What is important for SEO in 2014? This article for SEO Tips will help you understand what to focus on this year and beyond. Well thankfully SEO has changed over the years to make it a bit more challenging to game the system. It is becoming tougher to just buy your way into rankings so outsourcing your SEO is still possible but there are still many things that are in the hands of the webmaster. That said this post is meant to simplify what is important for SEO in 2014 and to give you a checklist of things you should be doing.
SEO these days really comes down to 2 things, on page SEO and off page SEO. Sounds simple right? Well for the most part it is and should be. Basically on page SEO are all the things you should adjust and fix on your site that affects your rankings while off page SEO is commonly referred to link building but it can also be more than that.
ON Page SEO for 2014
- Page Titles & Descriptions
- Rich Snippets
- Mobile & Responsive Design
- Conversion Rate Optimization
- Local SEO
1. Page Titles & Descriptions
Although Google is changing what they think should be displayed in your page titles, you should still have this properly organized for every page.
For Page Titles: Try to keep your page titles accurate and descriptive of that page and it helps to make it read natural so it isn’t stuffed with keywords. Try to keep page titles under 70 characters, too long and anything over can get cut off.
For Descriptions: Try to do the same as page titles other than keep them 155 characters or less. Don’t also make this too short and try to make them at least 120 characters.
SEO Tip for Page Titles & Descriptions: Every page should have it’s own custom page title and description. The most common mistake webmasters make is they don’t bother filling this out or they automate it and copy it for many pages. Page titles like “Home” are just not good enough and doesn’t explain what your website is about. Last tip is check google results to see what your competition are using for their page titles and descriptions.
This is another area where most webmasters fail to generate more traffic and more rankings. Just go through your pages and ask yourself, is this worth reading, sharing or watching? Can I make my content better? Can I create more content? The answer to these questions is almost always yes so if you want to beat your competition then you have to get moving!
People keep thinking there is a magical number of words to do for a page or blog post. Well at least if the page is too short then that can cause a problem. If your content is 200 words or less then this is a big problem and you need to expand your content. The more content the better as long as the content is of high quality! So if you want one general rule to go by, is your page at least 500 words? If it isn’t then your page might be too thin on content and that can actually hurt your rankings.
One thing many webmasters don’t do as well is dress up their content. You can make your content easier to read and scan by making use of bold, underline, adding images and of course videos too.
SEO Tip for Content & Content Marketing: If you could add a video for every page, you will have done more than your competition would ever consider doing unless they are smart and hard working. Also look at your content inventory and ask yourself how can you create more content whether videos or articles. If there is more that can be done then do it. More content equals more pages for Google to index!
3. Rich Snippets
You have to do rich snippets if you want your sites to stand out more in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Rich snippets have already been shown to increase click through rates and this alone can help for more traffic. You probably have seen results with rich snippets and probably a few of your top competitors may have already implemented rich snippets. You can include many items in rich snippets such as video thumbnails, authors, product images, 5 star ratings, etc…
SEO Tip for Rich Snippets: Use the Google+ profile as the author of your content. You can add a single line of code to your site if you have a Google+ account.
<a href=”https://plus.google.com/+JohnWrightseo” rel=”author”>John Wright</a>
If you put this on the footer or on every page in anyway, this will show up with your name, picture and google+ profile link for every page you have.
4. Mobile & Responsive Design
If your traffic is 10% mobile or higher then you need to get your site optimized for mobile users and usually this means responsive design. If you don’t change this at some point you won’t be getting as much mobile traffic especially from search engines like Google.
SEO Tip for Mobile & Responsive Design: If you are doing custom designs for mobile, be sure to remove items that are not relevant to mobile users otherwise find ways of blocking down your content so the content is at the front and the navigation is simple. One last tip, try avoiding softwares that automate your mobile optimization by creating a separate section of the site.
5. Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion is important because it affects your bounce rate. Now if that sentence didn’t make any sense at all then this is what you need to understand. If users are coming to your homepage or certain parts of your site, ask yourself this, is there a reason for the user to stay or click on another part of your site? Do your articles end with nothing for the user to do next? If you don’t have a good navigation and suggested layout for them, you could be losing traffic.
SEO Tip for Conversion Rate Optimization: Go through all relevant pages and ask yourself is there anything you can do to improve the content, make it easier to read, maybe add a video to keep the user’s attention on the site longer or more importantly, help them navigate to the next page that might be of interest to them? You can look at your stats to see what your bounce rate is or you can just be proactive and try to make your site better for the user.
6. Local SEO
Depending on your business, local SEO might be important to you and if it is then you have some extra work to do to catch up. There are many sites to submit your business to local directories so this will take a bit of research to find.
SEO Tip for Local SEO: First, ensure your site is submitted to as many local directories as you know especially the big ones like Google Places, Yelp, etc… Make sure you control your business presence on sites/services like Foursquare, google places, trip advisor where people can find your business and discuss you. On your website be sure to list your business address and if you don’t have a specific address but you are targeting a city, put the city and country in there. One last tip is to see what directories your competition are using and what sites are ranking. You would be surprised at what can come up in results. Doing a search for ‘Montreal tattoo’ reveals some of the following listings: Tumblr, nightlife.ca, facebook [1st page], yelp, facebook, yellowpages [2nd page]. For a search of ‘Toronto SEO’ yields 3 LinkedIn profiles on the first page, kijiji [2nd page], facebook, twitter, indeed.com [3rd page]. One last tip on local SEO is try to match the hosting with your target audience. Most hosts like Godaddy are hosted in the United States so if you have a business that is in a city, try to get a host in that city or as close to it. If you are targeting a country then again, try to ensure your host is in that country.
Off Page SEO for 2014Content & Social Media
- Content & Social Media
- Link Building
Off Page SEO relates to everything that happens outside of your website which we can summarize as link building and other websites.
1. Content & Social Media
So you thought Content was already covered previously, well on your site yes but you can also produce and submit content to other sites especially social media. If you want to create content on other sites you can create your own blogspot or create and upload videos to youtube. Any content you create on other social media sites have a chance to generate traffic from their own networks and also give your site a link in the process.
SEO Tip for Content & Social Media: Every social media tool is a tool to link back to your site, make sure all profiles have the link back so people can find you on your site. Also when it comes to attracting more followers using facebook on your website, use the like or follow button for your users instead of linking directly to facebook, this will keep them on your page and won’t lose them to facebook where they could forget about your site and get distracted.
2. Link Building
You need quality links to your site so avoid those SEO companies that promise rankings and will only ruin your site by creating bad links. Quality links can take some time to get.
SEO Tip for Link Building: Try to focus on getting links that will send you traffic and leads to your site. There are some strong links out there that won’t represent traffic but if you just focus on links that will send traffic then this can help your rankings and of course you want more traffic to begin with. If you need help finding out the links of your competition, contact us and this is one of our services offered!
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