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With Google Panda and Penguin updates, (Search Engine Optimisation) SEO has been unpredictable and eventful in 2013 to say the least. With some rankings being lost and others being gained, there is certainly an increased emphasis on quality and ethical SEO practices. Is Google intentionally rocking the bottom to make Adwords the main option or just trying to prevent manipulation of search engines results? The jury is still out on this one but one thing is for certain – SEO is becoming tougher and if you don’t yet have a organic SEO strategy then the sooner you begin, the better. Don’t think than Panda and Penguin are the only updates though. The exact match domain (EMD) changes played a part and lots of little updates have happened since…some that Google doesn’t announce.
Mobile Optimised Sites
If your website isn’t yet mobile friendly then you may be at a disadvantage in 2013 as an increasing number of mobile users will be searching for your products or services using their smartphones. The best solution is a responsive theme for your website. A less expensive option is a separate mobile friendly website but the drawback is that two sites (your standard version and your mobile version) will need to be altered when updates are needed. Connection speeds too so if you still thought that mobile optimisation was a “nice to have” in 2012 then it’s certainly a must in 2013.
Stop The Cowboys
We’re still seeing snake-oil SEO salespeople cropping up who aren’t experienced in providing SEO. You’ll recognise them when they still claim than SEO is a “smoke and mirrors” type of business. It isn’t. Internet Marketing Platinum have always believed in educating their clients about what is required, why it is required and what we’ll do. We don’t keep our clients in the dark. I don’t think we’ll stop all of the cowboy SEO practitioners in 2013 but we do aim to provide a quality and honest SEO service that provides an alternative to the rogues in our industry.
SEO & Digital Marketing
Digital marketing consists of any form of Internet marketing i.e. any type of marketing that is carried out online. SEO is a subset disipline of digital marketing. Internet Marketing Platinum believe in a multi-channel marketing approach, wherever possible, for their clients. It’s important that a SEO consultant is enlisted during the web design process and that SEO is not considered an afterthought. Taking a top-down approach to a company’s web presence will involve considering the business goals. SEO, digital marketing, email marketing, traditional marketing should all be part of the plan from the beginning.
Isn’t it all just semantics?
Schema.org was launched to help search engines extract pertinent data from websites and certain data rank accordingly. Data with semantic meaning such as customer reviews, company address, phone numbers and so on. If your business isn’t using this yet then you should include this in your strategy. It can help in terms of SEO.
You’ve got to be…in the top 3!
This has been happening for a while but haven’t you noticed that more and more Google Local Places search positions and Google Adwords positions are taking up the first page of Google? Also, many of us are aware that it’s important to be above “the fold” – people just don’t seem to like scrolling! It has always been highly desirable to be part of the top 3 in Google for organic search. Number 1 is the target…obviously! This has never been more true than 2013!
So what does the future hold for search?
What we can gather from this is that search is always changing and your online presence should be constantly evolving. Websites that consist of just a few pages don’t generally do particularly well in terms of search so your aim should be to grow your website over time. The objective is to make content on your website link worthy. This part of Google’s ethos has never changed. But is the fair to say that creating content isn’t cheap. By content I am not just referring to articles, how to guides, videos, podcasts and images either. Polls, games, interactive elements of your website, calculators and so on, can gain back links. Making your website a resource that others want to link to isn’t easy and the types of content that I have just mentioned are only necessary for certain types of websites.
You should also do your research and get creative when back linking. You should find quality back linking opportunities and this can be difficult but, hey, aren’t the easy to get back links the types of links that almost anyone can get? And what’s the value in that?
Make the most of your traffic
There is more to having a successful online presence than driving targeted traffic. You must make the most of the traffic to your website and make sure that your website is usable by visitors. Having a great user experience is even more important in 2013 than ever. Traffic is expensive. More efforts is required because competition is required. This isn’t cut and dry but this basic principle must be followed and you should test your website for common exit pages, less than efficient navigation, broken links, slow loading pages and other factors that may cause your website’s visitors to click away and possibly land on a competitor’s site.