In thia article AJR take a look at What’s New for Website SEO This Year
As a new year begins, it’s important to start considering which elements of your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) campaign will still be relevant this year and which ones might expire or change in unfamiliar ways. This article is updated ever year so lets dive in and take a look at What’s New for Website SEO This Year
So What’s changing Then?
Over the years we witnessed a host of changes to the SEO landscape, from tweaks to ranking factors to shifts in potential visibility. This year, I’m anticipating more changes along these lines.
By looking back, we can determine Google (and other search engines) priorities, and use those to estimate changes that are around the corner.
Intention is everything
Your website no longer needs an exact keyword to offer a relevant search result, In the past, it was all about getting the click through. Now search engines are seeing how the users are interacting with your website: Are they going back and clicking on results, or are they finding the answers they are searching for when they are on your website? Today it’s about the post-click activity. Not only does your website have to get the clicks, But you have to satisfy the website users intent.
Keywords Are Not Everything
Including those keywords in headlines is becoming less important, Google has grown better about interpreting meaning. It used to be if you wanted to rank for ‘best SEO tactics,’ you had to say ‘best SEO tactics’ several times. It still is very helpful to mention ‘best SEO tactics,’ but the semantic meaning is becoming much more relevant. Now you can just talk about the great and best SEO tactics, and the search engines will pick up on this. Remember content is key not the keyword.
We all wanted to get a keyword in the body copy or in the meta description. Now that has all gone out the window. As the search engines get smarter, they start to think about other words that you expect to be in that article, what will signal that this is an authoritative article on the topic. If you were writing an article about SEO, you might have the words ‘SEO,’ ‘Search Engine Optimisation,’ ‘Website Search Optimisation,’ ‘Rank Better In Search Engines’ and ‘Improve Website SEO.’ If these are in the body copy, it sends signals to the search engines that this is a pretty good article.
75% of search queries are between three and five words long, so we should write headlines accordingly. Search engines are working out that if users search for the word ‘SEO,’ or any one- or two-word query, they do not get the results they were hoping for. To get quality results that are most likely to answer their question, they have to go to three, four or five-word search queries. As content creators, when you are thinking about Search Engine Optimisation, you have to think about that.
Page Ranking will be Improved by Mobile Speed
Mobile search is no longer the future. It’s the present! Google’s continued preference for mobile usability continues.
February will see the release of Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, or AMP. Sites which use AMP will likely receive a small ranking boost. They will be labelled as “fast” in mobile SERP’s\ and treated favourably. Think of the label “mobile-friendly” and how it applies to Mobilegeddon.
Mobile Responsive Design
The mobile-friendliness of web design is now among Google’s top SEO ranking factors. This means that well-designed mobile-friendly websites perform better than those that are not optimised for mobile users. Certain factors, such as too small texts and close together links, may result in a website being rated non-mobile-friendly.
You need to optimise your page in a way that caters to mobile users. Due to the ever-increasing number of mobile users, creating a mobile-friendly web design will also improve your site performance. You could even experience better conversion rates and user experience, which can again improve your SEO ranking further
Focus On User Experience
Google takes into consideration the experience that users have when visiting your website. A bad user experience can damage your search engine ranking dramatically. The search engine will continue analysing how website users interact with your site. Any sign of bad user experience will devalue your website search ranking.
If users quickly click away or move back to the search result page to explore other websites, then it is a red flag that your website does not satisfy users search queries. This reduces dwell time and increases pogosticking, which is one factor of low search engine rankings. Optimise your website for better user experience by ensuring it fulfils a need. Keep it visually appealing, easy to navigate, and consistently updated with high-quality content.
Google’s indexation of Twitter
Google’s indexation of Twitter will grow dramatically, and a significantly higher percentage of tweets, hashtags, and profiles will be indexed by the year’s end. renewed partnership between Twitter & Google,
Longer Articles / Blog Posts
Longer and more detailed articles, between 1,200 to 1,500 words, perform better in search engines, on average, It’s significantly different than it was two or three years ago, when 300 words was a pretty long page. Longer articles are getting a larger amount of traffic, and they are ranking higher in Search Engine Optimisation, especially for competitive key terms. The changes that Google are making, and the reason they are making these changes, is to make sure they are sending traffic to web pages that interest people. I would suggest breaking up long form content with subheadings, bullet points and attractive images throughout the copy to make it easy for readers to scan and digest it better and quicker.
The Longer articles do perform better in search results because there are more words and images to rank on the web page. People are sharing longer articles on their social media more, and linking to them and quoting and referring to them more. A Shorter article will do well sometimes, but on average, longer articles will perform better.
The Use Of Unique Images
While images are not as big of a referral source in Google search as they used to be, having unique images on your site is valuable, The same image can show up in thousands of places on the internet, but having unique content around those images is what makes it stand out. I don’t personally use stock images, and have nothing against using them to illustrate a point, but any time you can create something that is custom or use unique photography, that will pay off more in the long run and this is how i like to do it. remember at the end of the day custom is unique and unique is you as the individual.
The most important SEO tip is to focus on your audience, In the past, it was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see that will give you an SEO ranking boost.
The reason we are doing search optimisation and want to show up in Google, Bing or Yahoo is not because we make money because we show up Number one or two. The reason we want to rank well in the search engine is so that our audience, the people we are trying to reach, have a great experience. It does not matter how high you rank if your target audience goes to your site and they are not happy. either with the content they are been presented with or what they had to do to get this information at the end of the day its all out the users experience.
The Importance of Link Building Could be Changing
Link building is not going away anytime soon. But Google shows a lot of signs that user experience will be their major focus from now on.
Content, user satisfaction and personalised results are going to have a significant impact on ranking. The recent updates to Panda and Penguin help confirm this as well.
Claims that link building is dead have been made before, and they turned out to be incorrect. Links will continue to have an impact on search rankings. But this is the year you want to make user experience and fresh content your main priority.
People are interacting with search in a variety of ways, and this will continue to develop. This is especially true with how users are interacting with search engines through mobile and smart devices, home automation and intelligent personal assistants. Voice search is propelling these changes, and marketers will need to focus on:
- Longtail keyword phrases (7-9 words) for their content
- Schema markup to provide Googlebots with more context
- Topic ideation based on what people are asking with their voice