We’ve come to the end of another year. It’s the perfect time to review the months behind us and plan strategies for the year ahead.
SEO is an evolving industry. Search engine ranking factors change quite often, making it crucial to stay up to date. Here are some important takeaways from key on-page ranking factors in 2015.
Content: Content is King
a) The quality of the content is as important as it ever was.
- Create quality content.
- Make your content authoritative.
- Interest the reader otherwise you risk losing traffic and rank.
- Be informative – don’t hold back.
- Keep it descriptive. This supports all of the points above.
b) Keep your content fresh. Stale content = stagnant impressions.
- Update your sites periodically.
- Add the right content where it belongs.
- Stay in line with industry trends to ensure you’re providing what your market is looking for.
- Craft content on topics of interest. You don’t want to speak to an empty room.
c) Internal Linking connects your message.
- Link relevant pages between each other. This makes your content support associated pages and allows users to explore your information intelligently.
- Pass relevance and authority.
Website Structure & Design
a) Duplicate Content
- Do not duplicate content within your website. The search engines are smarter than ever and you will be penalised.
- Do not duplicate content from another website – even if it’s also your own – the penalties will be devastating.
b) Crawlable Website
- Your website must be able to be crawled and indexed by search engines.
- Relevant pages of your websites shouldn’t be blocked. Keep the information open so the search engines can fully crawl your site.
- Make proper use of sitemaps and robots.txt files for correct indexation. Give the search engines an invite and a map to your site to make their job as easy as possible.
c) Mobile Friendly Website
- Searches on tablets and mobile have increased. Mobile use is expected to trend upwards in 2016.
- Make websites desktop as well as mobile friendly. This means responsive design, appropriately sized images, and ultra short form copywriting.
- Better user experience = better results for your website. If it can’t be used, the search engines won’t want to make web users try.
d) Website Loading Time
- Speed of the website’s loading time. Faster loading = better UX and user stickiness.
- Improve speed of loading desktop and mobile versions. Don’t focus on one platform, all of them must load rapidly.
- Speed helps to reduce bounce rate because customers won’t be frustrated with wait times.
- The faster your website is, the more legitimate your business looks to users.
Meta Tags & Header Tags Guidelines
a) Title Tag
- Include relevant keywords at the beginning of the tag.
- The recommended length is 50-60 characters or 512-pixels.
b) Meta Description
- Talk about the page.
- The length should be 150 to 160 characters, give or take.
- Add a call to action to the meta description to achieve best results.
c) Alt Tags
- A description of the image with keywords. Alt tags are still not a place to go overboard and still not an element to ignore.
d) Header Tags – H1, H2, H3, etc.
- Include keyword variations in header tags.
- Each header should talk about the paragraph underneath.
- Avoid duplications of header tags. Do your research to avoid sounding like a broken record and breaking your site’s SEO!
Hindsight is never good for search engine optimisation; we want to anticipate change so that we are prepared to act. This makes conscientious reflection and research key to SEO success. Looking back on content tactics that are proven to be effective , while keeping up with search algorithm updates, provides a framework for reacting to a mutable industry.
No matter what changes we may face in 2016, one thing will always be true – stable digital architecture provides a solid foundation for search, for both users and SEO professionals.