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SEO Best Practice Guidelines for 2016

Updated on February 18, 2016

5 Min Read
Reading Time: 5 minutes

SEO expert and author Rand Fishkin proclaims, “Great SEO is NO Longer Just SEO.” organized a conference named “Weapons of Mass Distribution” on Aug, 07, 2014 at San Francisco, LA. At the event, many influencers spoke on Evolution of Online Marketing, including Rand Fishkin.

Here is one of the slides from Rand Fishkin’s presentation. I just captured it to describe the concept more in-depth.

SEO practice 2016

Design & UX

Let us discuss the various aspects of how design is involved in SEO.

1) Images, Video and InfoGraphics

Search Engines optimize your image alt text, size and dimensions. Visuals have a significant effect on bounce rate and content readability. Make sure your videos and images are optimized to not harm page load time.

2) Responsive Design

Site should be Responsive, so that it’s easy for the user to access it from any device, and it also affects SEO. Before Responsive Design, developers used separate pages for each dimension and search engines divided their authority.

3) Valid 404

404 is a request which originates from HTTP, which shows that the page was not found because of broken links, page removal or mistyping of URL. Some best practices of designing a 404 page are:

  • Tells users that this page is not found
  • Shows easy navigation for user
  • Tracks 404 page (Google Analytics)
  • Make sure your 404 page is not indexed in Google

4) Popup & Frames

Google is penalizing those sites which have too many popups and ads. Almost all users dislike these popups.

Search engines don’t crawl and index the tag


Avoid webspam like the plague! Let’s examine the various aspects of spamming which hurt your SERP.

1) Low Quality and Useless Content

Most of the websites are using low quality content to save time and avoid costs. Search engines do not value such content on SERP

2) Copyright

Avoid copying visuals and content of other sites. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedowns negatively affect your ranking in SERP.

3) Hidden Text

People are using hidden text to increase keywords density level. User cannot easily see that text but search engine bots crawls the page with these hidden keywords and phrases. Google penalizes it.

4) Backlinks

Analyze your backlinks. You can get the reports from Google Webmaster tool. Bad backlinks hurt your ranking. Google requires natural backlinks instead of links by bots.


Mobile friendly site is necessary because many users are now accessing content through their smartphone. Due to each smartphone having different dimensions, websites have to be responsive to all devices.


Here is the snapshot of search engine result for mobile users.

Google developers can help you to detect whether or not your site is mobile-friendly.

Press & PR (Press Release)

Most people believe that press releases do not affect SEO because of no-follow links. But they perform well indirectly for SEO. They get many natural links after the news is picked up. It also improves your visibility and awareness.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is the next big thing for SEO. Customers are who you actually have to market to, and everything you have to describe in your pitch for your sales depends on their demographics. Optimize your site for conversions and search engines. Shaping customer behavior will be the best output from all such tricks.


Google already launched its Beta Version for email capture for paid search. Email is the best source for your brand optimization. For brand management and reputation, you need SEO as well.


Web Accessibility means users can easily navigate your website and understand your website structures and information. The website should be properly designed and developed to maintain a good milestone for search engine and user behavior. You need to improve in these areas:

  • Sitemap
  • Breadcrumb
  • Internal Linking
  • Image Description
  • Semantic Markup ( Header, Footer, articles, navigation and etc.)


Local SEO is now creating a good impact on user behavior. It’s one of the best resources to increase your Trust Rating among visitors. Most of the people are still confused on deciding whether to optimize locally or not. If your business has mostly local customers, you have to do local SEO for more conversions.

Some effective guidelines for Local SEO:

  • On page factors affect the same on Local SEO
  • Citation (Local Listing)
  • Verified with Google local listing


Page Load time impacts on user behavior and their experience. It affects SEO as well. Load Time Average should be 2 seconds, maximum. Try to complete Google PageSpeed Insight guides. The best resource to check page speed is Most of the speed issues are from the server side. Try to manage your server on a good Platform. One of the better server uptime platforms and best SEO Friendly Hosting is Cloudways


If users from any location and language can easily understand content, apps, documents design and development, then it shows that your website is ready for an international audience. SEO has evolved for Language and Region based websites. Here is a complete list of FAQs about Internationalization.


A very famous quote for content is, “Content is King”. Yes it is. Content is a major key for generating sales in the digital industry. But the complete quote is, “Content is king, but distribution is queen”. Where content distribution is part of SEO, make your content unique and interesting compared to others. Different sites have to employ different content strategies. Play a good role in content plus distribution. It’s one of the major factors for improving SEO.

Social Media

If you want to run a successful SEO strategy, then you must have proper social activation for your site. It doesn’t mean that your likes/follows/shares are good factors of ranking. Social Media helps to increase branding and authority which is good for SEO. Try to increase relevant traffic from your social profiles and post.


Definitely, crawling of web pages is a must part of SEO. Crawlers store and download web pages. After a certain period, crawlers restore and update/download web pages to check for content updates. Some of the points to follow are:

  • Sitemap helps bots to crawl easily, and should be in XML or HTML
  • Avoid using 302 Temporary Redirects
  • Use external file for CSS and JS to make it easy to crawl for search engine bots
  • Internal linking should be in HTML, not in Flash, JS, and Ajax
  • Register your site with Google Webmaster Tool and work on Google guidelines.


Link building is must for SEO. Most of the users do not easily understand how to make quality links for sites. They have to understand, that link building must be at websites relevant to their own industry. Then find out your top competitors and track their backlinks which are from high authority sites and build your link on the same sites. You can also track their keywords which attract high traffic and optimize these keywords on your site. Avoid spamming and bulk submission, as it affects your SEO.


One of the important parts of SEO is to rank in search engine results with better position on your keywords of interest. Many factors are engaged for ranking in a better position. Some tips are following:

  • Meta Data
  • Proper OnPage Optimization
  • Image Optimization
  • Increase your Content Inventory
  • Relevant Link Building


SEO is nothing without proper keyword research. It’s the groundwork of SEO. Users think that latest SEO campaign is the best without any selected keywords. But it’s not true. Keywords strategy is updated just as SEO updates. You need to target main keywords, with their variations. Optimize long tail keywords as well. You can also reach out to region wise & season wise keywords. Don’t use specific anchor for backlinks, make variations to save from over optimization on single keyword.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Fahad Rafiq

Fahad is an SEO Expert at Cloudways - A SEO friendly hosting Platform. He monitors organic traffic trends and helps rank the site higher on search engine. As an expert in SEO, he also likes to spend his free time researching and learning about new things in web development.

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