SEO in 2016 – Has anything changed strategically?

The answer is NO. The reason – There hasn’t been anything significantly different in terms of tech, acquisitions, formats, or channels to upset the current primers in SEO in 2016 – social, links, on-page + off-page. These 4 still account for 80% of all the bulk of your traffic and rankings on Google for keywords. Some people say that having ads on the search rank trick people into thinking that Google ranks 2 sites at one page in 2016 SEO, which influences people into survivor bias. But really beyond these tricks, nothing has changed. Ill skip the stats because they’re boring.

I’ll share a few tips n tricks that have worked –

  1. CTR lead magnet – If your ranking is receiving low CTRs on SERPs then consider spicing up your headline and text. Potential searchers may find it more irresistible and click through, leading google to rank you higher. A. Check out what Ads consistently appear on your desired keyword SERP. B. Copy them. C. Experiment along with them. D. Measure results. The posit is that if adwords (which is a more highly competitive space than organic) has one or two winners, then the same should apply to organic as well. E.g. Search for bad shoes NY, and it shows you Amazon’s results and a few ads by smaller players. You should copy their headlines and text, and jump base from there because these ads (for their higher quality scores) have performed better
  2. Topics not keywords – Stop focusing on one or two long-tail or short tail keywords, actually solve the user’s query with topics. Google Trend, and other paid tools (wordstream etc) will help find relevant topics to write and research about. Solve real problems.
  3. VOC – Talk to customers about new emerging pain points. Do a qualitative research and talk to people in the industry about what they feel their next set of challenges are and then solve them. Do some competitive analysis to see what your competition is crushing in.
  4. LONG FORM – Focus on 2000-3000 keywords on your page, because Google will rank you higher for multiple keywords you didn’t even know about. Plus you can keep updating that document and still get the link juice for other keywords
  5. Invest in VIDEO – INDIAN MARKETERS listen up!! Do more video and invest in YouTube SEO. I’m telling you that it performs way better than text in many cases and you gain their trust immediately
  6. On-Page UX – Get heatmaps, track lengths, eye movements, UX testing, etc etc to figure out where your visitors are going
  7. Plugins – Get them on everything you do. Plugins like Yoast are brilliant!
  8. Mobile? Social? AI? – Fuck all that. Just have a responsive site that users like, and a content that looks appealing and intelligent. AI won’t affect your efforts, neither will the wave of cheaper mobile phones
  9. Focus on business, not SEO alone – HatTip to Dana. Focus on incremental visits, walkins, customers, goal setting and inbound acquisition rather than just saying – “I will rank you at page 2 for shorts”
  10. Tactics – On page optimization (url structures, site links, anchor text, attribution leads, schema.org etc) need to be refreshed every quarter or so according to Google’s latest algo changes. This is handled by your developer. If youre into Ecomm, then you’re fucked worse. Spend a lot of money in this space
  11. Voice SEO – Amazon Echo, Siri 2.0, FB live, and other innovations have made it important to satisfy user queries through voice seo. There’s nothing drastically different. The context to each search changes, thats all. So you’ll notice fluctuations in the reports but nothing too crazy. BUT remember that when people talk into a microphone, they’re queries will be a lot more different than on text. So it’ll be longer tail and more topical.
  12. Image text – FB’s getting good, Google great at it, and the rest are catching up. If you have keyword titles inside of images on your posts, then Google will rank you for that as well. So remember to keep things very clear when you’re using these tactics
  13. Nice niche nice niche – Deeper and stronger into really niche queries and sites. So you want to be the first to create mini sites that satisfy the queries that fuel traffic back to your site. E.g. Hamilton reviews, or Chinese rappers 2016, you can make a mini site called chineserappers2016 and literally focus on all the niches under them. Itll take a few weeks but itll be worth it. Affiliate links!
  14. Visitor Personas – More nuanced, more refined, and more diverse. Language on-copy as to be on-point
  15. Trust Josh Bachynski – He’s the best. He’s got a free guide here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zq9Eq_4mnUc)
  16. Make it FASTER – Load times will (definitely) affect your rank. Make it faster. Use CDNs or invest in bigger servers and compression!
  17. Be an expert – The more your outreach and link juice, the higher you rank on guest post, and unrelated content.

Alright, thats it for now. Subscribe to the newsletter and ill keep sharing interesting links everyweek!

 

 

Extra Credit –

  1. A great tactical resource to getting 15K in 30days in the shoe business, by using social to generate topical content and garnering links ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGzjx_YE7x4)
  2. Rand says no impact of IOT on Google rankings. Rightfully so (https://moz.com/blog/10-predictions-for-2016-in-seo-web-marketing)
  3. Yoast Plugin (for WP)
  4. Dana’s talk at Moz (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWvOkIsKNZY)
  5. Old boring but basic – http://www.seonick.net/7-simple-seo-tricks-to-improve-your-2016-seo/
  6. A seriously outdated resource by Forbes “2016” (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/270067)