It’s time to seriously strategise around your SEO activities for the coming year if you want to stay ahead of the game. Here are a few tips and ideas on where to focus your SEO strategies for 2014.
To begin with, it’s important to say that SEO is not ‘dead’ as is sometimes declared – it’s more that SEO as we’ve known it is in the process of passing away! It’s no longer enough to fill your web content with popular keywords and search terms, and to build bucket-loads of backlinks. SEO is way more sophisticated than that now, and is moving much more in the direction of semantic search. Even guest blogging has taken a bit of a battering lately, when used only for the purposes of improving SEO.
This means that strategising for SEO in 2014 may require being a bit savvier, creative, and ‘broad thinking’ than before.
Tips for SEO strategies for 2014
Get your focus right:
All of your strategies should be focused first and foremost on your audience. This means everything you do – SEO-wise and in business in general – should start from this point. With regard to SEO, this might mean always remembering that you are creating content for real people rather than Googlebots.
Focus on great content:
It hopefully goes without saying by now that you really need to have top quality content on your site. Poor quality and badly written content is not going to earn you any brownie points with search engines.
Target your audience:
This can be done by segmenting your audience according to certain criteria – for example by region, gender, or past purchasing behaviour – and targeting content and relevant marketing campaigns to them.
Have good communication going on:
Make sure communication is happening between your SEO professionals and any other people in your business who are involved in your website. For instance, if people on your team make changes to your site – such as adding, changing or moving content – they need to be aware of how it can impact on SEO. This makes it important that your SEO experts are aware of and involved in the process. It may also mean that you need to develop some good internal training for your employees so they are more aware of the importance of SEO.
Optimise for mobile:
A quick glance around while out in any public space will show why you need to optimise your site for mobile devices – as you are likely to see just about every second person playing with their smartphone or tablet!
With the numbers of people using mobile growing all the time, and with many people now starting or completing purchases on their mobile devices, optimising for mobile is no longer an optional extra. See our other article on mobile content strategies for more information.
Don’t neglect paid search ads:
Paid search ads can provide your business with a bit of a ‘leg up’ in getting noticed on the web in the first place, or can act as a kind of extra supplement for your organic search activities.
Be prepared for SEO developments:
Rather than get an unwelcome surprise when search engine changes appear on the scene, be prepared for new algorithm developments ahead of time. Listen to what search engine companies are saying and take note of what they are doing and planning.
Make use of Google tools:
This includes Google Authorship, which can be great for building your brand and reputation. Google + also has a number of features that enable you to effectively target posts and communicate with your audience. And with both of these platforms integrating with Google itself, utilising them may well mean gaining an advantage in the search engine stakes.
Don’t ignore social media:
With social signals such as likes, shares and +1s becoming part of the marketing mix, and search through social media and the internet becoming more closely tied together, social media should form part of your overall SEO plan for the coming year.
With SEO changing and maturing at a fast pace, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the changes, and to focus your strategies accordingly.