We all know the great impact organic search has on generating traffic and leads to your website or blog, and 2016 is a big year for Google algorithm updates. With prancing pandas and peppy penguins assimilating their way into Google’s core algorithm, keeping your website’s backlink profile maintained and the content on your website in top optimization shape is more important now than ever.
Pat Reinhart’s January 2016 edition of Conductor 30|30 breaks down what happened to Google’s core algorithm update and the results of Panda’s assimilation. He predicts that the same will happen soon with Penguin, which means both on-page and off-page SEO are crucial to your website’s optimization efforts.
As Content Strategist Tina DiSerafino states in her blog “On-Page vs. Off-Page SEO: Which Should Be Part of Your Digital Strategy?” you need both for maximum results. Utilizing both SEO tactics is needed to keep your traffic and leads above water when Google finally releases their updates in real time.
We could go on for days about the same details other SEOs have been repeating since the beginning of the year, but you’ve heard it all before. Plus you’re probably wondering what this means for your website and business or, more importantly, what you should be doing to keep your website in good organic standing.
The best piece of SEO advice we can give? Go back to the basics and perfect them.
For those who have been acquainted with SEO for a while, the basics are simple and something every SEO must know. So if you’re new to the field, these basics serve as a guideline for beginning and future optimization efforts.
Focusing on the basics, you want to make sure that you optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, keywords and, most importantly, content. Make sure that you link to relevant and authoritative sites to build your website’s domain authority and page authority. Google is a fan of sharing the link love, and the more authoritative and relevant links that generate back to your website, the better (within reason, of course).
Continue all of these basic practices and perfect them. Keep in mind that SEO is no longer used to satisfy only search engines but is more focused on user experience and user intent.
User Experience and User Intent
Long gone are the days of trying to trick search engines into giving your website a higher ranking based on targeted keywords or the number of keywords found in the search engine results pages through keyword stuffing. Search engines are now more focused on user experience and user intent.
Optimizing around what the user intends to know, find, or gain is becoming imperative. How the user gains this information and their experience while acquiring it is also extremely important.
Some helpful tips and tricks for a good user experience isn’t necessarily rocket science. Little things such as an easily navigable design and layout for your website or blog, a readable font style, and optimized landing pages are crucial to the user experience.
Ultimately, the content on your website found in search results based on what the user intends to know or find must be accessible. If that content isn’t accessible, your traffic could lead to high bounce rates, low time on site, and a lack of organic conversions.
Content Is King of the Jungle
Amidst all of the Pandas, Penguins, Hummingbirds, and other updates running around the SEO jungle is the king: content. One thing you want to keep in mind throughout 2016 and the rest of your SEO campaign is keeping up with Google’s updates and assimilations by creating good, informative content that lies within their quality guidelines.
There are a few tips to do this. The more informative content that is placed on your website, the better. Start managing your old and outdated content by optimizing dead or outdated content. See if there’s anything you can do to add to thin content or start deleting and redirecting pages that no longer and will never serve a purpose to your users.
While doing these content audits, keep in mind that fresh content is also imperative. Make sure that you don’t create duplicate content that will kill your SEO authority and organic search rankings.
By utilizing a stellar content strategy, prioritizing for user experience and user intent, and perfecting the SEO 101 basics, you’ll be in good shape to keep up-to-date with Google updates and continue to excel in your SEO campaign.