At the end of 2015 John Mueller, Google’s ‘webmaster trends analyst’ was asked what the Google SEO trends for 2016 would be and what his SEO tips were– pure SEO gold dust!
The top 3 Google SEO trends for 2016:
- The importance of having mobile-friendly content
- Importance of publishing quality content – not a new concept but one that remains one of the most important things for the future of SEO
In typical Google style he didn’t give much away but there were some actionable things that will help you to improve the performance of your website in 2016:
- Create quality, unique, shareable content to build your audience and use LSI keywords to diversify your content
- Make your site mobile-friendly
- Make your websites faster and more secure for your users – switch to HTTP/2 and HTTPS
- Healthy, speedy websites please and get rid of those dodgy back links!
#1: Quality, Unique Content that people want to share
Your website is carefully planned, designed and created to make your users happy and so should the content you put on its pages and posts.
Keyword stuffing and buying back links and other SEO hacks are well and truly a piece of SEO history. If you were writing a book or an article for a magazine or newspaper you would write purely for your audience, so do this on your blog too.
So how do you rank for your keywords without coming across as Mrs Spammy?
“What is this LSI?” I hear you ask
LSI keywords are essentially synonyms that help diversify your content. It stands for ‘Latent Semantic Indexing’. With LSI you aren’t spamming the same keywords over and over again.
It means pick a focus keyword or phrase but use related keywords, phrases and synonyms throughout the content and Google will still be able to understand what it is about.
How do I find LSI keywords?
You can get ideas for related keywords by simply typing your keywords in the Google search bar and see what Google suggests as related searches. You can also use the Google Keyword Planner Tool to get ideas for groups of related keywords to use in your articles.
#2 Mobile SEO and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
In April last year, Google introduced the mobile-friendly algorithm. Mueller says many sites still fail the mobile friendly test. This is apparent just from my daily Internet browsing. With mobile users nearly outstripping desktop users, take advantage of this opportunity.
#3: Faster secure websites for your users
Security is going to be hot in 2016. In the early days of the Internet there was a lot of suspicion around online security and online shopping, as time has gone by we have perhaps become more complacent and take for granted the security of the sites we visit and buy from.
There will be a trend to implement HTTPS as Google starts to index HTTPS pages over HTTP ones. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.
Also, HTTP2 is here and switching to this means a faster more secure website.
This article from the Guardian explains what it is. What is HTTP2 and how will it speed up the web?
#4 Healthy, speedy websites
Clean sites are likely to rank better. By clean, I mean removing bad links from your site and getting a healthy back link profie. Remember to monitor these regularly in Google Search Console and investigate any strange looking external links. With a new Penguin algorithm due out early this year (the one that stings you for having dodge backlinks) this is going to get even more important
Faster websites = happy customers = more money. Don’t lose visitors because your site is taking too long to load. It should be loading in no more than 5 seconds, the speedier the better.
Other SEO factors of course still remain important… some of the top ones include: focusing on local search, having a strong social media presence/influence and using schema mark-up to make your content stand out from the crowd. What is schema-markup?
So what are you waiting for… get your website 2016-ready! If you need some down to earth SEO help explained in non-techy language then please give me a shout.