SEO continues to change and transform as search engines revise their requirements for website rankings. Meta data, content, keyword quality and links all still play a role in search engine rankings, but the way these tactics are used has transformed throughout the years.
How Has Meta Data Changed?
- Title tags – Title tags are still important when it comes to effectively optimizing your website. However, how you structure the title tags has changed. Title tags used to be 75 characters long, which made it easy to add a lot of relevant keywords. Google now allows for only 55 characters, making it important to choose only the most relevant keywords or phrases.
- Meta Descriptions – Meta descriptions have never been a huge ranking factor on search engines, but they’re a selling point for customers to click on your site. Another change has been search engines cutting the number of characters from 150 to 111.
- Keywords – Keywords are not a ranking factor. End of story.
- H1, H2 and H3 – It’s still important to optimize H headings appropriately, but they aren’t as big of a ranking factor as they were in the past. Use them to format the page and add value to your content.
How Have Links Changed?
- Link building – When SEO first came to be, free directories were a gold mine for companies that wanted to improve rankings. The Google Penguin update forced people to look at the quality of links over the quantity of links. In 2015, it’s much more important to have links on sites with a high domain and page authority than it is to have your link on hundreds of spammy sites. If you used to love submitting to free directories, disavow links in Google Webmaster Tools to avoid being penalized.
- Internal links – Old-school SEO tactics pushed the importance of having internal links everywhere. You could even bold and italicize links for emphasis. Having a lot of internal links doesn’t negatively affect your site at this point in time, but it’s important to make sure all internal links add value to the page it’s included on.
How Has Content Changed?
Back in the age of keyword density, specialists used to suggest that a specific keyword should take up four percent of the page. This is now known as keyword stuffing or spamming your own content. Make sure your content is high-quality and make sure the main keyword is prevalent without spamming your page.
How Has Website Layout Changed?
Design of websites isn’t the only thing that has changed in the last few years. Studying how users navigate websites to find ways to increase conversions has also become on important part of SEO. Adding call outs and buttons to appropriate places throughout pages increases conversion rate and user experience.
Contact Practis for information on SEO in 2015.