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Google Ready Your Website For 2016

December 2, 2015

With 2016 right around the corner and indications that Google will be making further updates to the way it ranks websites, it is vital to ensure your website is ready for the New Year.

Here are five tips that mean you can move into the New Year full of confidence that your website will rank well in 2016.

1. Be Mobile Friendly!

Not only did Google release its “Mobilegeddon” algorithm earlier in 2015, they also announced that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop traffic. Expect this number to increase in 2016 as Google banks on Mobile Traffic continuing it’s incredible rise and desktop traffic continuing to decrease.

Tip – Google has confirmed that a well-optimised mobile-only site with no desktop counterpart is more acceptable than the other way round, so prioritise sorting out your mobile site over the desktop equivalent.

2. Use of Digital Assistants and Voice Search (For Example Siri / Cortana)

With the ever-growing use of “Digital Assistants” like Siri & Cortana, voice-based searches are going to increase in 2016, with queries and questions becoming longer and more conversational. Hand in hand with this, Google is providing more Direct Answers (the box at the top of the search results with the exact answer to your question in it).

Tip – Once you figure out what pages should be relevant for which queries and search terms, make sure any answers are clear, concise and accurate as early into your page content as possible. This will help increase your authority with Google and make it more likely your page is chosen to provide the Direct Answer.

3. High Quality Backlinks Still Matter.

Don’t confuse this with any backlinks matter – poor quality or spammy backlinks can hurt your website. However, good quality links will still remain an integral part in getting your website ranked in 2016, so focusing on building high quality backlinks is paramount.

Tip – The links to your site need to come from highly reputable, reliable sites that are already trusted by Google.

4. Continue writing high quality, unique content.

This was big in 2015 and it will be even bigger in 2016 so don’t let up! Keep producing well-written, relevant content for your industry. Ideally this needs to be targeted, well researched and as unique as possible – try and focus on being an authority in your field.

Tip – Remember each page on your website should have unique content, if you have more than 30% duplicate content on pages you could run into problems!

5. Consider investing in an SSL (Move to HTTPS)

Google takes security very seriously – so seriously in fact that Google has started using HTTPS as a ranking signal. This means if your site has an SSL certificate and utilises HTTPS over the regular HTTP, your site will generally rank higher than a competitor that uses HTTP.

Tip – HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP and means all the data sent between your browser and the website is encrypted.

Bonus Tip – Grow Your Social Media.

While social media won’t directly affect your Google rankings, it is hugely useful indirectly. Use social media to build your brand, grow your network, interact with customers and develop the best customer service. This will only help you to gain trust and authority, as well as bring traffic to your site via any links you post on social media (once you’ve built an audience, of course).

If you would like to get an idea on how your website is viewed by the search engines as we near 2016, or any further information on getting your site found in Google searches, simply visit www.total-seo.co.uk and request a free review of your site.

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