With the new year right around the corner and the recent Google search engine updates, it’s time to review and revise your SEO strategies for 2015. In the past, when Google has made significant updates to their search engine algorithms, many companies lost organic page ranks. It was frustrating and somewhat defeating to have to start over.
Penguin 3.0 – October 2014
Luckily, October’s Penguin 3.0 update did not wreak havoc with more than 1 percent of search queries, so most sites were safe. But the question remains, how do you continue to safeguard your SEO efforts from upcoming updates? Provided you are not among the group of scammers and spammers, there are definitely strategies that will help keep you and your business safe during the upcoming year.
We’ve put together the top 10 steps you can take now to ensure your website’s positive results continue to grow.
10 SEO Marketing Strategies That Will Move the Needle
If you can use even some of these strategies, you will be ahead of the game. Use all ten and you’ll be on your way to stabilizing your position. Of course, increasing conversions is another story.
1. Site Tagline, Keywords, and Tags
The use of keywords is diminishing from the standpoint of building a campaign. However, determining which words describe your niche and placing them in your website’s copy is crucial. This is how Google understands what your website is all about.
2. Page Load Speed
If your home page does not open in less than 10 seconds, you have lost your visitor. Statistically, faster is better. There are several ways to increase the speed of your site, such as reducing the amount of plugins, optimizing on-site photos, using caching programs, and more.
3. Bounce Rate Reduction
If your Google Analytics data is indicating a bounce rate of higher than 75 percent, then you know that visitors are not finding what they thought your site was about. You will want to conduct searches on the words you are using to describe your site. When you search those words, what types of businesses are coming up? If it is not the audience you seek, get busy checking other search terms until you find where potential purchasers are searching.
4. Use Customer-Speak, Not Google-Speak
It seems many businesses use tactics that are intended to increase page rank. We can assure you, the best way to increase visibility is to develop a following and an audience, not market to Google.
5. Placement of Ads
If your site contains ads, they need to be properly placed throughout your content. We recommend that you don’t use more than three ad spaces per page. When used to increase engagement, ads can be effective. If used to deceive the audience into clicking, you are using a very short-term, ineffective strategy.
6. Link-Building is Dead
Don’t waste time on mass directory submissions, social media content wheels, and article distribution sites. Google’s 2013 Panda update is on the look-out for all three.
7. Build Your Brand
Spend your time and money building your audience by fine-tuning and promoting your brand’s unique selling proposition. Tell the world what makes your business different and why they should connect with you.
8. Strengthen Your Local Presence
Even if you’re not a local, brick and mortar business, having a local presence is like having an anchor on a ship. To that end, make sure your site is properly cited on the local networks of the major search engines, such as Google Plus, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, and FourSquare.
9. Mobile Devices
Mobile internet use continues to increase. If you have not expanded your focus, then now is the time. A large percentage of your business is likely to come from mobile devices.
10. Sponsorships, Charity, and Expert Advice
Participate in charity and sponsorships to help and also to “earn” backlinks in return. Such links in your community add credibility and show your business is “connected”.
The bottom line is that the updates Google makes are intended to penalize spammers and tricksters. They were never intended to reduce the effectiveness of smart and above-board marketers. Keep your momentum going by working with Google instead of trying to outsmart their next step.