The rules of the game change, but there is one rule that remains the same – the pursuit of quality content, this is still held high as the goal of all websites. How we determine quality is subjective, but as we move into 2015, here are a few quick tips on optimizing your site for search engines.
1. Think Mobile SEO
2014 was the year that mobile traffic took over from desktop traffic. And since Google has said that responsive websites offers users the best experience it makes sense to convert your site to a responsive design. In fact, Google also notifies users which sites are mobile friendly in mobile search results and it’s not just Google that champions responsive sites, Bing has recently stated a preference for single responsive URLs.
2. Will Google Rule the Search Engine Kingdom?
Well, yes, most likely, it will, but other search engines are gaining the browser share. Bing is on the rise and is trying to take Google’s spot with Safari; Yahoo is now the default browser for Firefox…and there’s also DuckDuckGo – but telling your kids to DuckDuckGo how to do fractions just doesn’t have the same ring – so it seems that Google will remain king search engine for whom we shall optimize all online verbiage.
3. Links Will Be Earned – Not Built!
Inbound links from reputable and relevant sources will still considered a sign of trust and authority. Building links by posting on irrelevant blogs are over, it’s always best to invest in quality and earning one link from a reputable site is worth 100 links that are easy to obtain.
Inbound links are a sign of confidence and authority, they include SEO benefits, draw targeted referral traffic, leads, sales and helps expose your brand on trusted sites.
4. Target Precise Keywords & Phrases
As search volume increases, the claim on keywords has grown to pandemic proportions. By targeting precise keyword phrases your site will have a better chance of ranking highly with your market.
Long tail search queries target qualified traffic and they have less competition. Who are your visitors and what are they looking for?
There are three basic categories: informational, navigational and transactional.
For people looking for information create educational content with informative and educational links. Longtail phrases should include words that indicate a source of information, learn, tips, improve etc.
Navigational queries are looking for a specific service or product that is specific in search terms and should include the brand name or product name or service title. Dr. Martin boots, Vancouver Mercedes mechanics etc.
Transactional queries have a high commercial intent; optimization for transactional queries should include words that motivate buyers, deals, discounts, sale etc.
5. Optimize Social
Social media is important as a marketing channel on its own, but your social platforms also help boost your presence and therefore, your search engine rankings. Search engine algorithms take account of social signals; popular content of a post on social media will be noticed and used to compute relevance and subsequently, page rank.
6. Optimize Local
Google already delivers content based on location and search history, so why not tap into algorithm magic and optimize for local search. Not only will this help build a trusted reputation, but it will increase your authority with Google who are now looking for local connections to your site. Building links locally is a lot easier than trying to link with sites that have never heard of you.
7. Take Time to Optimize Title Tags
Title tags are still relevant. A good title tag can encourage a user to click your link even though it ranks lower in search results. Make it useful to your reader, keywords should be used of course, but make them relevant. Think about writing a newspaper headline for a niche market. 110 characters minimum, but stay within the 150-character limit to avoid your title tag being cut short.
8. Get on Google+
Google + continues to grow and the benefit to joining Googles social platform is obvious, your presence will be easier to find, and the Google+ platform is super easy to work with, post to and share. If you didn’t jump on the Google+ bandwagon in 2014, make it one of your New Year’s resolutions.
9. Content is still King
The best way to gain authority online is by producing quality content that will attract the attention of the more recognized sites. To earn credibility, you need to be – well – credible! Google will look for certain “signals” that indicate quality. Some of these signals will be based on user interaction, good comments and interaction on blogs, page design differences, the bounce rate, social shares and even the date on the page helps measure quality.