3 Tactics to Futureproof SEO in 2016 & beyond

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This evening I had the pleasure of presenting on a Linkdex SEONow webinar alongside Chris Hart and Danny Goodwin.

The topic of the session was SEO insights for 2016, following on from the blog post that I contributed to back in late December.

Below are the slides that I presented to a great audience, followed by some good discussion with Chris and Danny. I have also included the video of the webinar at the top of the page.

On upload to Slideshare it seems as if some of the slides have become blurred. If you would like them, get in touch direct.


Audience Questions:

Q: Personal assistants – is it just relevant for B2C or also for B2B?

Dan: I think this very much depends on your audience. However, unless there is considerable cost associated to your implementation why wouldn’t you do it? As more people use personal assistants (it’s growing) and search using mobile, the smarter this applications will become and start to automate what you see. As I mentioned in the presentation, I never actually set the app to being in any of the content shown, but it was based on my search preferences across all my devices. This does require you to be signed into Google, or other but when are you not?

Q: Is Google clever enough to know my site is responsive via a fluid layout (i.e., I don’t have a dedicated mobile site)? Is that OK?

Dan: Yes. There are three ways that Google has indicated that they see mobile websites, and I would suggest that this fits within the responsive category although I am speculating based on the question. The three formats that Google have provided are shown below:

  • Responsive design <— Google recommended
  • Dynamic Serving
  • Separate URL (m.)

To help determine whether Google classes your website as mobile-friendly, you can check the following tools:

Q: What about keywords, what are the changes around keyword usage and optimization? How to look at keyword organic traffic in the semantic search era? How to optimize for semantic search?

Dan: You should be optimizing around topics and not just individual keywords. Similar to how in AdWords you would build a list of keywords for a particular ad group. This set of keywords then allow you to create content around a topic that provides your user with more detailed information. These topics should then be used as part of your content strategy, which will identify which content should be used at each stage of the buying cycle

Q: Backlinks – which are the best practices about link building and using anchor text in 2016?

Dan: You want to increase the number of backinks your website gets? Build great content or digital assets that are worth linking to.

(For a more detailed discussion about links, listen to the webinar.)

Q: You mentioned schemas for search engines. Can you explain a little further?

Dan: Search engines read content on the pages, but it doesn’t necessarily give any context as what it is. The Hummingbird update and schema has helped search engines to get more clarity to what is being displayed. Schemas for search engines can be used in multiple different ways HTML5 & JSON-LD just two that I mentioned, and are snippets of code that surround specific parts of your website content.

A very simple example would be pricing. You’d wrap the price of your product in schema, which will be picked up by search engines and likely displayed within the search engine result pages.

There are many resources on schema, but the two that I always point to are:

If you’re looking for information or testing tools on implementation, then I would recommend the following:

Q: Does Google use as ranking signal – when visitors keep coming back to your website?

Dan: On an ongoing basis? Then I would say no. However, if a sudden surge of people were searching for a specific website using a certain query then I’d expect and have seen a short term increase in rankings for that website.

I have seen some experiments that Rand over at Moz has conducted where he has sent a lot of social traffic to a certain search phrase and then select a specific website. This has then seen an increase in position for that term, although on a very temporary basis.

Q: About AMP pages, we have LTE as standard offer so we have fast connection in here Vienna, anyway connections are getting faster and faster so why do we need AMP? As I understand AMP will look like page from ’90s.

Dan: Google will continue to provide resources to improve websites as part of their mission to improve the web. This doesn’t however mean that it is something that you need to implement if you think that your website speed is good enough.

Michael King has written a very good post on improving site speed by using one piece of code

Q: Do you have any optimization tips for industries that are very competitive, but quite conservative and regulated when it comes to their content?

Dan: If you do decide to go down building a content platform for your brand, understand that it takes time to gain traction. Put everything that you have into and you keep going so that it is a success. It’s easy to get down about the traction you are gaining, but just keep going!

This Econsultancy post provides some information on ideas for the finance industry.

Q: One of my clients has a blog post that’s gotten more traffic than others, and I want to reuse it. Is it accurate that Google doesn’t like content that looks like a copy/repeat of something else? So if I make a few changes to update it, does that mean I should delete the previous (original) post so it doesn’t look like a copy?

Dan: Many different ways that this can be handled. I’d suggest that you check out the webinar for more in-depth responses but in short:

  • Republishing isn’t an issue if it’s valid and useful.
  • If you copy it to another URL then you’d want to implement canonical tags.
  • When creating content think about whether it can be used again, will it be evergreen. Then you can really think about the URLs that you are using.
  • Check the webinar. 🙂

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the presentation in the comments below or as usual over on twitter @danielbianchini.

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