How to prepare for Google in 2014
Sunday, 1st December 2013
Google has made some really big changes in the past year. What with Pandas, Penguins and the Hummingbird you would be forgiven for being both confused and anxious about the coming year.
Many people have suggested that SEO is dead. And in the traditional sense of Directory Links it is. But it has been for sometime. My own take is that Google has always wanted to reward sites that are the best source of information for a given topic and all Google is doing, is coming down harder on sites that are not as informative as they might be, are spammy or appear to be spam. And that is really all this strange animal stuff is about - rewarding sites that have great things to say, that are demonstrating expertise and proving they are knowledgeable. Again this is SEO mimicking real life - people tend to buy from those they regard as experts.
For years now SEO has taken on a kind of "black art" feel. It is something that someone else does to your website when in fact it should be stripped back to the TLA - Optimising your site for Search Engines (mainly Google)
Here are our tips for 2014:
Content Marketing is key
Make sure that your site has useful, unique content
That it is kept up to date and fresh
That it can be easily shared
That it has Google Author mark-up where required
And is integrated into the fabric of your site and existing content.
Google will judge your site's Responsiveness
With most sites achieving visitor rates of 30% plus from tablets and mobiles Google will reward those that are responsive. You can read Graham’s article about that here
Use more video and images
As Google becomes more competitive to rank in, there are some easier methods to gain a first page listing. And as with most methods that are good for rankings, they are great news for your customers too.
Create Inspiration or Image Galleries: make sure your images are as unique as possible, give them proper names, ALT tags, TITLE tags, SCHEMA mark-up and abstract copy on the page next to the image.
Create Video Galleries: You can now create short (30 second) videos of products or services with your smart phone. Give it the right title, tags and upload it to You Tube. Then all you need is a strong call to action within correct annotations in your video edit to improve engagement.
Maybe we all need to think up a new name for SEO. Digital Marketing makes sense to me - thats what it should have been called from the start. Maybe SEO will come of age in 2014.