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Best SEO Practices in 2016

shutterstock_369366464Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a method for improving your website’s attractiveness to search engines. The more a search engine likes you, the higher it climbs in the rankings. This is not a static optimization practice though. Search engines such as Google continually change algorithms in order to make sure the very best information appears at the top of results (while also ensuring people do not simply manipulate their SEO to boost rankings without providing quality information). Changes are sure to come in 2016 and beyond, but there are a handful of best SEO practices you need to follow to boost your search engine ranking. Here are the best SEO practices you need to follow this year (if you are not already).

Mobile is a Must

More than 50 percent of all Internet searches are now performed through mobile devices, so if your website is not mobile friendly (or if you don’t have a mobile specific version of your site) you are missing out on a good amount of traffic. Yes, traditional websites do load onto mobile platforms, but Google and other search engines now incorporate websites designed for mobile devices into mobile algorithms, which means you will not rank well if you don’t.

Verify Your Business

Always verify. Whenever you can verify your business it helps improve local search engine optimization. By visiting Business.Google.com, you can verify your business and “claim” it. This way, someone else is not able to claim your business. You will be given special posting rights and you will also have the ability to improve local searches if you have a brick and mortar building. Improving local SEO is important with building traffic, and you need to do exactly this when it comes to any kind of local Internet searches.

Focus on Content

Every every passing year, content becomes more and more important for your website. During the early days of search engines, the quality of your content really didn’t matter. In fact, most people just manipulated the system, posting keywords often hundreds of times within the website as search engines simply used keywords as the basis for search results. Now, however, it is possible for Google and other search engines to fine tune how everything is displayed. Focusing on the quality of your content is very important. Google actually has a word range it likes to see on blog posts. While this word limit is not known, most point to at lest 400 words and less than 1200. So, write descriptive content that includes keywords but does not stuff. As long as you have great written content that is informative, your website should receive the positives from it.

Remove Duplicate Listings

Backlinks have grown to be an important part in SEO and determining your website ranking. However, duplicate links and listings can actually hinder your content. This means you need to perform a few different actions. First, if you have a blog but you publish it on multiple locations, you might want to consider taking down the other publications. So, instead of publishing a blog post on Tumblr, your personal blog, your company website and other locations, focus on just one location (company website). When search engines see the same content is published several times it ends up hurting your ranking. Additionally, if you have duplicate backlinks leading to your page you want to remove these as well. Like the duplicate content posts the duplicate backlinks can actually cause you to receive SEO penalties, which pulls down your search engine ranking.

By following these 2016 SEO tips, you’ll see a boost in rank.