2016 SEO Quick Tips

Monday, September 5th, 2016

2016 SEO Quick TipsFor many years, achieving top Google rankings has been highly reliant on quality back links, a keyword-rich content structure and a solid technical setup.  These things are still crucial, but this month we spotted this article which gives a current nuance on the theme, so we have summarised some of the key points, with a New Zealand perspective, below.

  • Improve RankBrain Compatibility. RankBrain is a type of artificial intelligence system that helps Google to provide relevant search results; it is one of Google’s top three search ranking signals.  RankBrain is particularly useful with unique or ambiguous search queries.  So how exactly do you optimise for RankBrain?  Most importantly you need to focus on providing good content that answers questions your potential customers might ask and convey it in natural language format.
  • Think About ‘Near Me’ Search Queries. With the aid of mobile devices people are able to have decision-making information at their fingertips anytime, anywhere.  For example, you are in an unfamiliar city and want to know where the nearest petrol station is?  If your website isn’t anticipating the needs and providing fast, easy to use information for relevant local search queries on mobile devices then you are going to be missing out on this one. 
  • Increase Your Local Presence. This one is probably most relevant to New Zealanders, the key is to focus on your local SEO, specifically adding your business to New Zealand or regional-based directories. Include as much relevant information as you can and choose sites that allow customer reviews or feedback. Other people’s opinions can be crucial, particularly for such a small country, as they can provide a valuable point of difference when a potential customer is having trouble deciding between two very similar businesses.
  • Consider How People Would Search Using Voice Commands. Optimisation for voice search using natural language has become increasingly important – why?  Voice input is faster and easier than typing or menu navigation on small screens.  Google has increased its efforts in voice recognition so its search engine can better understand natural language for voice based searches, so it makes sense to provide relevant content that takes into consideration how people would search using voice commands.
  • Answer Potential Customers Questions. Does your content directly answer potential customer questions?  For example; How do I ….? What is the best…?  Google tries to provide clear answers to knowledge based queries with answers from quality expert content so it pays to think about what questions your site can provide answers for and answer them as early on in the piece as possible via concise, relevant content.
  • Throw Money At It. Obviously, first and foremost, Google would like you to pay for their ads.  However, this doesn’t mean you can skip creating quality content, relevant landing pages and aligning your paid search efforts with customer intent.

Contact Avatar for more information if you’d like to talk about SEO for your website.

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Mark started in the Internet industry in 1994 working with one of Canterbury’s first Internet Service Providers. In 1997 Rocket launched New Zealand Tourism Online and then Avatar Web Promotions in 1998. New Zealand Tourism Online was sold to Telecom Yellow Pages in 2006. Mark enjoys meeting with Avatar’s clients and strategising winning Web solutions. When not at Avatar HQ, Mark’s into playing tennis, going on family camping trips and supporting the private space industry.

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