3 #SEO Mistakes That Will Hurt Your Rankings In 2016
SEO can seem overwhelming, especially because it seems so incredibly temperamental. The truth is that “What you don’t know” is really what is hurting you. If you’re informed then you will know which SEO tasks are wasting your time and which tasks will increase your rankings and odds of running a successful organic marketing campaign.
That’s why I’ve put together this collection of insights, a glimpse into the future of SEO, from experienced industry professionals who actually know what you need to be doing.
Don’t Ignore The Power Of Backlinks
According to a recent Search Engine Ranking Factors Study done by Brian Dean this month, after analyzing 1 million search results it was clear that backlinks not only do influence rankings but that their influence was greater than any other factor.
He points out that there are 3 main characteristics of a top ranking link profile. The number of backlinks in total, the quality of those links and the usage of strong, relevant anchor texts. However, he does warn that getting backlinks with the same anchor text over and over is putting your site at risk of getting penalized.
If you are wanting to avoid link building strategies that could hurt your rankings, or worse, get you penalized you are going to need more backlinks, from trusted sites with a healthy spread of anchor text.
Don’t Under Estimate The Value Of Your Content
Jeff Millett a professional SEO consultant explains that regularly adding content is not only a powerful SEO strategy but that it should be an essential part of your SEO campaign in 2016. Emphasizing that adding “valuable content” should be the heart and soul of your SEO strategy.
Your content must meet a few specific requirements in order to be deemed “valuable” and an effective part of your SEO campaign. The most important of those specifications being both relevance and engagement.
If you’ve taken the time to read the patent Google released for their Panda update, you’d better understand that in addition to verifying the quality of your outbound and inbound links that Google is programming their search algorithm to process how well your content is written and its relevance to the reader. Meaning that writing shallow or regurgitated content is a great way to lose rankings.
Need a quick formula for creating SEO powered content?
First Make sure it’s relevant. The relevance of your content is graded in a few ways. New semantic search factors are going to help Google’s search engine determine the primary intent and overall context of your web pages and blog posts.
Secondly, create awesome headlines, make your content easy to read, post regularly. Bounce rates and time on site help Google to determine if your content is engaging and traffic worthy.
Now go and write content, lots of it. Make sure it’s valuable to your readers. Write long detailed articles with supporting images, graphs and all of the elements listed above and your articles will help you dominate.
Yes! Social Signals Are Definitely Part Of The Equation
Earlier last year Simon Penson published an article Has Google Turned up Social Signals as a Ranking Factor on Search Engine Watch where he shares valuable insight he has discovered related to Google’s observing of both content quality and “quality signals”.
While monitoring site data in relation to social signal activity he says that “sharing is an obvious validation of quality” in Google’s algorithm updates and that his initial data suggests that both Facebook and Google Plus seem to be passing the most influential signals so far.
What are we to take away from this? Well, unlike 2015 when we all just sat back without putting too much time and effort into managing our social media profiles 2016 is going to have to change.
If you have an audience focused content strategy then your content (hopefully created as outlined above) will also lend value to ‘share ability’ and the potential of gaining valuable social signals when it is shared on social media outlets like Facebook. Additionally, your great content will get more natural backlinks for your site.
As Marcus Lemonis, the billionaire entrepreneur and widely successful businessman always says “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon”. Understand that SEO is a long process you must be committed to, do it the right way and you won’t get left behind.