SEO Best Practices for 2016

Some of the SEO best practices that will continue to be relevant and critical in 2016 are the following:-

1.On-Page & Off-Page SEO best practices as described in the “SEO practices for 2014“.

Optimizing web pages for on-page and off-page factors, by focusing on high quality and relevant content, will be The most important  factor that will help in increasing the trust and the authority of a website. Website authority will continue to assume importance in 2016, the higher the authority of a website the higher will be the chances of attracting traffic in 2016.

2.Links

Links from and to a website will continue to play an important role in 2016. Links are responsible for creating trust and credibility for a site, a sort of vote if you may…an incoming link from an authority site, purely because of the value the link will provide to its visitors, will definitely be a strong vote in favour of the site that is getting the link, vis-à-vis if the incoming link is from a site where the link has absolutely zero value for its visitors, or is completely irrelevant.

3.Unique Content

Duplicate content should be something that sites need to be wary about because search engines will continue with their drive of cleaning up duplicate content from their index in 2016. Webmasters need to ensure that pages that are similar are either reworked or merged or removed, and unique content and titles are written for every page. Using schema markups will help in identifying and ensuring that only relevant pages show up on SERPs.

4. Interactive and rich search results

I had written a post in 2013 about “ Interactive Search Results; The Future of Searching”…and 2016 will see a lot more of that. The search results today are increasingly focusing on providing answers that are as near perfect as possible. Visitors want the most accurate results and search engines will try to provide it in the best possible way in 2016.

For instance, if I wish to know “How far is New Delhi from Agra”, the first result that I see on Google is this:-

Queries on Google

This tells me that most search engines will try to answer any question that is asked as correctly and accurately as possible, and searchers may not even have to click any further. To do so, search engines will pull the answer from its database of rich information, and they will not limit the search to just web pages, they will look at whichever
source is the most trustworthy (per the search algorithm) and has the answer to the question, it could be maps, videos, graphs, charts…

What this means is that marketers will need to focus on building websites that warrant a higher amount of trust and credibility, and continue to optimize sites to ensure that sites have the answer to questions that are relevant to their products and services. One way is to have a comprehensive FAQ section.

In summary, Content, Site authority, links, and website structure will continue to impact search results in 2016.

How are you preparing your websites for 2016? What are your thoughts?
You are most welcome to share your insights here.