Throughout 2013 Google continued to drive against what it considers unfavourable SEO tactics – anything that derives of creating links simply for rankings, rather than adding genuine value to users. And it can be confusing, because what used to benefit your business can actually harm it now.
Google’s drive against unacceptable linking methods has included everything from purchased links in directories to links within guest blogs. And if you’re still stuffing keywords into the keyword field in your website admin area you better delete them immediately. They went over cliff a while ago. Genuine relevant keyword rich but not stuffed content is what’s left, and has created a lot of work particularly for smaller business who can’t afford external SEO companies, nor the time to re-vamp their content.
It has to be said that this has all been good for search, even though some who haven’t been keeping up have plunged in the rankings, usually through historic ‘black hat’ SEO tactics. Even if these have been in the past they can still haunt you.
Beating the competition now simply depends on having a better website with better content and products – and one that works across a raft of devices, from PC to smartphone – and from one URL. This presents a challenge for those with older websites, as responsive design is relatively new (a design which responds to which device is accessing a particular site to make it easy for the same content to be viewed on each), however search rankings will be improved where there is just one URL rather than a different one designed for different devices.
SEO Tips for 2014
Consider re-vamping to a responsive design site. Cries of anguish at the thought of the cost? For sure….however this is the way to improve rankings and the way that website design is moving/has moved. It may be time to move in this direction if your site is a few years old.
Everything comes back to content. Look at your website content and revaluate what’s there. How long ago did you write it? Is it totally relevant to your products and customer today? When did you last update your keyword research? Your meta titles and descriptions?
Consider SEO across all areas, from newsletters to blogs to articles and social media – SEO has an important part to play in every post you make or newsletter you send out. Make sure that everyone is aware you need to be fully optimised, but make sure you’re always creating content with readers and relevance in mind.
Focus on Social Media. Make time to ensure that you’re updating your social media platforms regularly and communicating with your market. In SEO terms Google+ is particularly valuable so don’t forget to update your profile and posts as well.
The message is content, content, content. Make sure yours is current, relevant and interesting, and includes your keywords without over pushing them. All the old SEO methods (other than keyword research) have pretty much gone out of the window, and you have to tread carefully to make sure you’re not doing anything that Google might object to.