by Lindsey Winsemius - Posted 4 years ago
What are ways to optimize your website for searches in 2016?
Keyword matching is a thing of the past. Now the true judge of content comes from “post-click” activity on your page. Search engines are judging how people are interacting with your website after clicking on your SERP (search engine result page) listing, and whether they are going back and clicking on results.
Back in the old days of SEO (about three years ago), you could include phrases like “best software” a few times in the copy and title of your page to get ranked higher. Now, search engines learn what is in your content as you talk about how your software works, and it will help your ranking.
Searchers tend to search using questions, and 75% of queries are 3 – 5 words long. As you’re writing content, think of what questions you’re answering, and longer key terms.
Content has retained its value for marketers looking to optimize their websites. Whatever content you create, make sure it is original and interesting to the reader. The more original content you can produce, the better.
What kind of content? Articles, videos, even images are all great original content the people will want to read or share. And remember, the more people want to share your content, you’re not only getting the viral value, you’re also signaling to search engines that your content is valuable, and will increase its ranking.
Little bite-sized bits of information are great, and tend to be easier to produce, but longer articles, between 1,200 and 1,500 words, perform better in searches.
Why? Longer articles have more words and images to rank on the page. Just be sure you organize your information, and subdivide everything into easy-to-digest pieces of information.
Do I need to say more? How a website displays on mobile devices plays a huge role in its ranking. In fact, Google has begun penalizing sites that are not mobile-friendly by reducing their ranks.
Having a website that is optimized for mobile searches is important for search engine ranks, and will also help the usability of your website, which in turn increases the user experience. When users stay longer on your website, interact, and return, this will tell the search engines that your website has value.
Voice search is also becoming more common. Think of how we search, we search in questions: Who, What, When, How, Why. Search results are answering direct questions, and they are displaying mobile friendly website.
Use structured data whenever you can. Structured data is simply tagging the data in your website so search engines know how to display it best. For example, you can tag reviews, hours, pricing, event dates, and other ways to help your information better display in search results.
By using markup, you can also tell Google what to include in the Knowledge Graph that appears about your business in a search. This will help present your business in the best light during a search.
As the search engine algorithms grow increasingly complex and incredible “smart”, they are able to judge more accurately than ever what websites are of value to users. By creating original, useful content and user-friendly websites, you’ll rank higher and have more success converting your web visitors into customers.