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What Have We Learned in 2013? An SEO Perspective on the Past Year

In 2013 Google continued to affirm it is the 800 pound gorilla in the marketing world. Not just in online marketing, but all marketing. Changes the search engine giant makes now send ripples through just about all industries as every company realizes they must compete to have a web presence.

So what did Google do in 2013? Continued updates to Google Panda and Penguin affected the traffic of many sites that had questionable link building and content strategies. The addition of Google Hummingbird further pushed the importance of strong and varied website content because searches are going even deeper into sites to find better keyword-content matches.

These are just a few of the high-profile changes Google announced during the past year. But the more things change in SEO the more they stay the same. The sum of these changes points to a continuing effort by Google to provide a quality web experience for visitors. Google looks to lessen the effect of sites that provide poor or misleading content just to generate traffic while rewarding sites that provide honest quality content.

So what do you do to continue to grow your site’s traffic in the future? Think of your website as a job seeker. After all, you want customers to come to your site and hire you for your goods or services. Your website and your online presence is your portfolio. The better it looks; the better off you will be online.

What Should be Your Focus for 2014?

Quality has been a buzz word for SEOs since the first release of Google Panda in 2011 and that’s not changing in 2014. Creating quality content and quality backlinks is the ticket to success.

Quality Content: Your site is like your resume. You want your resume to be well-written and to show employers that you have the skills and know-how necessary to do the job. Your website isn’t any different. This is where you show your expertise. Create content that shows visitors you know what you’re talking about. You are an expert in the industry. Let everyone know that through your site’s content.

In the current world of the web, you don’t have to be limited to just written content. Add videos, audio, photos, and infographics that tell the world you are the master of your area of expertise.

Link Building: While a good resume can get you noticed by an employer, you may be up against competition that has an equally great resume. So the next thing you must do is make great connections in your field. Go out and meet people and show them what you do. They will later put in a good word on your behalf.

Think of link building in the same way. If your site does a good job of providing informative content about what you do best, then other websites will want to recommend you. They provide links to your site as an endorsement. This will reinforce the notion that you are the expert in this field.

Publication: So you know a lot about your topic, and you’ve shared it with people in your field and those that know you, but you need to show a larger audience. You need to get people to notice. So you write an article on the topic and submit it to a journal or magazine. Or, you contact a news outlet and pitch a story about the topic to get some good public relations.

On the web, you need to find outlets for your content beyond your website. Traditional news websites, magazines, online journals, and blogs provide outlets for your content and a way to show your expertise to a larger audience. This link building approach is called guest posting and it accomplishes two goals: more exposure for you and your website and an endorsement from a site that is connected to your topic. Both help your website rank higher in search engines.

These ideas all seem simple, but the tactics behind them can get anyone in to trouble. WSOA is here to help you navigate these strategies and others as Google continues to make the web a better place.