Christmas is just a week away, and there are only 13 days left of 2015 which means it’s time to turn our attentions towards what 2016 will bring in the world of SEO. Hopefully, these five hints and tips will help you develop your digital strategy moving into the New Year.
Articles between 1200 -1500 words generally perform better in search than shorter ones, and tend to attract more traffic. Longer articles usually include more keyphrases and are shared more on social media, which gives them good rankability.
When it comes to this longer content though, I’d recommend breaking it up so it’s easier for the reader to read. Using images, bullet points and subheadings is a great way to do this, as long as the formatting is consistent with previous pieces.
Time to go Mobile
Mobile optimization is becoming more and more important as the number of people using their mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets has dramatically increased over the course of this year – over half of Google’s searches now happen on a mobile device.
As a result, it’s really important that your site is optimised properly – make sure your mobile site isn’t hidden from spiders by robot.txt files, that your title tags and meta descriptions are concise, and that you don’t have any pop-up adverts as they can be irritating to close on a mobile device, which means visitors may just give up, leave and go elsewhere.
Oh, and if you read the title of this section in the voice of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises, I applaud you.
Local & Vocal
Make sure you’re optimising your website for local search is also becoming really important. Claiming your Google My Business page will really help with this, as it puts your business’ information on Search, Maps and Google+.
Voice search is also on the rise. The way we use Siri, Cortana and Google Now to search is completely different to the way we type a search query. For example, instead of typing “Sainsbury’s”, we ask our assistant “where’s the nearest Sainsbury’s?”, which is yet another reason why local SEO is important.
It seems like people have been banging on about how important social media is to SEO for ages, but really, it is.
Social media is a great way of informing potential customers exactly what you’re about, and of course Google index social posts as high value. Fill your website and social media with shareable content!
Prepare for Penguin
Finally, the big one. There has been a lot of speculation since October that a Penguin update was imminent, however that’s failed to materialise. Earlier this month, a Google spokesperson reportedly told Search Engine Land “with the holidays upon us, it looks like the penguins won’t march until next year.”.
So keep an eye out for this one, as it’s rumoured that this latest update is going to be real-time, meaning that as soon as Google finds the links to your site, the Penguin algorithm will analyze them there and then, thus having a real-time effect on your rankings.
I hope you’ve found these five tips useful, and on behalf of everyone at Blueclaw, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!