word Phrases in Quality Content
There has been a shift in the use of key words that Google focus’s on. Search terms now include conversational phrases, especially due to the use of verbal command features on smartphone type devices to find websites and videos.
Its important in 2015 to ensure that on page optimization includes key word phrases for this reason. The use of questions in H1, H2 and H3 titles will be a particularly smart way of optimizing for this shift. No longer can you just use Pest Control Sydney as an anchor text, you are now needing to incorporate a phrase like Best Sydney Pest Control
Google recently announced that having a HTTPS URL will assist in ranking. This means security secure websites may get a slight boost in search engine rankings. A website owner will need to pay for an SSL certificate but it does offer a higher levelof security for the website user. This message from Google may become more important in the near future. It can be a complicated procedure to transfer existing websites to HTTPS, especially if they are on a shared server with only one IP address. For further information on this refer to this SEO Consultants website.
It is obvious that Google is still calling the shots and SEO success is how you respond to the constant tweaking and integration with Social Media.
The six points covered above is all about user experience, user security and rewarding those that deliver this.
Google Snack Pack
A coveted listing in Google search results is to be found in local business ‘maps’ section on page one also know as the ‘Google Snack Pack’, given the nick name as there was 7 listings shown in the past by Google in that section, but now there is only three shown.
Many ask how you get in this three pack?
First you need to register your site with Google My Business and a confirmation card is posted by Google to your sites physical address with a verification code in it. Once this verification code is submitted into your Google My Business account for confirmation and verified correct you are then eligible for the seven pack.
Now here is where it gets interesting. It is common conjecture that if you get on page one your listing will appear in the order of priority of those found on page one with ‘verified’ Google My Business listings. However, it has been pointed out to SEO Chalkie that this is far from the case. An example given to SEO Chalkie of how this is not the case follows;
An interesting example given of why there seems to be no set rules around who gets shown and who doesn’t. If you take a good look at the Google seven pack search results for ‘Sydney Night Clubs’ you will see that only two in the seven pack have websites on first page!
Many listed in the seven pack have their websites listed in the search results not even close to page one. As an example, Google has a CBD establishment website ranked on page seven but they appear in the seven pack. Ahead of them at the top of page two. We know from their seven pack listing in Sydney Night Club search results, they are verified with Google My Business, however, they don’t appear in the seven pack when other websites pages behind them do.
On inspection, the same is the case with the seven pack listings for the search term Night Clubs Sydney. Two in the seven pack are Google Plus pages and the remainder, with the exception of one, are websites not found on page one with many found deep in the search results after page 7! Again, an established CBD Night Club is on page one but fails to make it into the seven pack when other websites pages behind them do. Why is that?
This is not an isolated occurrence as Sydney Interior Designer Denby Dowling’s website www.interiordecorationssydney.com is a long way of first page for several search terms but also appears in the local map listings.
For more information on why this is and about ranking in the seven pack refer to Google My Business
Meta Titles and Descriptions
Just like the 7 pack anomalies there are similar discrepancies when it comes to sites ranking in key word phrases baring no relationship to the Meta Titles and descriptions provided by the website owner.
It is used as a good guide but of what the site is about but but two good examples are Cars On Demand and You Mates Removals both with head offices in Sydney Australia.
They both rank week in their respective niches but in both cases the are ranking in key word categories not prominent in the Meta Title. Especially in the case of Your Mates Removals where it ranks on several of Googles page one listings for Northern Beaches and Central Coast But not Removalist Sydney or Sydney Removalist. Why is that? The same can be said for Accommodation Tumut , The Tummy Tucks Clinic , and Charterbuild Office Fitout ?
On further investigating this site, or should I say deconstructing it, we found that the pages that were ranking were inner pages and not the home page. It appears that Google is favouring the geo-emphasised inner pages with the districts and suburbs shown that they service. However there was no specific inner page for ‘Sydney’ so it was not being detected as being a location key word of importance compared to the other inner pages with emphasis on location.
STOP PRESS : Green Puzzle Alerts visitors to the new secure on-line method of document signing, brought to market by Australian technology company. More on this shortly.