With Google’s algorithm constantly on the move, it’s hard to keep up with what’s considered right and wrong in the world of Internet and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Barricades between offline and online business have broken down and the rapid shifts in technology, and the way customers adapt to it has transformed businesses significantly.
Most of us are well aware of how vital SEO is to any successful blogging or marketing campaign and therefore be implemented using the right methods. Now, with companies so heavily dependent on major search engines like Google because their customers congregate there, SEO is fast moving from optional to mandatory.
SEO is intricate for numerous of reasons, from sudden rank changes to mysterious algorithm updates, Google takes several factors into account when ranking a webpage – and just to throw marketing types into a complete spin every now and then, they keep changing it.
So how do you stay on your toes and avoid making costly SEO mistakes? We delve into a few to avoid for 2014, and how implementing these suggestions will not only bring you more traffic, but also strengthen your company and speed you toward your strategic goals – at a lower cost of course.
No Content Focus
It’s no secret that content is super important in the eyes of both Google and consumers, but the focus on useful and relevant information is still the number one costly SEO mistake. 2014 is the year to forget over-the-top heroic content and shift your focus to something that listens to your target audience and reaches out through the screen to entertain, influence and solve the problems that keeps them tossing and turning at night.
Content is just that – content, until it has the ability to entice a group of listeners, wriggle its way into something that is sharable and create discussion or debate. Companies that spew out content simply like its advertising will not go far in the New Year, each article needs to have a specific focus and deliver on the promise of your email headlines and landing pages. If your a personal trainer write content that answers questions, not content that solely promotes yourself an business.
Content Isn’t Diverse Enough
On that note, varied content is more likely going to boost your website’s ranking. When we think of content marketing, it’s easy to get into the mindset of just using words but content that mixes between text, images and videos will fuel your audience’s hunger for visual impact much more.
Whilst the saying a picture can paint a thousand words is very much true in this case, that’s not to say it’s an ideal method to replace text with images. Visually appealing content is encouraged by Google and consumers but because the search engine spiders crawl text much easier, include both so the message and keywords are read by all.
Being Stuck in a Rut
Google moves quickly, and with new developments constantly evolving it’s easy to get left behind so having your finger on the pulse is even more crucial than ever. Businesses that are clinging on the past and what used to work aren’t keeping up and in term, getting stuck in a serious rut.
If each financial year your budget goes solely to the same investments as the year before, you’re fast missing the benefits claimed through effective SEO. Planning for tomorrow and being two steps in front (well, maybe not of Google!) has never been so important to implement and embrace the constant technology advances and changes. If you haven’t done so already, invest in Google analytics and hire a SEO expert to help you concentrate on the important factors. Everything in marketing can be measured, so if you forking out money for something that’s not tracking your valuable time and efforts, it’s the perfect interval to stop looking in the rear-view mirror and sticking to the ‘old ways’.
Anchor Text Keywords Not Diverse Enough
2014 is all about mixing it up and your anchor text keywords are no different. If a single keyword is being used over and over again when linking to your content, not only will Google deem this as spammy but readers that follow your work are going to lose interest – fast.
If your anchor keyword is ‘timber flooring’ think outside the box and try combinations like ‘benefits of timber flooring’, ‘timber flooring for outside’ or ‘timber flooring decking’ to broaden the horizon a little.
Not Understanding the Importance of Social Media Popularity
If content is useful, enticing, fresh and interesting, it gives people a reason to share it. To Google, well, to anyone in fact – the more social media shares a piece have the more valuable that content appears.
Social engagement and popularity is one of those crucial factors we can’t seem to avoid, regardless of whether or not we want to jump on the social media bandwagon. Having your content shared all over social media sites helps to obtain better SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings. For 2014, aim to include social media buttons to your website and at the bottom of any articles or blogs – this will encourage readers to share the information and help build your social media and Google popularity.
Writing Little Content
With Google rolling out an algorithm update to feature websites in its search results consisting of detailed content, it’s clear that writing 300-400 word blogs is just not going to cut it anymore. Nowadays, people are hungry for information and many websites are suffering from posts that are simply too short and not fueling the fire.
When it comes to SEO rankings, these short articles are considered low quality, so to tempt people too write more meaty content – Google is rewarding you with higher search rankings. A recent study shows the increase in search traffic listed in the “in-depth articles” section of popular content, effectively promoting articles that are on broader topics with comprehensive information. Whilst it can be hard to consistently write articles with 2,000+ words, the dedication and helpful content you’re providing will definitely be noticed – so staying away from writing short, basic posts is an ideal option for 2014.
Lack of Mobile Compatibility to your Website
The rapid rise of people using mobile internet or IPads as opposed to desktop computer is no new information, yet so many websites we visit aren’t compatible for it – why is that? Not only is it frustrating for the user, but it makes you question why companies are so far behind the times.
A responsive web design that caters for this technology advance is so vital, unless of course you do want to be left behind. For 2014, ensure your website is perfectly viewed and accessible from various devices, whether it’s a tablet, desktop computer or smart phone – this will encourage a positive user experience and help boost your SEO rankings.
So, what will your New Year’s resolutions be?
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