Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing challenge for both tech startups and enterprises alike—techniques and rules are constantly changing, with no guarantee that proven tactics will work indefinitely.
That said, staying abreast of current SEO trends will suffice in keeping your website optimized for contemporary audiences. The following are the top 11 important SEO tips for 2016.
11. Find out what your competition is doing online.
Find out who your competitors are online and what they are doing—specifically, what keywords they are ranking for on Google. By doing this you will figure out what your main concepts and target keywords are through out behavioral trends: what it is that people really want to buy and the avenues they will seek out to make purchases.
10. Devise an effective content creation and marketing strategy around main concept and keywords.
This should target the search behavior of your audience, as identified in the previous tip. Your digital marketing strategy should focus on spreading brand awareness based on the relevant concepts and keywords.
9. Develop a technically sound website.
Your website should conform to Google Penguin and Panda standards to enable optimal search indexing for your pages. This includes avoiding duplicate and irrelevant content, page titles, and meta descriptions. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) can assist in optimizing your website; users of popular content management systems (CMS) like WordPress are in luck—crucial processes like activating/validating sitemaps for Google are taken care of inside the platform.
8. Take the requisite on-page SEO efforts.
Your website pages’ titles, descriptions, copy, and more should be appropriately formatted and located in the right places. Wordpress users are again in luck, as much of this taken care of inside the platform. Inbound links and social signals will also help to optimize content.
7. Formulate an off-page SEO strategy.
On-page SEO efforts alone are not enough to maintain your ranking—off-page SEO efforts including the use of content marketing sites, social media platforms, forums, directories, and video marketing for content syndication are necessary to bolster your website’s performance.
6. Establish and maintain your social relevance.
Social media channels are important to optimizing the position of your website. Be sure to actively promote your website updates on Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook, among others.
5. Apply a local SEO strategy.
Ranking for local search terms and keywords can bring in trickles of traffic that add up—even if the search volume is on the lower end. Creating geo-targeted landing pages, keywords, and ads can help in this regard; Wordpress users are again in luck—the Source Flood Plugin allows you to rank for hundreds of keywords based on suburbs or cities with one blog post.
4. Incorporate an effective mobile SEO strategy.
Be sure to take the proper measures when optimizing your website for mobile—almost 60% of online searches in 2015 was done using mobile devices—surpassing desktop search. Additionally, 30% of all internet activity globally comes from mobile traffic.
3. Use backlinking to improve your website’s reputation.
The most trafficked websites on the internet not only have great content for the world—the world loves their content back, specifically—by backlinking to them. This can be done by politely requesting a link to your site from an author/sharer or another reciprocating arrangement.
2. Use the right SEO tools.
Tools like Ispionage, Keyword Spy, or SpyFu can help in gaining insights on SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) keywords, landing pages, ads, and images your niche competitors are using. MySiteAuditor and similar tools can be used to perform audits for gaining insights on how to improve website SEO.
1. Commit the appropriate time and budget to the cause.
SEO is not optional for maintaining optimal traffic results these days and spending in this regard can have immediate, impactful results—whether it be blog writing, hiring talent for technical SEO, web development, or content syndication across the various networks.
In short, these 11 SEO techniques should be employed by all tech startups looking to gain and maintain an edge on their competition’s online presence. Be sure to stay abreast of Google’s algorithm changes—Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History is a useful resource for explaining changes in rankings and organic website traffic to improve SEO.