The rules for effective SEO have changed significantly over the past few years, and in order to leverage content investment, marketers and business owners have to invest significantly into learning and implementing new rules for SEO.

Best SEO Tips for 2016

The key features

To create a winning SEO strategy, one has to incorporate mobile-friendly content and longer articles; not to mention a good user experience. The days of funneling traffic using glaring headline keywords are long gone, and according to experts, the new effective strategy focuses on a more comprehensive plan: experience.

The following are proven SEO Tips for 2016 and beyond:

1. Use unique images

Admittedly, images aren’t such a major referral source in Google as they were a few years ago; but having unique pictures on your website is still valuable. Its fine if the same image shows up in a few dozen sites around the web, but placing unique content around the image is what ultimately makes it stand out.

Whenever you want to use an image to illustrate a point, try to customize or use unique photography: remember it’s not just about promoting products and services; you also have to give people something they’d want to see.

2. Larger content sells

According to Moz Inc. (the Seattle-based SEO consulting company), longer articles between 1,000 and 1,500 words are ideal for the search engines. Just three years ago a 300 word article was a fairly long page, but now longer articles are ranking better in SEO and for competitive terms. Of course the reason Google algorithms respond better to longer articles is the fact that the search engine leans towards “human” content as opposed to short, technical content.

3. Build user experience

Did you know that Google makes over 500 algorithm changes a year? These changes are meant to enhance user experience so that when you search for a specific term, Google makes sure that the results on the first few pages give you the best user experience. For this reason, marketers can no longer operate from the notion of “How do I trick the search engine to rank higher”. Instead, they have to focus on delivering the best experience for the ranked keyword.

4. Optimize for mobile

By now you know how extensive the use of mobile devices has become over the past two or three years, and according to current trends and opinions from marketing experts across the board, consumers want to be able to use their devices to solve more problems, and to be able to access content and information specifically designed for mobile.

So where do you start? A good starting point is to make sure that Google understands the content within a mobile app, and to leverage the marketing of that app with respect to SEO. Ultimately you want to expand consumer options and facilitate B-to-B marketing.

5. Keywords are losing value

As any informed marketer will tell you, you don’t need an exact keyword to offer a search result. It used to be that keywords in headlines pulled in search results and traffic, but now Google has gotten better at interpreting meaning.

Exact keyword phrases may still be important but the semantic meaning is becoming much more important. Search engines can see how people are interacting with your website: are they going back to the search results to click on other options, or are they finding what they need on your website?

In order to survive today, you must consider the post-click activity and aim to satisfy user intent.