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The Updated Guide To SEO Fundamentals For 2016

shutterstock_397891189If you are still using the same SEO techniques as last year or the year before you may be in trouble. As with everything involving business, marketing, and technology, search engine optimization is always changing.

The fundamental SEO changes for 2016 focus more on content and less on links. If you want your SEO efforts to reap rewards you must focus on three main areas.

1.Long Form Content

This is one of the biggest changes in SEO over the last year. Search engines are now looking for long-form content as opposed to the 300-word post that dominated search in the past. What does this mean for you? It means that going forward, the content that you produce needs to be in the 1,000 to 1,500-word range is you want to rank highly in the search engine results.

This does two things, as far as the search engines are concerned. One, it ensures that the content creators are are providing valuable information to the readers and making an effort to answer their questions and solve their problems. And two, it allows the search engines to serve up more relevant content to their users.

Focus on those keywords that your clients are using to answer questions and solve problems. For example, a divorce attorney may want to create content around the keywords, “how long does a divorce take?” or “do it yourself divorce.” Identify what your clients want and provide them a detailed answer.

2. Mobile SEO

As more consumers are using their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) it is imperative that your website is mobile friendly. This means that it is able to display properly on any size screen and it loads quickly. The easiest way to see if your site qualifies as mobile friendly is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test site. Simply drop your site’s URL in the search box and Google will let you know if you are good to go.

Beyond tha,t you may need to go back in and resize some of the graphics and photos on your site. Large files (like photos) can seriously increase the loading time of your site on mobile devices. Luckily, Google also offers its PageSpeed Insights tool to see if your site loads well.

3. Social Signals

While link building does not have the positive impact that is used to, social signals are becoming a larger part of effective SEO in 2016.

The easiest way to take advantage of social signals is to engage with your followers on social media. Many smart businesses are using social media as an extension of their customer service department. Get on social media and provide answers and information that people are looking for. This will not only increase your social signals but also position your firm as a trusted voice in your industry.

Focusing on these three areas will make your SEO efforts more effective going forward and also help you grow your practice.