8 Proven SEO Techniques That Are Still Viable in 2016

As it stands, SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the powerful internet marketing techniques. Content is most commonly discovered through the usage of search engines, and you can easily capitalize on this trend by implementing a number of SEO techniques. However, being found online is easier said than done.

With this guide, you'll learn about several SEO techniques that can dramatically transform your website's performance.

1. Focus on the Title Tag

The Title tag is used to quite literally give your website a "title." It's shorter than a Description tag, and it is commonly utilized to enhance SEO efforts. The Title tag is considered extremely important because it's one of the first pieces of information that a search engine will crawl on your website, and it will also be the first bit of information seen by web searchers. Be sure to use not only your company/website name in the Title tag, but also one or two major keywords. Using any more than 1 or 2 could possibly be considered keyword stuffing by search engines. For the entirety of the Title tag, try to keep it under 55 characters if possible. If you use more than 55 characters, you'll risk have your Title cut off in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

2. Set Your META Tags Right

The META tag that will be of importance to you in your SEO implementation will be the Description tag.

Many SEO experts will stress the importance of also utilizing the Keywords tag, but this can actually hinder your SEO efforts for a number of reasons. Primarily, the Keywords tag can give your competitors an easy glimpse into your keyword strategy by merely viewing your source code. To stay on the safe side, just avoid using the Keyword tag altogether.

Instead, focus your energy on your Description tag. The text included with the Description tag will appear along with your link in the SERPs. In some cases, this text can be the deciding factor of whether or not a user chooses to visit your website. To entice more clicks, create a short, concise, and keyword-rich description. Try to keep your description length to no more than 160 characters, merely because most search engines will truncate it if it's any longer.

3. Use Link Title Attributes

If you've ever scrolled your mouse over a link and noticed a box pop up with the text, "Click here," then you've seen a link with a Title attribute. A Title attribute can help your users and search engines understand more about your website. Rather than using "Click here," you can try more descriptive actions such as "View our menu" or "See my portfolio."

4. Use Alt Text for Your Images

When used with images, alt text can add more relevance to your content and help search engines index your website's pages. Handicapped and visually impaired users will also find it easier to discover your website when they utilize a Screen Reader. For every single image, don't forget to incorporate alt text.

5. Create Useful Content

One common quality that all successful websites share is their unique and quality content. If a user finds information on your website that is recycled, already well-known, or even "spammy" in nature, they will develop a general understanding that your brand isn't useful to them. In the future, there will be a lower chance of that user returning to your website.

Search engines, especially Google, have made it clear through recent algorithm tweaks that useless or spam-like content simply won't be tolerated. You can use keywords with your website text and still produce quality content. As a rule of thumb, you should utilize a combination of primary keywords, secondary keywords, and lastly, tertiary keywords. As always, primary keywords will be the most important out of all, but the others will serve as a means of support.

In a basic 800 word article or post, you can use a primary keyword up to five times. The others, secondary and tertiary, should be used a maximum of 2 times.

6. Utilize Link-Building Strategies Wisely

Link-building is a great way to enhance your website's authority and traffic, but when used incorrectly, it can also greatly hinder your website's performance.

The best way to kick off your link-building strategy is to simply create useful content that other quality websites will naturally link to. You can build links yourself, but the strategy will always take care of itself if you offer useful information.

You will also want to monitor your competitors' linking strategies with tools such as Monitor Backlinks. With this helpful tool, you'll receive periodic updates on your competitors and the links that they've accumulated. With this information, you can refine your own strategy for better results.

As always, avoid using low quality links at all costs.

7. Utilize Social Media with Your Website

There was a time when social media and SEO were two separate online marketing efforts, but those days are long gone. In a nutshell, social media has become incredibly important for SEO. These are just a few ways you can weave your SEO and social media efforts together:

  • Create shareable content that is optimized for going viral
  • Make your content easy to share by adding share buttons to the ends of your posts
  • Keep your content short, concise, and to the point

8. Couple Your Video Posts and Mini Blogs

YouTube is a powerful marketing platform that could vastly enhance your SEO strategy. If you're using video in your strategy, there are a number of ways to boost your results. Each time you create a new video, design a mini blog for use in the description box. This small bit of text should be optimized with keywords so that the video not only performs well on YouTube, but also in search engines.

What has been your experience with SEO, and which techniques have worked for you? Sound off in the comments below!