When it comes to SEO (or search engine optimization) the only thing that stays the same is that there’s always change. Compare today with 10 years ago when SEO was first becoming a “thing”; the difference may shock you. However, the smaller changes can be harder to identify. This last year has been a big year for the growth and change in SEO. Before you start implementing an SEO plan for your website, check out what has changed in the best practices of 2014. This will help you develop a strategy that is innovative and can help you succeed heading into the new year.
Connect Your Content for Superior SEO
The old adage “content is king” still holds true. Great content is the key to success with SEO. However, content isn’t just posting a blog to your page and letting it sit. Today, you need to connect your content through as many relevant channels as you can. Post to your blog then interact with your website visitors on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or whatever other social media channel that makes sense for the content strategy of your business. You can also create guest posts on related websites and then get involved on their social media outlets. Create a newsletter, eBook or Whitepaper – all of which link back to your own website or a related landing page. Connecting your content is easier than you may think, especially once you get started. However, it all starts with creating content that your visitors will find relevant and useful.
The Merge of SEO and Public Relations
Today’s SEO experts know public relations, and public relations specialists who are staying ahead of the game are learning the ins and outs of SEO. These are not individual issues, they have become an interlinked part of the overall digital marketing picture. Today’s public relations has as much to do with writing press releases as it does with increasing the ranking on the Google SERP (search engine results page). Today, it’s important to realize that nearly every marketing effort can have an impact with online efforts and these opportunities should be leveraged. This example shows that for every part of your strategy or approach that you change, you should be asking yourself “How will this effect my digital marketing strategy”, or “how can I leverage this for better SEO”. Just don’t try to game the system, or the search engines will figure it out and turn everything on its head.
The Affect of Algorithms on SEO Strategies
You knew it was coming. Pandas, penguins, hummingbirds and pirates are all versions of the algorithm that powers Google – the world’s leading search engine. The other major search engines all have their own algorithms too. This is the “guts” behind the search engine that determine which pages rank higher and which stay hidden under pages and pages of results. The 2014 updates to the algorithms have made the search engines smarter than they’ve ever been before. Today’s search engine algorithms are far less prone to manipulation by crazy SEO tactics (like keyword stuffing). For a talented SEO expert this isn’t a problem. It’s actually easier than ever to get quality content to rank higher. All of these updates come down to one core value: make your content interesting, useful, and relevant to the people you want reading it. Though proper structure helps, this doesn’t take a guru or SEO magic. Writing for people in a way that engages the reader is the foundation to success; you may not be able to become an SEO whiz by keeping up with all of the technical updates, but with some basic SEO skills and a genuine interest in providing useful content to users, you can SEO like the pros.
Leveraging Social Search for SEO
Today, search engines include more than just Google, Yahoo and Bing. Today, you want to rank higher on the social search engines. In fact, YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. Good content structured with SEO in mind must be implemented to make pages rank higher on appropriate social networks. This may include adding pinnable images to increase visibility on Pinterest and hashtags to help for searches on Facebook and Twitter. The social search aspect of SEO is vital for anyone looking to stay at the forefront of technology.
2014 was a big year in SEO. Chances are, 2015 will only be bigger. The best way to get ready for what the future may hold is to stay up to date with what is happening today. Make sure you are following current best practices and consider working with an expert to accomplish even more. By doing this, you’ll assure that you’re creating content that will help you rise on those SERPs today and well into the new year.