ATTENTION! SEO Marketers and Bloggers: It’s Time For an Update!
2014 introduces new advances in search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities. Your online marketing strategy must keep up with the latest innovations and adapt to the recent changes if you are to remain competitive and relevant. Start every SEO strategic plan with these two questions:
1.) How does your content provide value to the end user?
2.) How is the end-user’s experience enhanced?
Over the past three years, mobile devices have had a surge as a main source of information access. From Google algorithm updates to Linkedin activity changes, are you making adjustments to understand how the new system works?
Here is the latest technical breakdown courtesy of Deshea Witcher, examiner.com
Google Algorithm Updates
The titan of search engines has put out a ton of SEO updates, and it begins with their Penguin and Panda algorithms. Google announced in March that it would no longer update Panda. Instead, they released Panda Dance, new monthly updated rolled out over 10-day periods. At the same time, Penguin saw a few updates, primarily focused on links. Following the same trend as their view on content, Google believes links should provide content and value, rather than simply SEO authority.
Voice search algorithms such as Google’s “Hummingbird.”
Hummingbird is an algorithm targeting conversational search terms. This essentially allowed Google to match online content to synonyms in a user’s search terms. A lot of individuals around the SEO world went into a panic about this change, but really, there’s no major change. As long as someone keeps producing worthwhile content, Google’s Hummingbird will connect it to the appropriate audience.
Tips to optimize on Hummingbird:
- • Think in topics, not keywords.
- • Partner with high-quality links.
- • Remove bad links from your site.
- • Hire capable writers and SEO managers.
Released in 2012, Knowledge Graph provides users with a better data structure and more information on the SERP (search engine results page), rather than clicking through into a website. This represents one of Google’s major shifts during the past year: more information in a faster, more concise manner. In 2013, Knowledge Graph expanded, providing information now right below a link, instead of off to the side. This update obviously benefits searchers, as it provides them with data without having to sift through the site itself.
Since the SERP is now a leading factor in SEO, it’s time to start treating it as a serious component. Start by implementing rich snippets and structured data, which both allow you to stand out more in the SERP. Also, make sure to claim your Google+ page, which is a great tool for interacting with audience via social media. (Also recommended: Claim your Google Places for Business page.)
This year began with a bang as Facebook Graph Search hit the online world. This little update delivers personalized results based on social interactions, thus making Facebook communication a vital part of search results. Many believe that the Hummingbird update will further this effect, as it has already been proven that Twitter interactions can increase search results. Take into consideration your Google+ page, as Google can easily integrate this data into their SERP.
Social communications are now a vital part of the SEO world. You must consider them. You must pursue them. You must make your social signals as loud and effective as possible.
Here are three tips for maximizing social signals:
- • Understand your intended audience. There is nothing worse than trying to create social signals and not knowing how to socially interact.
- • Optimize keywords. This one is simple enough and needs no explanation.
- • Analyze the competition. Figure out what is working for them and try to steal a bit of that pie.
Mobile is a booming means of getting online, and knowing the mobile market is crucial for making sales. As of April of 2013, a little more than half of the United States online users are using mobile to access websites. That’s a market share that must be targeted in order for any company to be successful. According to Google, approximately 80% of mobile searches are influenced by speed and convenience, meaning you do not want to keep people waiting. They demand information and they demand it now! Ref: Bing
Most SEO marketers focus solely on Google, but Bing still makes up around a third of the online search market. For this reason, you must seriously consider Bing as a serious opportunity for making sales. Don’t let personal bias get in the way of making money.
Know your competition:
Analyze the competition’s SEO strategy. Check out what’s working for them and then try to emulate that success. What are the differences between Google and Bing’s SERPs? Even the smallest differences can mean the world to these two very different audiences.
SEO is a world in which changes are constantly happening, and staying on top of those changes can be the key to success.