The constant changes to Google’s algorithm over the past few years has kept everyone on their toes regarding SEO best practices. The businesses with the best SEO strategies in place received more web traffic and increased their online presence. So what are the best ways to proceed with SEO in the coming months? First, avoid some of the following SEO mistakes and your business is more likely to achieve your marketing goals in 2014 and beyond.
Focusing on Meta Keyword Tags
Meta keyword tags used to be important for improving rankings in search results pages, but not anymore. While most search engines don’t use meta keyword tags, they do look at meta description tags. Write good meta description tags and they may be used as snippets in search engine results pages. Well-crafted snippets can also improve click-through rates and therefore have an impact on conversions. In the future, avoid meta keyword tags. Instead, focus on creating relevant meta description tags for your most important web pages, and publish quality content that promotes content sharing and supports natural backlinks.
Ignoring Keyword Density
Using relevant keywords throughout your content is still an important part of improving website and content rankings on Google and other search engines. Yes, it’s now more important to use a variety of related words and phrases, but including relevant keywords two or three times will still help search engines evaluate and categorize your content. Write high quality content, but don’t forget that keywords are still an important part of an overall SEO strategy. Just don’t repeat words and phrases too often – especially anchor text keywords – or Google will penalize you. Focus on creating reader-friendly content.
Not Understanding the Importance of Social Media
The relationship between content and social engagement is an increasingly important factor in SEO, and will only get stronger in 2014 and beyond. Useful, engaging, and interesting content is becoming essential for businesses striving to improve their SEO performance. When Google sees content with more social shares, it considers it more valuable. In 2014, aim to include social media share buttons throughout your website and at the end of articles and blog posts. This not only encourages shares, but also builds your social media presence, keeping Google happy. Businesses can no longer afford to ignore Google+ and other major social media platforms. To boost your SEO, concentrate on publishing content on social media sites populated by your target audience.
No Content Variety
With content marketing, many businesses still make the mistake of concentrating too much on text. Varied content, such as photographs, infographics, videos, animations, and slide presentations are going to help boost your website rankings and enhance the user experience. With the increasing domination of sites like Pinterest, SlideShare, and Instagram, visual content is on the rise and will play an even more important role in online marketing in 2014. Remember that it’s still important to include text among the visual content so that search engine spiders can evaluate your content as a whole.
The Panda algorithm was developed to find sites with duplicate web content and penalize them by lowering their search engine rankings. Instead of “spinning” content, focus on creating a varied mix of content to describe your company, products, and services. Copying content from other websites may even result in the removal of your website from search engine results pages. Instead, repurpose content for different segments of your target audience. For example, turn a blog post into a slide presentation for SlideShare.
Publishing Minimal Content
As Google will be rewarding websites that feature more in-depth content, writing short, 300-word blog posts won’t keep Google happy anymore. Anyway, people are seeking out more detailed information nowadays, and businesses are not going to inspire customer loyalty without credible content. While it may be a struggle to consistently write articles that are over 1000 words, at least try to include some in-depth content that Google will notice.
If you want to improve your SEO strategies in 2014 and beyond, start by avoiding these SEO mistakes. These are just a few examples of how not to improve your search engine rankings. If you really want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, it’s important to be aware of the constantly evolving nature of SEO, and realize that there are no shortcuts. For now, high quality content, natural links, and social media are key. It may take time to see the results, but these are the best ways to gain higher search engine rankings and help your business grow.