SEO is always changing. One of the biggest challenges faced by marketers and brands looking to implement SEO strategies is the constantly shifting, dynamic nature of the industry.
Why does SEO change so rapidly? In large part, the search engines themselves are responsible. Google is known to make changes to their search algorithms on literally a daily basis!Additionally, SEO is heavily influenced by general advances in technology and online behavior. Trends like smartphones, tablets, and social media all have major ramifications within the SEO industry.
For anyone attempting to implement an SEO strategy, the difficulty of understanding the modern SEO landscape may seem overwhelming. In an industry with important developments occurring every day, information published only a few years ago can be irrelevant, or even harmful. So what can organization do to stay relevant? Below, we’ve assembled 4 tips that will help you stay ahead of the curve.
1. Understand Link Building and Google Penguin.
In general, the more quality links a website has, the better it will perform in search. From this principle, the link building industry emerged, and became a critical element of SEO. However, in 2014, Google launched an algorithm update (named "Penguin") that seriously changed the link building industry. Unnatural or “spammy” links are guaranteed to cause your website to be penalized in search. Anyone attempting a link building campaign today should be careful to focus only on high quality links from trustworthy and relevant websites.
2. A Social Media Presence and Mobile-Friendly Website Matter.
For years, bloggers and marketers have espoused the importance of social media and mobile to anyone who would listen. Today, this advice is indispensable for anyone attempting serious online marketing. Any organization that hopes to succeed online must have a mobile friendly website, and should establish at least a basic presence and strategy within key social media channels.
3. Focus on Quality Content.
A good exercise for any business is as follows - instead of asking, “how can we get our site to rank #1”, think, “why should our site rank #1.” In other words - if your website really isn’t the best answer for any given query, why should Google make it rank well? By genuinely focusing on content that serves your users and delivers an excellent overall user experience, you can help Google accomplish its goal of searcher satisfaction.
4. Don’t Forget the SEO Essentials.
Although the industry is always changing, some old school SEO best practices still apply. In fact, many of the essentials of on-page SEO have been fairly static for the last few years. Writing unique and keyword rich title tags, having readable meta descriptions, and reasonable use of keywords in body copy are all still important to achieving SEO success. However, sometimes your optimized page title and meta description will appear as you've written them, and sometimes they won't. Instead Google may pull from your introductory paragraph, H1, or H2 tags depending on the intent of the user's query, making it even more important that your content is well formatted, useful and engaging.
Finally, the most effective way to stay ahead of the SEO curve is to invest in ongoing education, both for yourself as well as your team. Managers should encourage and promote continued learning exercises for all digital marketing professionals in order to build truly informed teams. By incorporating modern SEO best practices into strong existing marketing foundations, you’ll be able to build an SEO strategy that drives results through 2014 and beyond.