SEO Tactics that Will Never be Obsolete
Something I always make time for is study. It’s a cliché to say that you learn something new every day, or that “this industry is always changing.” But, like many clichés, there’s some truth to it.
Since it’s a cornerstone of my job as an SEO copywriter, I’m always reviewing updates to the search algorithms of the major search engines — especially Google.
It’s 2015, and the changes that Google implemented throughout 2013-14 are starting to really sink in. I welcome the changes that Google has implemented. They encourage high-quality content, clean layouts and sites viewable across a broad range of different devices.
Think about What Google Wants
To produce effective site rankings, think about Google’s goal. At the most basic level, Google wants to provide their users with the information they want.
The longer it takes for people to find what they’re looking for, the more likely they are to give up, or use a different service.
Google wants to continue its reputation as the best search engine in the world, and to do that they consider one thing above all others: user intent.
As of 2014-15, Google’s search technology crawls websites to find sites that help users find what they need, not sites that just have a bunch of keywords users plugged into the search bar.
Make it Mobile
I didn’t get a smartphone until a long time after they came out. When the iPad was announced, I laughed. It seemed stupid and useless.
Boy, was I wrong.
Over the past few years, I’ve come around to smart-connected devices and the fun, productivity and connectedness they offer. As a shameless digital convert, I love being able to get my favorite sites and services on my smartphone and tablet.
Google now mandates that all your sites be mobile-optimized. In other words, your site must be to view across a wide range of mobile devices. Google works to ensure a site’s relevance and credibility.
Not sure if your site looks good on a three inch screen? Visit Google’s Webmaster support page to make sure that your page is mobile friendly.
You can take a mobile friendly test to see if the pages on your site are already mobile friendly, and check out the “webmasters mobile guide,” a comprehensive resource for creating and improving your mobile friendly site,” to get the basics on optimizing your site’s mobile experience.
Fix the Basics
It sounds like a no-brainer, but do some housecleaning on your site. Make sure that you don’t have any broken links on your site. This can improve the page load times. Endeavor to make your site more engaging by writing (or commissioning) effective, shining copy.
And while you’re at it, make sure that your site has a clean, simple layout. Boil your website down to the essentials, and make it easy for visitors to find where they need to go.
Forget SEO, how many of your prospects are going to hang around if they can’t navigate your website?
Keywords are Still Important
Despite some of the things mentioned in this article, don’t neglect your keywords. You still need them.
Obviously, Google needs some form of text to be able to make sense of what your site offers to users. But having a successful SEO strategy no longer means assembling a handful of keywords and pumping them into content as much as possible.
Moving forward, it’s all about where you place the keywords. Your main keywords belong on the main page; this will be the first site that Google crawls. You need to place your keywords in prominent positions on the site. For example, assemble your keywords and put them in the titles of each one of your pages.
You still need to make sure that you have a solid keyword base, but in 2015 you just need to make sure that that keyword base is correctly placed in your site.
Social Media Cues
Another thing: Google is not only going to be looking at the content in the back links of your content. They’re also going to take into account the social media validation your site gets.
Users who are either commenting on your content, re-tweeting it or sharing it across various social media sites signal to Google that your site is providing high-quality content.
Focus on a small number of social media sites to concentrate your message. For example develop a quality fan base on Facebook and twitter and concentrate on driving engagement on those two sites.
Besides improving your actual rankings on Google, you will have the added benefit of leveraging the impact that social media can have in a more traditional marketing context.
Content that Shines
I’m biased, but working with a professional writer to produce the highest-quality content possible is now more important than ever. Gone are the days when you could pump a bunch of keywords into a post, link it to a few sites and increase your rankings.
Today, you must attract readers with well-constructed copy and content. Content that’s so good, readers want to share it with their friends on social media. Writing that’s good enough for established websites to take notice, and direct people to your curated web-experience.
While a concert they take months to see real ROI from implementing an SEO strategy, it’s not at all unreasonable to expect to start to see things happen within two weeks.
There are great articles out there on SEO in 2015. Check out “6 Changes Your 2015 SEO Strategy Must Focus On,” “5 Stupid SEO Mistakes You’re Making Right Now” and “Are Keywords Relevant to SEO in 2015?” Jason DeMers, the Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, is a particularly great writer on this subject.