The Complete Guide to 2016 SEO: positive factors
Josh Bachynski is an academic and Ethicist with over 16 years of experience in SEO, digital marketing, and branding. Here is his guide on how to rank in 2016.
SEO in 2016 might be looking like a dark forest to some, but it’s in fact very exciting – there will be many positive changes in 2016. If you take advantage of them, you’ll be doing very well.
Onpage SEO will be even more important than it used to be.
• Research your topics:
What’s new: it’s suggested to shift from exact keyword match to broad keyword match. Only then choose an exact match from the broad match cluster. Key for that is making it natural – go for what people want, not what they search for (Google works better now with the latter, not the former).
What’s important: more than 50 percent of searches in 2016 will be conducted from mobile devices. Make sure you optimize your keywords to both mobile and desktop traffic.
• Make your pages based directly on topics you found. Great findings should become names of your pages and keywords for search.
What’s important: Keywords in URLs, titles, H1 and content boost your search results. However, reports show that too many keywords in content (and no one knows what’s the ‘too many’ number is) will make your page drop off – it’s a low-quality signal.
What’s new: exact match domain lost its importance for ranking, although still important for people. Domain industry is going down, so don’t spend money on EMDs.
• Make a correlation report and find about keyword density for your competitors.
• Write for humans, not for search purposes.
• Put year at the end of title tag if possible – it boosts search results.
Bigger is still better.
In theory, more pages = more rankings. Maximize your internal links to your top-ranking pages. Losing pages means losing rankings.
BUT: only increase the number of your pages if you can maintain user satisfaction. If users do not convert/share/comment positively/buy from you, then you shouldn’t be doing it: it’s not good enough. If you can’t make your website a real and the best magazine on your particular topic (you lack money, expertise or time), don’t even try!
SERP CTR matters.
• It gets you more traffic.
• Better title and description mean better conversion mean stronger Panda defense. People want to get what you promise in descriptions, so make sure they are satisfied – that leads to higher sales.
• Better CTR means better rankings.
In successful titles:
• build value and call to action
Example: Get Top RED APPLES! *** Visit today!***
• use power words
You, free [best], now [today], new, because [reason] – their effect proven by psychologists.
Rankbrain is Google’s new ranking algorithm, based on its June 2013 algorithm called Hummingbird and reinforced with artificial intelligence. Rankbrain is smart enough to outsmart Google search engineers 10 percent of the time. It’s on a ‘toddler level’ of development, so when you write, you have to explain it like to a five-year-old (not in terms of words or concepts, but in terms of language flow).
Seeing more users satisfied with their search results (judged from user actions), Rankbrain adjusts rankings accordingly. This is how it works for all search queries for all languages, both globally and locally.
Rankbrain is the 3rd biggest ranking factor, Forbes magazine says! So what are the first two?
1. Onsite semantic (URL silo, pagename, title, H1, internal links, onpage schema).
2. Offsite semantic (backlinks, nofollows, topical mentions, offsite schema, social actions/shares/click, brand searches).
3. User actions (clicks, mouse, conversions, SERP bounce, Internal Bounce, returns.)
Your 2016 SEO can be based on these three alone.
Optimizing for Rankbrain:
• Have users search for your brand and service. Rankbrain prefers brands that are more often searched for and clicked on.
• Have over 60% CTR on brand searches (if you don’t, check SERP to see why not).
• Make sure people find what they are looking for (on that page, above 500px, site response under 3 seconds, with 60%+ conversion).
• Don’t let them bounce back to Google and select another result! (Or bounce around your website.)
Going Local in 2016:
• Use ‘enhanced listing’ – ask for a Google Business photographer to come and make 3D photos of your location
• Maximize your Maps listing – if you have a free parking, make sure people learn about it online
• Have a quality site – task completion is extremely important
• Have multiple good reviews – (BBB, local forums, blogs, G+, Facebook, etc.)
• Be mobile optimized – watch your local users
• Have a clickable business name
• Be located in geographic region – this is the biggest ranking factor for local
• Don’t have a blog – it’s not going to help you locally
Links will have less value in 2016
Links Google trusts:
High authority site
Not where everyone else is
Main content link
Anchor with natural stop words
Appropriate amount of links
Links Google ignores:
Manual post sites
PR, directories, articles
Rule of thumb – no more than 8% of exact match links or commercial dofollow anchors, even in URLs.
Don’t bother with links – try to rank on safer signals first.