Over the years, SEO has constantly evolved as new technologies and consumer habits have reshaped the methods that search engines use to rank different websites. In this article, find out what you can expect from SEO in 2014.
Although the appropriate use of keywords is still an important component of successful SEO, it is no long necessary to ‘stuff’ your content with the same, repetitive phrases. Most business owners have already been aware for quite some time that using keywords excessively can be detrimental to their search rankings. Indeed, the typical density of keywords in relation to article length is generally considerably lower than what it used to be. In fact, some people would even consider ‘pre-planned’ keyword density to be of minimal importance today. That’s because search engines are now placing much more importance on the broader features like the quality of content or its impact on social circles than the technique aspects like keywords or word counts.
Content that is distributed across multiple channels is likely to be well ranked in search engines. That’s because the more your brand name is mentioned across different outlets, the more links will be generated from it. Videos on YouTube, for example, are regularly shared on Facebook, where users can post them to their friends (and whose friends may subsequently share the same media with their friends). This process is what has enabled so many videos to go ‘viral’ in recent years, one excellent example of which would include Susan Boyle’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition in 2009, which received more than 120 million view by the end of the year.
Quality over quantity
Paying for hundreds of poor quality links will no longer translate into revenue. After all, how can Google maintain its monopoly in the market if its search results link to poor quality websites? The most important goal for content strategists today is to produce authoritative, relevant content that has not been written purely from ‘thin air’ but has also been extensively researched. The more facts and figures you include in your content, the more relevant it is to the reader, which tells Google that your website content is more than just useless ‘waffle’.
Don’t underestimate the power of social media
The more you connect with your customers through social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook, the stronger your brand presence. To achieve high search engine rankings, it is important to make sure that your customers are talking about you. Posting advertisements or special offers is a great way to promote your brand to a broader audience, while posting regular Facebook updates or Tweets about topics related to your business or industry will also help you stay in the public eye.
Mobile websites for greater mobility
Because more consumers are purchasing products and services with their smartphones, businesses have to make sure their websites can be easily accessed from these devices. If you do not have a mobile-oriented website, you risk losing sales as your prospective customers will turn to your competitors instead. When people shop for products online, they often have very short attention spans because they know that they should be able to find exactly what they need at the click of a button. Browsing through a website that is not optimised for a smartphone can be somewhat challenging; you will usually have to spend a considerable amount of time zooming in to read text whenever you land on a new page.
Remember – usefulness and quality
Even for the most experienced SEO experts, it can be difficult to accurately predict every new algorithm adjustment that will occur in Google’s next update. However, as long as you continue to produce useful, quality content that engages with your customers through a variety of platforms, you stand the best chance of building and maintaining a strong online presence in the future.
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Daniel Warner enjoys forecasting the future of SEO as it is part of his account managing role at The SEO Essex Co , one of the most honest, affordable and ethical SEO companies in the business.