Remember old days when sites used to be a place to put your content with images, when webmasters can game the search engines with hidden text, cloaking, keyword stuffing and buying links? Well time has changed since the so did the search engines like Google., Bing and Yahoo. Geared up with advanced technologies Google can now solve user queries with answer boxes and even responds to them with voice search.
In 2015 SEO is a different ballgame, nowadays it is important to WOW the users with you content and user experience, forget optimizing for search engines only. Today Search Engine Optimization is not just a job limited to SEO companies, it is integrated with all aspect of marketing.
Here are top 5 SEO best practices for beginners to survive in 2015.
#1. Go Mobile Friendly:
According to a survey by GlobalIndex 80% of adults now have a smartphone on which they spent 1.85 hours a day on an average. Google also says that nearly 50 percent of all traffic is mobile.
On April 21st, 2015 Google rolled out it’s “Mobile-Friendly” update which resulted 11% of traffic changes.
So if your search is not mobile friendly it’s time you think about it. You can use Google Mobile friendly test to see if your site is compatible with all devices or not. Don’t forget to check other mobile usability issues in Google Search Console (a.k.a Google Webmaster Tools). Just go to Search Traffic > Mobile Usability.
Often time people direct mobile users to a different URL such as m.example.com, if you are using this tactic don’t forget to submit a mobile sitemap. But if you don’t want to go for all these you can go for a responsive website design.
#2. Use Schema Markup:
I’m sure you have seen results in Google search which contains more information except title and description…right? Something like this…
If you closely monitor it contains an image, star rating, number of reviews, calories & time to prepare except the title an description. These results showing additional information because the html codes of the site is marked up with these information for the search crawlers.
According to BuildVisible search listings with rich snippets would be clicked on up 25% more frequently.
Here is an example of HTML code describing each property:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://data-vocabulary.org/Person”>
Name: <span itemprop=”name”>Sourav Saha</span>
Website: <a href=”http://souravsaha.com” itemprop=”url”>souravsaha.com</a>
Title: <span itemprop=”title”>Entrepreneur</span>
Here the following items defines to the search crawlers:
Itemscope – is an indicator that the content within this <div> is an item.
Itemtype – describes what the item is, in the example above ‘Person’.
Itemprop – describes each property of the specific item. In this case ‘Entrepreneur’.
There are different types of ways you can markup a page with Schema, RDFa, JSON-LD. You can read my extensive guide on rich snippets here.
#3. Don’t Forget Social Media:
Nowadays SEO and social media aren’t two different things, social media has become an integral part of SEO. As a matter of fact Google and Bing both uses as a ranking factor. After the recent Twitter Google deal trending topics now appear in carousel format in mobile. Even Searchmetrics study showed showed social signals from Google+ and Facebook are one of the top ranking factors.
So we can hope social media will come out as a strong search ranking factor after links.
Neil Patel pointed out on his blog that how rankings change when your site starts receiving the social love. He also showed in this post how a website moved from 400th spot to first page with just social signals.
#4. Long Tail Still Matters:
I love long tail keywords because they are low hanging fruit – they are easy, low competition and more profitable. Amazon makes it’s 57% of sales from long tail keywords – because long tail keywords with more variations work very well.
According to Moz long tail keywords in content improve your search traffic by 80%. If you plan you content properly an incorporate the right keywords you will be able to drive more traffic to your website or blog.
#5. Focus on User Experience:
Think it like this you have ton of visitors, but if your website is not user friendly then they might move out from your site.
This will increase your bounce rate which might be treated as bad UX (not always). You have to prioritize user experience than Google algorithm, having thousands of visits means nothing if it’s nor meeting your goals.
According to a study by Elizabeth Sillence 94% people distrusted a website for DESIGN problems.
Landing page experience refers to how good we think someone’s experience will be when they get to your landing page.
Let’s say you have 1000 visits to your blog post, if your article contains good content then it can generate good amount of shares. And if you have a good blog design along with it then it can generate more shares. So design can improve engagement.
Follow these SEO tips and you will start seeing improvements in your rankings. But remember as Google is changing itself rapidly optimizing for search shouldn’t be the same always.
What other SEO tactics you have found effective in 2015? Share your valuable tips in the comments section below.