The goal of all search engines is to provide users with the most relevant results based on what they are searching for. The rules for how this happens have shifted dramatically over the past few years. Search engines have evolved in order to make it easy for consumers to find the information they are looking for. Google’s algorithm is highly sophisticated and constantly being updated to offer searchers the best possible results for each search.
"The new SEO strategy revolves around user experience."
Google makes over 500 algorithm changes a year. Every change is focused on user experience: making sure that when someone searches on Google, if they get the most valuable pages on the first few listed results.
If content marketing, search ranking and SEO make up a core component of your work this article may be key to boosting your search engine ranking and maximize your business in 2016.
SEO is a powerful strategy to boost your website’s ability to reach potential customers.
Original content is becoming more important than ever. Create a page that is uniquely valuable to your targeted searchers and commit to creating quality content that piques their interest and is likely to earn links naturally. Introduce your target keyword phrase into your content so that it flows naturally. Search engines are looking for your target keyword and for variations of that keyword, so sprinkle in related keyword phrases as well.
The first 200 words of body copy count most heavily for visitors and search engines, so make those first 200 words count.
After quality content, the page title, commonly referred to as the title element, is considered to be the most important factor in search engine positioning and conversions. The title element of a web page was designed to be an accurate and concise description of a page's content. Creating a compelling title tag will bring in more visits from the search results. Your page title is an important factor on how search engines weigh the relevance of your page and it affects a user's propensity to 'click' the link and be transported to your page. This is a key factor in driving more traffic to your site.
Use your primary keyword phrase at least once in your page's title, and place it as close to the start of the title as possible. The closer to the start of the title tag a keyword is, the more helpful it will be for ranking.
Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword Brand Name
Title tags are often displayed on search engine results pages for the viewer to preview snippets of a given page. It is recommended that your titles are 55 characters or less, as Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag before truncating. This will allow searcher's to see your full title.
Use headlines not only to clarify the message but also to highlight your target keyword phrases. Proper use of the H1 tag is associated with higher rankings. Search engines understand this tactic and use the H1 and H2 tags to better understand what your page is about and how relevant it might be to the user.
Naming each page of your website with a relevant URL is important when considering search engine ranking. Search engines use this name to consider the potential relevancy of the content. And visitors often use this name in their determination as to whether they want to visit your page or not.
Use your target keyword or phrase when naming your page. It should be concise and accurate. Use Hyphens (-) to separate words when necessary for readability. This also helps search engines to break up your URL. (four-states-marketing)
Optimizing your images is important because it affects how your images are displayed on Google’s image search results. Name your image SRC filename using the targeted keyword phrase of your web page. Modify your image ALT attribute so that search engines will better understand what the image is all about and so that visitors can get more information about your image when rolling over with their mouse.
Search engine algorithms reward external links to quality sites.
External Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain where the link exists. Therefore, if another website from a quality source links to your website, this assists in your search engine ranking. Many experts agree that quality external links are a key factor in your ranking. These links provide clues to the search engines on the relevance or your website, and are considered in your SEO positioning during a search.
Internal Links are hyperlinks that point at the same domain where the link exists. Internal links point to other pages on your existing site and are commonly used in your navigation. These links establish an information hierarchy for the search engine.
In the last few years we have witnessed a phenomenal growth in the amount of content shared through social websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Google+. Although search engines treat socially shared links differently than external and internal links, they still are factors in your positioning.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide clear and concise descriptions of the content that will be found on the webpage. They are a key factor in gaining user click-throughs from search engine result pages as they usually show up in the search results. Take time to write accurate descriptions using target keywords to reassure users that this is exactly the page they are looking for. The meta description you create should be informative and unique, but also create a compelling description that a searcher will want to click. Standardize your name, address, and phone number, including your city and state name, in your website's metadata. The description should be roughly between 150-160 characters. Google will truncate meta descriptions that are too long.
In the absence of a description tag, social media platforms and search engines will pull in the first matching text they find on the page, which may not be the message you are wanting to communicate. So be sure to add your Meta Descriptions to each web page.
Focus on your audience.
The most important SEO tip for 2016 is to focus on your audience. It’s about delivering what people actually want to see that will give you an SEO ranking boost.
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Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
– Henry Ford