SEO guide for 2016

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SEO (search engine optimisation) sounds complicated.

For those of you are are new to the subject of SEO, it basically means creating content that is targeted towards a specific keyword, so when people type something into a search engine, your blog post has a better chance as showing on the first page, or in those sought after top three spots.

Because search engines change their algorithms (the way the calculate which webpages get pulled up from a search, and in what order) all the time, SEO also has to change. It’s not about keyword stuffing and link buying like is was in the past.

Some of you WordPress uses might have noticed that the plug-in, Yoast SEO, has recently updated SEO score algorithm to keep up with these changes.

So are you up to date with what you should be doing with your blog posts in 2016?

Let’s see.

seo2016

Long live keywords.

Keywords are still an important factor in SEO, and sites that have keywords in meta-descriptions and H1 tags rank higher than those that don’t.

Search engines are getting smarter though, so it’s not always necessary to stuff a post with the same keywords over and over again. You can use related or similar words as search engines are a lot better at reading the meaning of text.

Longer posts rank higher.

There was a time where bloggers were encouraged to write short posts with less than 300 words, because readers want information quick.

Though on average, longer posts, around 1,200 to 1,500 words, rank higher than shorter posts. This is because search engines will view longer articles as higher quality, as well as there being more words and images to match and help the post rank higher. They also tend to get more social shares.

It’s still recommended to break up blog posts with lists, headings, quotes, images, paragraphs and the like so people can scan and find the information they are looking for.

It’s not going to be possible to write that many words for every blog post – so don’t worry about it if you’re unable to get a high word count every time. It’s better to be clear with your point rather than waffle on and bore your readers just to up the word count.

Remember – you’re writing for people first and search engines second.

Be mobile friendly.

This won’t be a surprise to anyone – but people are searching on their mobile phones more than ever before. I know I’ll often whip my phone and quickly search for something on my phone rather than wait until I’m on a computer!

Make sure your website is mobile friendly using Google’s mobile-friendly check.

Satisfy your readers needs.

Another factor to how well an article will rank is if it satisfies someones needs. If someone has asked a question, for example, and after visiting your site, they return to the search engine to look elsewhere for the answer, the search engine will take this to mean that your article hasn’t answered the question and maybe not rank it as high in the future.

It’s a good idea to keep your articles sticky. A sticky blog post is one that holds peoples attention and encourages to stay on your site for longer and read further posts or pages.

You can do this by:

  • Including internal links.
  • Having ‘related article’ widgets.
  • Having a ‘new reader’ page.
  • Ensuring there’s nothing annoying on your site that might turn readers off, like a popup.
  • Formatting posts so they’re easy to read.
  • Using images to break up text.
  • And obviously, ensuring you’re answering the question.

Internal links.

Having internal links is a great way to rank higher in search. If you’re linking to relevant content you’ve previously written within a post, not only will it help keep people on your blog for longer, but it will favour in the eyes of the search engine as being relevant.

This will also help your bounce rate and number of pages visited per user, which also has an impact on SEO.

Watch your speed.

Fact is, if your site doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, it will probably be abandoned. Fast sites will rank higher in search than those that have the same relevance in all other areas but load slower every time.

You can check the speed of your site on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

This will then give you suggestions on how you can improve the speed of your site.

seo for 2016

Hope this helped give you a few ideas of what to work on SEO wise this year!

Is SEO something you think about while writing blog posts, or are you more of a go with the flow type of blogger?

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29 Comments

  1. January 7, 2016 / 7:36 am

    I should really think about SEO more, I tend to dip in and out of it and have phases where I’m really good at being up to date and phases where I just do go with the flow and don’t pay it much attention! Had no idea that longer posts ranked higher though!
    Amy X
    Call Me Amy
    Amy recently posted…Going Bare FacedMy Profile

  2. January 7, 2016 / 8:56 am

    Gonna have a look at the pagespeed insights! Hoping to up how quickly my website loads in the New Year 🙂 Such a useful post!

    E x
    elleanorwears.com

  3. January 7, 2016 / 9:32 am

    This was super useful! I try to think about SEO when I write blog posts but it’s probably something I need to do a LOT more. I’ll definitely use this guide in the future! 🙂

  4. January 7, 2016 / 10:59 am

    Great tips! Thanks so much for the helpful post! Will definitely be putting these to good use!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  5. Jackie Harrison
    January 7, 2016 / 10:59 am

    This is very helpful thanks for these tip I need to keep some in mind.

  6. January 7, 2016 / 11:16 am

    Thank you for the tips! It’s a difficult subject and I have to think more about it!
    Darina recently posted…Wednesday Writing #16My Profile

  7. January 7, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    Interesting post! I should me more mobile friendly…I’m working on it!
    LifeStyleTalks recently posted…China WomanMy Profile

  8. January 7, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    i definitely don’t think about seo etc when writing a post, but i always find posts like these interesting to read! even though i donät really utilize for example seo like i should, i think it’s good to know how it works and all that:-) xx
    Laura recently posted…baby, it’s cold outsideMy Profile

  9. January 7, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    I’ve never really took much notice to SEO but I can see why it’s so important, and I do think I’m okay in some of the areas you mentioned. But thank you for yet again another amazing post and great tips. I’m going to start to take full action and I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Ella x
    Ella Pinto recently posted…Review // Makeup Factory Enchanted Earth QuadMy Profile

  10. January 7, 2016 / 5:19 pm

    I think I’m doing pretty good at the rest except page speed. I thought it was loading pretty good, I checked with my own laptop, my husband’s computer but I’m getting 66/100. :-/ Not happy with it at all, will have to spend more time trying to redo stuff and time, I do not have. 🙁
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…The Tale of Ipsy and MeMy Profile

  11. January 7, 2016 / 5:23 pm

    I keep meaning to install yoast but haven’t got round to it. I do keep SEO in mind when reviewing my posts but without meta descriptions I wonder if I’m just wasting my time! You’ve given me the kick up the bum I need!

  12. Socorro G. Vella
    January 8, 2016 / 6:12 am

    Thank you for share these guides, nice!

  13. January 8, 2016 / 8:08 am

    I had no idea it matters if someone leaves the website and goes on google to search again. It makes sense.
    Anca recently posted…Blogging Goals for 2016My Profile

  14. January 8, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Thank you for this Corinne. It’s actually made me realise I do all of these already so fingers crossed my blog is getting a good reach as best it can!

    Can’t wait to start popping up some content again with a schedule.

    Victoria xx thedaisyjaynes.com

  15. January 9, 2016 / 6:19 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips!!

  16. January 9, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    You are the queen of tech Corinne! I don’t think too much about SEO when I’m writing, but I actually do a lot of things naturally. 9-5 I’m a marketing manager so I think things just rub off on my blog writing even when I’m trying to go with the flow, which is not necessarily a bad thing!

  17. January 10, 2016 / 9:26 am

    This is so helpful thank you so much for sharing it! I am currently checking my page speed and doing my mobile friendly test!

    Have a lovely weekend x

  18. January 23, 2016 / 9:13 pm

    This was super duper helpful! I never can get my head around SEO and never knew that how fast your page loads matters! I’m going to check out the links to the google tests, bit concerned my page loads too slow 🙁
    Maggie xxx

    http://Www.fashionablechaos.co.uk

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