Tips for SEO for 2014
2013 was a year of huge change for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), especially with the many updates Google made to their algorithms. We had changes to the Panda, Penguin algorithms as well as being introduced to the new Hummingbird algorithm. The usual SEO tactics of the past now have to be adjusted to be entirely Google compliant. SEO tactics have to have a more holistic approach which should include mobile, social media mobile apps as well as the algorithm changes. With the Hummingbird algorithm change in September, Google is focusing on quality content. Therefore, having a good content marketing strategy will be a very key component for a SEO program going forward.
Many SEO influencers and experts wrote articles looking ahead to what the changes in SEO will bring in 2014. Several tactics will be important for marketers in the New Year. You will hear about the importance of focusing on quality content for both your website and mobile websites. SEO is evolving to put more emphasis on relevancy and authenticity.
Here are just a few SEO tactics to focus on for 2014:
- As mentioned above, producing quality content is crucial. Create regular, helpful content that is targeted to your buyer personas and audience. Think like a content marketer and how your company’s information can be shared with your customers.
- Social media will continue to be important for SEO in 2014. Add social sharing buttons to every landing page, webpage, blog article and other content. Focus on 2-3 social networks where your customers are active. (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook for example) Google+, while still not used by a lot of the public, is very important for brands and businesses. This allows for better indexing (or ranking) by Google. Also, set up Google Authorship for your company’s content writers, as this brings an author’s body of content together, which in turn plays an important role in Search Engine Page Rank (SERP).
- Webpage metrics will be key factors in 2014. Page and on-page content will be the most important metrics to track. The content on the page is what attracts visitors, drives conversions and gets revenue for your company. Looking at bounce rates, time on the site, pages viewed per visit and conversion optimization as they will be key metrics for 2014. According to Google, the bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visit. In layman’s terms, it is visits in which the person left your site from the entrance page without interacting with the page. Keywords are still important, but with the changes that came along with the Hummingbird algorithm, the focus is more on a search idea or complete thoughts instead of just keywords.
- For 2014, mobile is going to be a big part of SEO. All websites should have mobile versions for tablets and smartphones. Responsive design, or having your website design be viewed the same on different size screens from desktop to tablet to mobile, will continue to be important for a website. It is important to optimize your mobile website just as you would your regular website.
- Utilize data from multiple data sources, including Google Webmaster Tools. Build comprehensive dashboards that collate rank, keyword, social and content data into one place.
- Use structured data to help enhance information for your company for the search, allowing users to get their search questions answered more directly. Utilize schema.org information. Schema.org provides html tags and other tools to webmasters of sites, for enhancing their pages “behind the scenes” in ways that can be recognized by major search engines.
- Guest blog on other company’s blogs. This is the most effective means of building quality inbound links and building exposure for 2014. Use guest blogging for legitimate links, not spammy links. Matt Cutts, from Google, just released information about stopping the use of spammy guest blogging tactics yesterday.
- Stay the course on solid “white hat” tactics by paying attention to changes in the search algorithm updates from Google. This will help your to improve your search visibility in 2014.
- Keep URL’s simple and readable. Site navigation should be simple. All pages on the website should be accessible within 4 clicks from the home page.
- Google’s Knowledge Graph helps searchers by letting them see the value of a website before they click or by providing them with information they need without having to click at all. A sample of this is the local carousel results at the top of the search engine results pages.