All posts tagged seo

You know what will be the biggest SEO trend in 2014?

Integrity.

At this point, it’s unavoidable. If you want your site to rank well, you’ll need integrity.

Recent changes to Google’s algorithm like Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird have put a premium on providing useful content to users in honest ways. You can no longer sneak a useless site to the top of the SERPs with keyword stuffing and link schemes. Gone are the days of black-hat SEO, and it’s about time.

Remember how obnoxious it was to see a site rank higher than yours because someone used black-hat techniques? Ever get annoyed when someone disparaged the SEO industry as a whole because of a few bad apples? Thanks to the recent algorithm changes, there are new restrictions to prevent shady tactics.

Some view the restrictions negatively. The many changes have made some of the easy (black-hat) techniques not only ineffectual but damaging to SERP rankings. But there’s a positive way to look at it. With shady tactics now proving harmful to search rankings, there is no reason to spend your time and energy employing them. And having that extra time and energy is good, because ranking higher in SERPs now requires more work and thoughtfulness than ever before.

As search engines get better at delivering what customers want, websites will have to get better at providing the valuable content that gets delivered. This means you can’t get away with keyword stuffing or link schemes to artificially boost your site’s rankings. Now that cheap tricks won’t help rankings, the true cream will rise to the top. And if you want to be at the top, you need to provide valuable content that customers want. It’s that simple.

There are no more tricks, and for that we should be grateful. With such frivolous distractions eliminated by Google’s updates, we can now focus on the hard work of providing quality content to our customers.

Having reflected on and reacted to the major industry updates of the past years, let’s look forward to 2014: when hard work and integrity will yield superior results.

Voice search is changing the way that people search on the internet, and thus changing the game for SEO. Before technologies like Siri and voice command, people would search by entering specific keywords or keyword phrases into a search engine. Now, because of voice search, there is a shift from queries focused on precise keywords to a more relaxed and conversational language.

For example, if you are searching for a hair salon via voice command you might say “Where can I find a good hair salon?

Content is king right now. While there is still something to be said for link building (only the strong survive), expanding the content to your website, and making sure that content is worthwhile, is the way to go. In truth, your SEO efforts should have a blend of various strategies. Everything in moderation. But no doubt that adding great content that your users will care about on regular basis will only benefit your website’s value.

The DO’s in creating excellent content

Start building up your website –

  • Go through all of the content on your website and make sure that it lines up with the goals and purpose of why you created your website
  • Create a blog! This is very important in order to receive more backlinks, more indexed pages and in the end more traffic. Make sure to update your blog frequently.
  • Create a team or assign someone to keep the blog up-to-date. Have this team look over not only your blog but all of the content on your website
  • Use different content models such as comics, newsletters, infographics, webinar, open discussions, podcasts throughout your website
  • Include social media buttons at the end of your articles to make it easier for your readers to repost your content. Use only your 3 main social media platforms as buttons; having any more can be overwhelming to the reader.
  • Check your meta description tags and make sure they are compelling for people that are clicking through the SERPs

The DONT’s in creating content

  • Do not post repeated, meaningless, duplicate and boring content. Readers will not be interested and your articles will not be shared.
  • Make sure that your content relates to the overall purpose of your website

Create content that stands out                

  • Have a clear purpose in mind when writing content – Ask yourself: who is your audience, what are they looking for by reading your content, how can you assist your audience, and what your business is looking to get out of the content that you are writing
  • Create a strategy for the content that you display. Define the general theme or direction that you want your content to go in.
  • Decide how you wish to create, distribute, and maintain your content over time.
  • Create a performance metric to measure the success of your content marketing

Main nuggets of wisdom –

  • The main goals in content marketing is to build trust with your audience and create a lasting following with them
  • Think of your audience
  • Educate and help your readers with your content

 

Gears have shifted within the last year, and the name of the SEO game is content. What are all of the ways we can generate useful or interesting content for potential customers, followers, friends, etc. Today in our Effective SEO update, we talk about Pinterest. Specifically, we talk about the value of adding video to your Pinterest board and how creating a diverse and engaging board can lead to more interactions with the people following you.

Many people that use Pinterest don’t even know that they can pin videos to their boards and believe it or not videos can be one of the most effective way to get other Pinterest users to see and share your content. Most of the people that browse on Pinterest do so while doing other things. Social media users are generally considered passive users for that reason, and it takes a lot to keep their attention. Videos are an excellent way to do this. By creating video pinboards, you’re more likely to hold a user’s attention for more than just a minute or two. Once a user likes your content and spends more than a few minutes with it, they’ll be more likely to click through to your site or share your content with other like-minded individuals.

Pinning Videos to Existing Boards

If you’re already using Pinterest and have created boards that you add to on a regular basis, consider adding a video the next time you want to add content to a board. Videos can attract people that already have an interest in your content or a specific board to come back and look at your content again. In some cases, you may find that people who have already commented on your boards or shared them will do so again if you add video content.

Picking Video Content to Pin to Existing Boards

While the video content you add doesn’t have to be yours, it should of course be related to the board that you’re pinning it on however, the video content you add to an existing pinboard really doesn’t have to have a ton of value. That means that if you have a pinboard about “How to take care of Dachshund’s

Business owners keeping track of their website rankings in Google this year no doubt noticed some changes. For one, the Penguin update in April targeted websites considered spammy. Subsequent updates to Penguin and Panda targeted duplicate content, keyword stuffing, and links from untrusted or non-valuable sources.

While it’s become easy to blame the search engine for drops in rankings and traffic, it’s a good time for site owners to evaluate their on-page content and the off-page work they’ve done. Since the hits just keep on coming, here are a few tips on how to keep your site in tip-top shape against the march of algorithm updates.

Duplicate Content

Sites with duplicate content took a big hit this year. Even if you’ve combed your site making sure no two sentences are the same, there is still a chance that you’re being hit for duplicate content. One of our clients is meticulous about content and posts a few times a week. This much original content usually helps a website, but their site was heading the other direction in the rankings. After going through the clients Webmaster Tools, we found that the issue was in the blog. While the content was original to their site, some of the paragraphs were being taken from other areas of the web, which confuses search engines as to which content is the real source.  The solution was adding rel canonicals to the pages of the blog to alert the search engines to the source of the content. Since we were dealing with a WordPress site, there is a handy plugin called “Canonical Urls”, free to download, that we installed to fix the issue. Duplicate content is a target for these recent updates, so start with Webmaster Tools and see if your site is at risk for a hit, and take care of it before you get nailed.

Link Sources

A big part of traditional link building over the last few years has been finding the balance between strategic keywords and  the official business name in anchor text in links across the web. These updates have made this balance even more delicate. In fact, an excess of links with keyword anchor texts can actually harm the site now. Sites that have taken a hit are sites that have a ton of links pointed to their homepage exclusively, with link anchor texts containing the keywords they were trying to rank for. So if this was your strategy before, hopefully you’ve already adjusted it. It’s a better practice to have anchor texts read the business name, and as a rule, have links pointing to other pages of the site. Your website will benefit from stronger inner pages.

Of course, the Google algorithm is constantly changing. The SERP looks completely different today from how it looked a year ago. You can learn about each of these changes here. Evolving Interactive does our best to stay ahead of each change by following best SEO practices, which makes these changes less jarring when they happen. If your site needs an SEO makeover, contact an analyst today at 312-454-4550. And stay tuned for more news from the Evolving Interactive blog.

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