SEO Traps that Can Drag Down Your Rankings in 2016

Google has new guidelines that are going to change the way companies conduct their SEO. The update is coming in 2016 – is your site ready for the shift? There are key changes being made that could affect your site’s rankings negatively. You can work your way around this by learning about the updates and making the proper changes to your company website before 2016 hits. Google’s Penguin update is upon us (fall 2015). What does that mean for the future of SEO? Let’s take a look.

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Build Links Responsibly

There are rumors circulating that link building should be avoided because it isn’t natural. But according to Google, links are fine as long as you don’t violate their guidelines. Focus on getting quality links and you should be alright. Try to get back links from quality, credible sources that are relevant to your target audience. If you have any broken links, make sure to remove them as soon as possible.

Be Wary of Anchor Texts

Using exact match anchor texts has become risky business since the first 2012 Penguin update. Your site could get penalized for over-optimization if you abuse anchor text in 2016. It’s recommended that you stick with between five and 10 links to a wide array of anchor texts and a few major keywords. Studies show that sites rank better when they have fewer exact match anchored links from sites with high relevancy. Branded anchor texts also showed positive effects on rankings.

Clean Up Your Link Profile

Your link profile is more important than targeting single or specific pages. In fact, a good link profile plays a critical role in how well your site is linked. You can use your Google Webmasters account to perform a link evaluation.

Use a Responsive Design

One of the top ranking factors of SEO in 2016 is mobile-friendliness. Your company’s website should be well-designed and responsive across mobile devices. Get rid of tiny texts and links that are too close together. Creating a responsive design for your website could also translate to better performance and higher conversion rates. A good user experience is always a plus.

Boost User Engagement

Websites with low user engagement are going to witness suffering rankings. This tells Google that people don’t like your site, so your rankings will plummet because of it. Take a look at your analytics data to see what’s wrong. An SEO company can look at the data for you to determine why your user engagement is poor. The experts from the SEO agency can then perform A/B testing to see how to improve user engagement.

Improve the User Experience

Is there a reason why people keep leaving your website? If your bounce rate is high, it’s either because you’re targeting the wrong audience or your site has a poor user experience. This is a red flag for Google, which means your rankings will fall dramatically.

Maintain Fresh Content

The freshness factor is still going to be a big deal. Make sure your site is being updated with fresh, unique content regularly. And by regularly, we don’t mean twice per month. You should try posting at least once per week, if not more. An SEO company can be hired to create quality content for your site.

Get Rid of Interstitial Ads

You have been warned – Google recently announced that mobile sites utilizing interstitial ads are going to be punished. These ads negatively affect the user experience. You’ve probably seen them before on sites that prompt you to download their app. This would be alright if the ad wasn’t designed with a hidden tiny X that’s difficult to press on a small smartphone screen. It reduces the user experience, which as we’ve discussed, is a red flag for Google.

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