Just like the old saying goes, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. This phrase translates into the world of SEO. If creating a couple of keywords and a basic algorithm were all that were required to optimize one’s presence, then an internet marketers jobs would be cake. But as anyone in the industry will tell you, things just aren’t that simple. The second you think you have a search engine figured out, is inevitably the same second they roll out a new set of rules or a new formula of algorithms to send you scrambling back to the drawing board. So, what can you do to combat the ever changing internet world? The only answer, of course, is to keep up with the changes as they happen to ensure that you aren’t being left behind. We explore some of the biggest trends in SEO this year and how you can keep up with the changes.
Pandas and Penguins
The biggest and most important changes were Google’s algorithm updates – Penguin and Panda. Penguin and Panda updates have been of major importance since they came into existence, and have had an effect on how business must be done. With their sophisticated nature, inbound marketing rules have changed. The first step to combat these changes is to make sure you are aware of what is going on with your site. If you don’t know how it is being affected, you can’t figure out how to change it. There are some tools you can use to see how those updates affected your site – Panguin by Barricuda Digital and Fruition’s Google Penalty Checker. Both tools are presented in chart form, the first, Panguin, allows you to log into Google Auth and see your website analytics on a timeline with updates that have been made. The theory is that with this chart you can see, based on the time frame, how each change may have affected your site. The penalty checker from Fruition takes it to another level; while it works similarly to Panguin, it takes your analytics and compares it not only with updates, but a myriad of other pieces of information and determines whether you were impacted and whether the impact was positive or negative. Therefore, you can use this information to see what is working and strategically plan for the future.
Another important change in the world of SEO has been the rising need for social media. With the 2013 Penguin update, social media became ever more important for optimization, since they look for signals through social media for link brand mentions and content sharing. The first thing they look for is engagement. Proving that your company has likes, shares and retweets proves that you have new and interesting content. The next thing it looks for is mentions. The more people are talking about you, the more powerful your presence becomes. The other things that are imperative in social media presence are links and backlinks. With regard to links it is now easier to keep original content attributed to you. With tools like rel=”author” Google has the ability to track your linked content and attribute it back to you. With regard to backlinks, it is important that they happen naturally. This can include reblogging or sharing content through sites like Pinterest.
The next big trend this year has been integrating mobile media into your overall formula. Mobile use of the internet is expected to increase at a rate of 1.5 times it is now over the next year and it could possibly increase that rate in the future www.slideshare.net/kleinerperkins/kpcb-internet-trends-2013. So, having an internet presence that is conducive to mobile users is imperative. Along with quick growth, mobile use has shown to bring more action. According to www.seoinfographic.org, 90% of mobile searches lead to some action, and about half of mobile purchases lead to a purchase. This means creating a separate site that that will be solely for mobile users. Building a mobile site is tricky in that you must be able to have necessary content without making it too hard to use. Creating a clickable tool bar to navigate is key for a mobile site. But you also must make sure that you don’t alter the content in the site, inconsistencies in content can be upsetting to users who are visiting your mobile site to acquire info from your main site.
Content, Content, Content
The last big trend of the year that rounds out the whole everything is the change in content required for your site. There are two trends in content that we’ll look at. First, you must focus on the length and quality of the content. Gone are the days of junky content on a site. Now they have the ability to weed out sites with grammatical errors, misspellings and bad links. According to www.brafton.com, content creation is seen as effective amongst 92% of marketers. According to the same article, the number of keywords searched for has risen almost 150% since the first Panda update. So, it is essential at having length and quality in your content. Next, you must focus on freshness of content. With the updates, they track based on three things which include; current trending topics, recurring famous events (this is things like the Superbowl), and how recently content has been added. If you aren’t constantly adding content, you are at risk of being overlooked.
But since the world of SEO is oh so ever-changing, all of these changes are probably being updated and reformulated as a hit the strokes on my keyboard.
Anca is a geek at heart and enjoys all-things SEO and Social Media. Her experience includes several years of making major contributions to a wide variety of projects, such as Pay-Per-Click ad management, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Management and Campaigns as well as other web strategies that are crucial in today’s online business sphere.
Anca Bradley’s interests are family, music, biking, technology, and of course the internet.
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Image Credit: seo.