New year, new search engine strategies. But it’s such a huge topic–when you want to revamp your search engine optimization methods, where do you start? What worked a few years ago, that might not work right now? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with four SEO strategies to focus on in 2015:
The strategy: Own, don’t rent
Why: The last few years, it’s becoming popular to focus on driving traffic to your site via social media platforms and PPC advertising. Which can work…but the problem is that you don’t own the content that you post on social media. By which I mean, you’re relying on someone else’s web property to drive traffic back to your site. When Facebook makes a major algorithm change, or PPC rates go up, it can tank your entire marketing strategy.
The effect on your content marketing: Instead of focusing disproportionately on social media, put more focus on creating content that lives on your website, and on creating (and growing, and interacting with) an email list. Email isn’t going away anytime soon and it’s not subject to the whims of companies near as much as social media is.
The strategy: Optimize for mobile
Why: Starting in 2013, Google’s algorithm changed to penalize sites that provide a bad mobile experience. Late last year, they started testing a new change that would give sites with a great mobile experience a boost in search rankings. And given that the majority of digital media consumption is now happening inside mobile apps, what better time to fix this and potentially boost your search rankings?
The effect on your content marketing: No effect on your actual content marketing; just make sure that your website is optimized for mobile and shows up as such in Google’s search results. Be sure to check across tablets, phones, mobile operating systems, and browser apps (this article breaks down a few of the popular choices–start with the native iOS and Android apps, Chrome apps, and Opera).
The strategy: Quality vs. quantity
Why: As content marketing has grown and become a must-do for businesses, some companies responded by churning out multiple shorter articles a week. At one point, this may have worked, but as Google’s algorithm gets smarter, publishing 300-500 word “me too” articles 3-4 times a week isn’t going to cut it anymore.
The effect on your content marketing: Start changing your content marketing to focus on creating longer (800 or even 1,000+ words) articles that will still be relevant for several months (or years)–even if that means publishing less. For more on quality vs. quantity and how to create evergreen content that search engines love, check out our article on how Panda should have changed your content marketing.
The strategy: Get content, social, and search to work together
Why: Depending on the size of your company, you might have different departments (or people) working on content marketing, social media, and SEO without much communication between those departments. This is a mistake–oftentimes the questions people are asking on social media are the same things they’re searching for, which can in turn, influence your content marketing.
The effect on your content marketing: Make sure that your teams are meeting at least monthly to discuss trends that they’re seeing and how those trends can be used to affect the marketing strategies. SEO isn’t something that should only be thought of after the content is created–keyword research and search engine trends can be used to inspire content (which, after it’s published, should do well in search engines!).
You can work on all of these at the same time, or pick one to focus on right now. Our vote? Start with making sure your current site is mobile optimized. That share of the market is only going to keep growing, so knock it out first and gain whatever boost in rankings you can, then move on to the other strategies. Good luck!