5 SEO tactics that will still be relevant in 2016
With the new year approaching it is fairly standard practice for marketing blogs to start predicting the future of SEO or digital marketing. For our own take on the upcoming you can read Tamar’s top 10 digital marketing predictions for 2016.
While it’s necessary to look towards the future, it is equally important to remember what still works and delivers result in digital marketing – and especially SEO. Below, we review our top 5 picks.
Interestingly, the points we mention below are also some of the common issues we have noticed being missed amongst the ‘fluffy’ content based SEO which seems to be increasingly prevalent across the industry – which is disappointing.
1) Meta title optimisation still delivers
This year we worked on a couple of sites where we were limited in terms of making significant changes on-page. However, we still managed to deliver near 15-20% growth in visibility on average just through tactical keyword research and optimisation of page titles. It’s all well and good to create a few grand content pieces, but your SEO will not go very far if you forget to include key terms at important places on your pages, especially page titles. A point that Rand Fishkin illustrates nicely in this Whiteboard Friday.
2) Traditional and ‘well known’ link building tactics still work
I will let you decide what constitutes ‘well known’. The idea of creating ‘sticky’ content and people linking to this content is perhaps the most well-packaged hoax being sold to digital marketing managers and CMOs of the industry. Let’s be honest; bloggers, or anyone who is part of the linkerati, understand the value they bring to a brand and it is often the case that they expect to be compensated for it in some way.
3) Keywords in anchor text still matter
Although this is losing relevance – and as an SEO practise has to be monitored very carefully – the fact is most of the top 10 ranked sites tend to have keywords in their anchor text profiles. Make of that what you will!
4) Regular content is equally important
A simple formula we follow is that if you want to become an authority around a topic, make sure you write about and promote it often. Now, a few correlation studies suggest longer content tends to rank higher, however not every blog or article needs to be a research piece. As long as you continue writing on a regular basis, maintain relevance, include relevant keywords and keep the internal linking/voting system going, you are adding towards the SEO strength of your site.
5) Addressing broken links (internal and external) still matters
One of the most challenging statements we heard during a site migration this year was along the lines of ‘let’s just redirect the top 100 pages and the rest Google will figure out’ – this was for a site with well over 2.5K pages. With site migration rife in the industry, it is an absolute must you have a clear and well planned 301 redirect strategy. Even if you are not migrating, it is advisable to have a redirect strategy for your broken or no-longer-live pages. This should allow you to preserve your link value and use crawl budgets effectively.
To summarize what still works in SEO in 5 points is a near impossible task. The key message we aim to promote is that the benefits of ‘glamorous’ SEO will be difficult to come by or will be perhaps pointless if you miss out on the basics.