As people around the world welcome the new year, companies are already planning on how to get even better results for their business in 2014.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one area that will continue to see tremendous growth as more people around the world connect online and have access to more devices. This is good news but also equates to more competition.
This year saw numerous algorithm updates from Google which proved challenging for marketers including:
- Further releases of the Panda and Penguin updates
- Launch of Hummingbird for more unified results
- Encryption of keyword data in Google Analytics
- Despite these updates, SEO is far from dead.
It just means that competition is much stronger than before. At the same time, the potential for a high ROI with digital marketing is greater than ever for those who invest in an SEO strategy for their business.
Moving forward, the following are three SEO strategies to implement for your business to thrive in 2014.
1. Create More Focused Content
Content marketing is huge. And also one of the best ways to attract more customers to your business. A solid content marketing strategy means:
- Providing valuable content for your audience
- Creating resources that are relevant and helpful
- Communicating effectively with your market
- Increasing authority and brand recognition
Companies that focus on delivering value will ultimately see a higher return on their efforts. One challenge is creating relevant and engaging content that resonates with your audience. You also need to be wary of getting irrelevant SEO traffic by ensuring your content speaks to your market.
You can do this by creating a persona.
A basic example of a persona for a tech blog reader might be a male in their mid 20’s who is fairly tech savvy and active on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. He has a moderate amount of disposable income to spend on electronics and does not mind spending more for a quality product.
Why is this important?
If your business focuses on photography equipment, your audience will likely not be searching for cheap digital cameras” but rather something more specific such as Canon EOS Rebel T3i resolution”. This person is more concerned about how his images will look and not necessarily on price.
This approach requires thorough market research but this is the exactly the kind of content your business should focus on creating to achieve better results.
2. Invest in Responsive Design
Mobile is huge and is expected to eclipse desktop traffic in 2014 Your website could be costing your business potential customers if it is not optimised for mobile. Google has confirmed in a blog post that websites will experience lower rankings for users on a mobile device.
The solution is to invest in a responsive design for your website.
A website that is responsive is able to dynamically change its appearance based on what device the user is on. This involves creating flexible layouts that automatically switch to accommodate for screen resolution and size. Users will be able to easily view and navigate your pages whether they are on a smartphone or a tablet.
Responsive design is beneficial from an SEO standpoint as it means:
- Better user experience
- Building links to only one website
Design cannot be ignored. Even the best products will fail to convert traffic into customers if the website is difficult to navigate or not properly optimised.
3. Build Quality Links
Moz conducted a comprehensive study on search engine ranking factors and found a strong correlation between links and rankings. The solution might be to simply build links as quickly as possible but doing so could get your site penalised in the search engines.
Building low quality links can have the opposite impact and cause rankings to drop.
Guest blogging is easily one of the most effective ways to build quality links to your pages while increasing brand exposure. When it comes to link building, quality will always trump quantity. Posting on relevant sites will allow you to generate targeted traffic and acquire links that can withstand any algorithm update.
This strategy will be even more important in 2014 as competition online gets more fierce.
Another interesting part about the study from Moz is that social signals were also highly correlated with rankings with Google+ outperforming Facebook and Twitter. A social media strategy is just as important as an SEO strategy.
The constant changes in the SEO industry can feel staggering but fundamentals rarely change. Creating focused content, investing in a responsive design, and building quality links will provide better results for your business and help improve rankings in the search engines.
Which will also equate to more targeted traffic and customers from your website.