One of the problems with using SEO tactics (or indeed any tactics or strategies) that you find online is that the information can be out of date. This is why to make the most of your SEO strategies, you need to make sure that you are using strategies and tactics that are relevant in the latter half of 2015.
The online marketing world is still feeling the after-effects of the ‘Hummingbird’ algorithm from Google, and that was over 2 years ago. Unfortunately, many professionals are still using tactics that were relevant before these changes but which now look out of date. Thankfully there are tactics that are relevant for you in the second half of 2015 and heading into 2016, and this guide will provide you with 10 SEO tactics you need in 2015.
Stop using Meta keywords
When Meta fields were introduced, they were introduced with the aim of helping Google find out about your website. The sad thing is that a great proportion of users used them incorrectly and it led to Meta keywords being looked upon as spam by the search engines. Google has completely clamped down on Meta keywords and Bing has issued a warning about using them so for the moment, stop using these keywords.
Stop keyword stuffing
It is fair to say that at the tail end of 2015, keyword stuffing is no longer crucial to achieving success with a website. In fact, if someone lands on a page that has a lot of awkward keywords, they are going to consider it as spam. You should be looking to use your keywords once or twice on your page.
Follow these tips to create targeted content:
• Write about a topic people want to read about
• Find a natural search phrase and use it once or twice. It should be able to be used naturally when writing.
• Make sure that you create quality content because Google is becoming much more adept at finding reliable content through the quality of writing.
Use more Meta Descriptions
Yes, you should stop using Meta keywords but Meta descriptions are important. There was a spell when these keywords stopped becoming a factor in search rankings and this led to a fall in these descriptions being used. This is still the case but Meta descriptions will play a positive role in converting.
A wide range of studies indicate that good quality Meta descriptions positively impact on click-through rates and that click-through rates have a positive impact on search rankings. You should be looking to have unique Meta descriptions for every page on your site.
Take a look on Google for major companies and you will find that they have a lot more visible information on the search engine results. This is called “Microdata” and it could be a logo, a phone number or an address. These major sites have been set up in a way that provides this information to the crawlers used by Google and if you use a programme like Scheme, you will be able to create your own Microdata.
Research indicates that when there is information available on search engine results, the level of click-through rate increases by 25%.
Use descriptive and short URLs
Given that your URL is the very first thing found by a search crawler, it is important for you to ensure that your URL can be categorised and crawled very easily. A big mistake comes with using the standard title of your webpage as the URL for your page. Quite often, this will be too long. A URL that is too long can make it difficult to ensure that your website is categorised, which could lead to your site appearing for searches that aren’t relevant to you.
This can make it harder to reach your target audience and it can make it look as though people aren’t clicking on your link when it is presented to them. You should aim to keep your URL to a maximum of five words.
Title Tags are important
A title tag tells search engines what people will find on your page and it is located at the top of the browser. You should aim to keep your title tag below 55 characters and you want to drive people to click on the link to come to your site. It is a good idea to fit a keyword term in at the start of the title but only do this if it fits.
Make sure you use header tags in the correct manner
Header tags are found in the form of ,and running all the way down to . These tags determine the rank of importance for your headers and crawlers examine these tags before they look at anything else. These header tags help to categorise your site and they help to identify what you have to offer. These tags can have a massive part to play with respect to SEO, so make sure you use them wisely. Don’t use these tags in a generic manner, make them unique and you will be rewarded by better results.
<h2>This is heading 2</h2>
<h3>This is heading 3</h3>
<h4>This is heading 4</h4>
<h5>This is heading 5</h5>
<h6>This is heading 6</h6>
Optimise your images alt text
The alt text of an image will appear if a user has opted to disable the use of images but alt text also provides search engines with information about what an image is. This can really boost your SEO, it helps to clarify what your page offers and you should be looking to use alt text effectively as often as you can.
<img src=“smiley.gif” alt=“Smiley face”>
Your inbound links should be natural
When Google rolled out the Panda and Penguin updates, link neighbourhoods came under closer scrutiny and it is easy to see why. These links are very bad and they often led to search engine results being packed with spam. It is important to have inbound links, and you should use them, but you need to know where they come from and that they are coming from good quality websites. These links should be natural and they should arrive from websites that relate to your industry. When inbound links are carried out properly, they can make a massive difference to how your site is ranked.
Improve the speed of your site
For close to five years now, the length of time it takes a page to load really matters to Google. If it takes more than 5 seconds to load your page, your site will be penalised by Google. A major factor in this is down to the fact that Google considers site speed to be a measure of quality and Google would rather than poor quality sites aren’t ranked highly.
This means you should check the speed of your site and you can find tools by Google and third-party providers that will help you test the site speed. If your site is taking longer than 5 seconds to load, you need to make changes. It may be that you need to make improvements or upgrades to your server, you may need to lower the amount of heavy files on your site or you could even remove some images or videos.
All of these ten steps should indicate that in 2015, and going into 2016, it is crucial to focus on quality when it comes to SEO. There is no need to consider black hat or grey hat SEO techniques, and these may actually have a negative impact on your site. By actively deciding to improve the quality of your website and following the tips outlined in this guide, you should find that you can create a site that is appreciated by search engines and by end users.