Google continues to be a major traffic source for 1000’s business as Google becomes more integral in our lives Google wants to look to new, better and more current ways of bringing the most relevant content to the search results.
As we know traffic = money, targeted traffic = more money, when someone searches a specific keyword we want to be at the top page of the Google search. Google continues to grow at humongous rates, users still favor organic search (non paid search results) over paid ones, and the thing is once you stop paying for search results or paid traffic it is gone, however with SEO it’s there as long as you keep being consistent.
If you have been following SEO (Search engine optimization) over the past few years you would know that Google makes changes year on year in the way that it ranks websites, 2013 is no different:
What is it all about?
Google in 2013 is about making your website a better user experience making it user and social friendly assuming Google as a “human” not worrying about masses and masses of back-links to your website. Quality backlinks are still important a variety of backlinks from websites that are related to yours authoritative websites, but only as part of a wider strategy are they beneficial. Google relied on back-links as a way for ranking websites which ultimately lead to abuse and automated tools. Google phased back-links out in 2011 and 2012 with its Penguin and Panda updates.
Building a brand
You will notice on occasion when you search in Google the top page results show Google+ stats and pictures from authors, this is part of how Google now looks at your “brand” your social following. If people start to click your site over a higher ranked authoritative website you will naturally take their place, this is your selling point right here, we don’t have much to play with other than catchy titles, enticing descriptions and author snippets so do it right! You can get everything you need to optimise your pages/blog posts for systems such as WordPress.
Google is now more focused on social media, Google looks at who you communicate with on social media websites, it looks at whether your website is registered to companies house, getting your activities mentioned in recognised news outlets such as the BBC, the Times etc..
Content is king.. User experience is Ace…
You need to produce consistent, valuable and unique content, even if your website is not blog focused simply having a blog that you can tend to from time to time can do your website wonders, remember to encourage shares, think about social polls using sites such as Quipol, write controversial titles that get people talking. Google now looks at “brands”, how strong is your websites brand, how strong is the brand on social media websites, how trustworthy is the brand, how unique is the brand?
If you are just starting out focus on longer keywords rather than shorter ones, so for example “Iphone 5 review” bit of a hard one that, go for “Iphone 5 review 2013” or “Iphone 5 games review”, as examples, start by dominating the easier keywords and build your way up from there. You could always try using Google’s keyword suggestion tool.
- Focus on building your websites brand, I don’t mean just having a recognisable logo and consistent style, I mean building unique, consistent content, try to use videos, Info-graphics, SEO optimised images (tag your images with keywords), social polls. Make everything you produce unique to you, assume Google is a human, maybe Google can’t read images or videos well but they sure do like them! Remember Google bots job is to index new content for Google’s search engine, it does this day in day out 24/7 367 days a year, when Google bot comes across something boring or “samey” it wont reward that page, Google wants consistent fresh content that it would be proud to place at the top of its search results.
- Still optimise your websites keywords, your article keywords but do not “over optimise”.
- Be mobile friendly – More and more people are using their mobile phones to make searches on Google so it makes sense to be mobile friendly, if you use WordPress and other similar software you can get plugins that make “mobile friendly” versions of your website in seconds.
- Build a social following, develop relationships with authoritative people in your niche, share their content and hope that they share yours in return.
- Include an “Author Snippet” in your articles – As I was mentioning earlier Google now includes author snippets in search results, this is an important ranking factor – you can get plugins for CMS’s to help you optimise these for example WordPress – http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-seo-author-snippets/
- Improve your site performance – Google is increasingly looking at site loading times, and user friendliness.
- Develop relationships with journalists – Make yourself known, earn mentions in news outlets this develops trust and shows that your website/content is newsworthy in the eyes of authority publications. Follow journalists on Twitter share their content, get a free trial of journalist database here – http://www.prmax.co.uk
- Assume Google is not an idiot – Google has a long memory, Google is not stupid and they will eventually come round and bite you on the bum if you try to fool them, as we saw with lots of webmasters and web entrepreneurs in 2012 with the Panda and Penguin updates.
- Try to develop slow and natural links – As more bloggers, journalists, people on forums discover your content it is more natural for them to share links to your website and your articles if they find it relevant/beneficial/interesting.
- Try to develop a range of relative and natural links – For example links from forums in your niche, links from blogs, guest blogging
- Guest blogging is still relevant – Guest blogging is a great way to build authority around you and your brand it is a good way to develop relationships with other people in your market, get good content or get recognised if you write for other sites in your niche. Can be a good way of getting trusted followers on social media sites.
- Always try to encourage social shares/likes/tweets and comments – If you have a CMS like WordPress you could install a Facebook comment plugin for example. Make it known, don’t hide the buttons make sure that people can see them and are incentivised to share, give them a reason to share your content.
- Use Linkedin – Having your employees/writers acknowledge your site on their LinkedIn profile as a place they work can help develop a greater authority for Google ranking
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