Why Businesses Need to Rethink SEO
Though not an exact science, SEO provided internet marketers with a somewhat reliable method of optimizing traffic, rankings and conversions. Now, however, in the wake of 2013’s multiple search algorithm changes, experts are scrambling to rethink their game plan and focus on results-driven strategies. As retrieving keyword information becomes more difficult, it has become increasingly obvious that Google’s intent is to reward content-rich websites, not simply keyword-rich websites. Let’s take a look at five SEO tips for marketers in 2014.
Gone are the days when black hat – or even gray hat – SEO tactics received a pass from Google. Now, not only are these tactics discouraged, but they could get your website blacklisted. The focus for SEO in 2014 is on originality. In fact, the changes to Google’s penalties have led to a rapid increase in companies turning the focus back to customers, where it ultimately belongs. Businesses are now focusing on semantic SEO.
Develop a Content Strategy
With the increased importance of content comes the need for businesses to develop a solid content strategy. While infrequent posts may have sufficed in the past, the New Year brings a new opportunity for internet marketers to develop measurable goals, outline strategies and quantify results. According to Content Marketing Institute, less than half of B2B content marketers report having a documented content strategy. In 2014, this number is expected to increase as marketers shift their focus to quality.
Create Quality Content
When it comes to content marketing, quantity no longer reigns. In fact, the focus on quality is so great that many businesses are re-examining their existing content to bring it up to new standards. Content that is too promotional, riddled with errors or unorganized should be re-worked to provide value to the reader. Quality content places the emphasis on solving a common problem. Furthermore, SEO experts will need to focus more on cocitation practices, which place less importance on linking keywords in anchor text and more importance on relevance.
Focus on Creating a Memorable Experience
Many businesses are taking the opportunity to use their content to create a memorable customer experience. With a focus on customer engagement, brands are getting creative and publishing images, video and audio content to provide customers with a unique experience. This attention to detail encourages the creation of brand advocates who further promote brand awareness and generate leads.
In 2014, SEO experts will need to focus more on gaining online reviews. Third-party review websites and search directories are more influential now than ever before. An emphasis on local searches and the cultivation of reviews means businesses will need to spend more time claiming their directory profiles, ensuring contact information is accurate and making an effort to simplify the review process for customers.
Above all else, think of SEO as one important tool in a much larger toolkit. In 2014, businesses will need to change their discussions to include an analysis of what customers really need, want and value. Spending time understanding your audience and creating valuable content that appeals to their needs and provides a solution will help your website stand out from the competition and increase in rank.
Do you have questions about the future of SEO? Are you concerned your website’s SEO strategy is outdated? To learn more about our SEO services, contact 1 Internet Marketing today.
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