5 Web Trends That Small Businesses Need To Look Out For in 2016
2015 was a big year in terms of search and website designs. We saw for the first time mobile take 60% of the search share overtaking desktop search for the first time ever and we also saw a major trend in responsive web design techniques to cater for the different size tablets and mobile devices right up to desktop.
What Do Webmasters need to do in 2016 to ensure websites are well optimised?
1 – Ensure your website is mobile ready
With more searches being done on mobile devices, it is imperative that your website is mobile ready. There are many factors Google takes in to account when deciding if a website is mobile ready and you need to know that you’re website is onboard with it. Firstly, if you have any doubts about your website not being mobile ready, why not just take Google’s own mobile site tester and simply type your website url in and let Google tell you if your site is ready.
If your site is not mobile ready, you’ll have to make sure that you have a mobile navigation set on your site. Most WordPress themes and other sites have these built in ready, but if you have a site built from the ground up, you’ll either have to make your site responsive or build a separate mobile site. Making sure your site loads quickly, images and infographics can be read and the site can be navigated from a mobile device is imperative to ranking in Google’s dedicated mobile search results.
2 – Use Social Media More
2016 will see more social media signals playing a major factor in ranking your overall website in Google’s algorithms. Without going in to too much depth here, you will need to make sure that you are building up credible reviews on Facebook and Google Plus and making good use of other sites that help build an audience around your website. There are many great sites that tradesmen can use such as Houzz, Trustatrader, Rated People, Yelp, Yell along with Pinterest where you can show off your builds and if you have products you can even sell through Shopify.
Google Plus and Google My Business is a huge asset for any website, if you are a bricks and mortar business then get your website registered and grab your Google Plus page too. This will help in local search results as well as give you a bunk up the rankings if you get your Google Plus page well optimised.
Once you have your social media built and you are regularly blogging from your site, you can drive engagement from these social media sites and as your audience grows, Google can begin to determine that you have authority and this will help rank your website. 2016 is going to see a big surge in social media as a factor in ranking your website.
3 – Relevant Content – Write Engaging Content
In short make your content relevant to your keyword and make your content look and feel engaging to your audience. There are many tricks you can do to make this more effective to please not only your audience but also Google.
Make sure you have your keyword in the opening paragraph and spread throughout your content maybe making your keyword bold to stand out but don’t keyword stuff your page or that is a sure fire way of getting penalised so make sure that you keep it minimal and don’t be afraid to use LSI Keywords – these are related keywords around your main keyword to help the user find your content with broader search techniques. In other words, if you someone types in Kitchen Fitters Manchester they may find your page, but many people might type in “Kitchens Manchester” or “Best Kitchen Fitters Manchester”. Getting some of these terms in your content will help to broaden your keywords and help widen traffic to your site.
Here are some onsite content requirements you need to use for 2016.
- Use images and alt texts.
- Compress images for faster load times.
- Use keyword in H1 Tag if possible.
- Use LSI keywords in H2, H3 Tags if possible.
- Use Videos where possible, linking from Youtube is a good idea especially from your own Youtube channel.
- Get your keyword in the first paragraph and last paragraph of the article.
- The Longer your content, the better, however, make sure you keep it relevant and do not repeat yourself and definitely do not duplicate your content.
- Meta Title should have keyword
- Meta Description should have keyword in so Google can index the rich snippets and help your audience see from Google that your page is relevant to what they are searching for.
- Link all your social media to the article to broaden your audience.
Using these techniques will help your content to be more easily more indexed into Google and Bing and also help to provide more exposure online.
4 – Provide A Sitemap to Google
If you have a lot of great content, then you want to submit a sitemap to Google to make sure that Google can index the pages correctly and show them in their search results properly. Creating a sitemap is crucial and getting them indexed to Google Console is a great way you can keep track of what Google is seeing on your site. Through Google Console you can keep track of your website’s health, see which pages Google may be having trouble with and make sure that your overall website is functioning.
It’s not imperative to submit your sitemap to Google Console, but if you are serious about ranking in 2016 then make sure you index your site.
5 – Links From Influenced Domains
Google will probably always use links as a ranking factor and this has not changed going into 2016. If you have credible links from influential websites with high PR rankings then your site is well on the way to ranking well. Getting links from social sites, yell, yelp and other major directory sites is good exposure, but having citations from high PR websites will help Google see that your website has good content that is worth seeing. So, if there is a do follow link from an influential website to your website, Google will crawl the higher PR website and see that credible link to your site and may determine your content is worth ranking.
Reach out to other Webmasters and blog writers that are in your network, make your content worth linking to and you’ll go far in 2016.
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