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8 tips to improve your SEO in 2016
  • 12 January 2016
  • Elvis Michael

8 tips to improve your SEO in 2016

The purpose of search engine optimization (SEO) is to improve your website's visibility and ranking within a search engine's organic results. Optimization generally consists of adjustments to content, as well as your website structure, organization and presentation. As a small business owner, ensuring your website is easily found could mean increased business and continued profitability. Here are eight tips to improve search engine visibility in 2016.

Make it mobile friendly
As of 2015, Google considers a website's mobile accessibility a ranking factor in its search results, meaning your website could gradually lose SEO value if it is not yet optimized for mobile use. Your site should therefore employ a responsible layout that has a clean design and automatically adjusts according to screen size. Additionally, include important company information “above the fold”, use appropriately sized headings, and when possible, use self-explanatory icons instead of text (such as social network buttons.)

Improve website speed
Whenever your company website is updated, its content is crawled by search engines and subsequently indexed. When this happens, a slow website response sometimes prevents content from being identified, so improving overall speed by keeping your website's interface clean is a must. Keep optional features to specific sections or pages, as opposed to displaying them across your entire site. Additionally, use multimedia features wisely by minimizing your images' size and dimensions. The use of intensive features, such as animation, should also be kept to a minimum.

Add interactive content
Interactive content can help keep your website more relevant, while also adding an extra layer of efficiency. This content can include polls and quizzes to quickly gather customer information, as well as charts and infographics that present and demonstrate otherwise complex processes and ideas. Keep in mind that some of these features may rely on mildly intensive technologies, like Flash or Java, so use them sparingly and with care.

Focus on high-quality content
Longer, in-depth content often ranks higher than shorter, generic articles. If you have not yet developed a company blog, consider creating one that offers high-quality content pertaining to your business's main objectives, commentary on industry news, and other related subjects. This will effectively give search engines more pages to index and help your website's ranking improve over time.

Use a conversational tone
While your company website should have a professional feel, it should also present clean, understandable content users can easily search for and find. What “plain-English” terms would you type into a search engine to find your products and services? What alternate keywords would you use to maximize results? To help increase your website's SEO, implement a simpler word structure in place of lesser-known terms and industry jargon.

Optimize for local results
If you operate a franchise or branch of a larger business entity, add your information to local business directories, such as Google Local and Yelp. These sites aggregate and serve information (such as your company's name, website, address and description) to various search engines, thereby boosting your ranking and enabling you to show up in results for searches like "dry cleaners in Springfield”.

Add links to related content
Capitalize on opportunities to link to related material found throughout your website, including your main products and other important pages. This provides greater efficiency and improves the user experience for optimal SEO value. Linking also helps search engines find the most relevant destination page more easily and point those searching to their desired content more directly.

Analyze traffic
Knowing your visitors' behavior is crucial. Use analytical services to determine what keywords people use to find your website, how long they remained on the site, a specific page's search engine position, and other data that will help you better understand and improve your web traffic and visibility. This, in turn, enables you to optimize each individual aspect of your site and gradually increase your position in search engine rankings.

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