Firstly a very very Happy New Year to all of you!! I hope that 2014 brings you fruitful and amazing leaps forward in all aspects of your lives.
Secondly a few things about SEO in 2014 but before we start all that I’d just like to bring your attention to what happened in 2013. Back on Jan 1st 2013 I wrote a few predictions for SEO in 2013 and what I thought was going to be happening and what would benefit my clients and friends. I made 6 predictions on what would be required:
- Good Quality Content.
- Build Your Brand.
- Good Quality External Articles.
- Build Your Social Media Footprint.
- Use Video, Audio and Images as well as text on your website.
- Become a leader in your Niche.
During the past 12 months there have been some major updates on the search engines, Google especially with the biggest change that they have made to their internal workings for the past 11 years 12 years (2001). There was another major update in 2011 called caffeine which was the last ‘Major’ update but the latest (Hummingbird) has changed the way that search works. That update has put all of the above in the extremely important area of your website efforts for 2014.
Before I make some predictable tips for the next 12 months I just want to point out a few things that are really important for strategy. I, as with every other SEO in the world spend a great deal of my time trying to tell people the difference between good quality traffic and traffic that doesn’t really want to be on your website. (I sense you glazing over, ok here is the skinny) If you want to get traffic to your website you need to have an aim of what you want to achieve once they get there. If your website is selling something then what is your aim? To get them to buy the products you are selling. If you are running a directory then you want to get the visitor to the service they are looking for as soon as possible.
So what is important to your business, ranking for a keyword or phrase that will probably result in traffic but not good quality traffic, plan the goal of what you want your websites to actually do. Preferably before you go into the design process. Plan your website with your developer and designer, then once you have clear goals set out you will get the site you want and the clients will get what they want meaning higher conversion for you and happier customers.
What else happened in 2013? Well the powers that be at Google removed the ability for us all to see what keywords actually send traffic through to your website. Where as before you would get a report to tell you what keywords were sending you traffic now you get the dreaded “Not Provided” which when it comes to it is a royal pain in the ass but is apparently to protect users privacy……….. cough splutter ummmmmm oh well moving on.
So what are the plans for your website for 2014? Are you planning on a big push to bring in more traffic? Are you planning a big push to bring in more customers? Are you planning on increasing your brand awareness? Well if you are planning any of the above then you need to be thinking about how where and why but because Google seem to impose a penalty every opportunity they get, you need to stick to the rules that they set out. Now don’t obsess over these they are literally guides but if they say don’t do something, use common sense don’t do it.
OK My 2014 predictions are I’m afraid going to be a little boring, firstly because they are pretty much the same as the past 3 years and secondly most people who sort of know what they are doing will know all this anyway.
1. Add more website content to your website. Yep you’ve got it content is still King and you need to have new fresh and exciting content as and where possible. If you can’t think of anything to write about check out some of the market leaders in your niche and see what ideas they have then improve, rename and make better, don’t steal or borrow content, it isn’t big and it isn’t clever.
2. Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog Blog…… you get the idea. New content means you need to be thinking about blogging and getting as much information on there as much as possible to answer questions you might be asked about your business. If you look at number one and two in this article it will give you a bit of a kick in the direction of what you need to have on your website.
3. Get your onsite SEO checked out to make sure that you have everything you need in place, if this is too technical for you then make sure you speak to those who know how to do it. Onsite SEO is important to get right now more than ever as you need to make sure that the factors that are desired by the search spiders are all in place.
4. Stop chasing unrealistic goals and start thinking about your business and converting your visitors into loyal fans and customers. Remember someone can love your business and what you do, as well as become your biggest promoter without even thinking about buying from you (the powers of Social Media). By setting realistic targets businesses will get more of the market they are looking for as they bring in a lot more traffic to their websites.
5. Stop procrastinating and get on with it. One of the biggest things I hear all the time is “I know I should do more….” or “I have been meaning to get around to it” Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop hanging around and get on with it. The more you do online the more business you will get from it. Search engines are looking for new content on your website and looking for activity from you and your business, by being proactive you will get the benefits from it.
That is it in a nutshell for 2014 as we see it here at UK Wedding SEO based on the activity from search updates in the past 12, 24 and so on months. Remember if there is anything we can help with you only have to ask we are more than happy to discuss with you how we can help you moving forward.