How the Rules of SEO Are Changing

The rules of SEO in 2016 are changing. It’s no longer as relevant to include keywords a bunch of times in headlines or body text. Google has evolved to interpret the meaning of web content. The intent of your article/blog/webpage is what matters more these days rather than an exact keyword. What does this mean? We recently read a great article explaining the new rules for SEO from the American Marketing Association. In the article you hear from the experts,

Including keywords in headlines is becoming less important, Shepard says. “Google has gotten better about interpreting meaning. It used to be that if you wanted to rank for ‘best restaurants,’ you had to say ‘best restaurants’ three or four times. It’s still helpful to mention ‘best restaurants,’ but the semantic meaning is becoming much more important. Now you can just talk about great dining experiences, and the search engines will pick up on it.”

Adds Laetsch: “Historically, we wanted to get a keyword in the body copy or in the meta description. Now that’s all gone out the window. As the search engines get smarter, they start to think about other words that you expect to be in that article, what will signal that this is an authoritative article on the topic. If you were writing an article about the Apple Watch, you might have the words ‘Apple,’ ‘iPhone,’ ‘Watch,’ ‘apps’ and ‘time.’ If those are in the body copy, it sends signals to the search engines that this is a pretty good article.”

Seventy-five percent of search queries are between three and five words long, so you should write headlines accordingly, he adds. “The search engines are figuring out that if people search for the word ‘marketing,’ or any one- or two-word query, they don’t get the results they want. To get quality results that are most likely to answer their question, they have to go to three-, four- or five-word queries. As content creators, when you’re thinking about optimization, you have to think about that.”

Also, these days it’s important to optimize for mobile. More people are reading news on their smartphones, so it’s important to make your content is searchable there. Also, User experience is key.  Original content is super important. If a user comes to your site and the first few pages of content are relevant to what they are looking for, they are going to have a great user experience and therefore have greater chance of coming back. It’s not about tweaking your keywords to fit Google, but about putting out the best, most original and relevant content you can whether it’s an article, blog, video etc. Inanition, longer articles are getting better search engine results. They have more words and images to rank on the page. Finally, the most important SEO tip for 2016 is to focus on your audience, Shepard says. “In the past, it was about marketers trying to promote what they wanted people to see. Today it’s about delivering what people actually want to see that will give you an SEO ranking boost.” –

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