When another year comes to an end, we often reflect on what has changed throughout the year and what we've learned. And in the SEO world, we certainly do the same thing.
Every year, Google releases new updates and their algorithm goes through changes. That, in turn, affects the way we conduct our SEO efforts.
With that said, let’s reflect on some of the SEO dos and don’ts we learned in 2014.
1. Keep building those links! After much debate and confusion over the past few years, we've come to the conclusion that link building is an effective method for boosting your site. Although many sites were penalized for their link-building efforts—and rightfully so—quality link-building efforts are still rewarded.
When building links to your site, you need to think about what links make sense and relate to your site rather than just building as many links as you can. Remember, quality over quantity is the Golden Rule for link building.
2. Content marketing is crucial. Throughout the past year, we saw the importance of integrating content marketing into our SEO efforts grow exponentially. If you’re not currently including content marketing in your SEO strategy, you need to add this to your to-do list right away!
1. Authorship is no longer. For years, we’ve been talking about how including authorship markup in our content is important for showing up in search engine results pages, but this all changed in August. We knew Google had been gradually removing authorship-rich content from search engine results pages, but in August, they axed this concept after concluding that doing it wasn’t as useful as they thought .
2. Building content around keyword phrases. You shouldn’t just build your site’s content around a keyword phrase that you're trying to rank. You should build content that answers questions and sparks reader interest.
Research hat your target audience is asking search engines and build compelling content that will intrigue the reader while answering these questions. This will bring visitors to your website and can also help your audience see your site as an authority.
So as 2014 concludes, take time to reflect on the SEO changes we've experienced over the past 12 months and make your New Year’s resolution. Maybe you'll vow to lose the 5 pounds you gained over the holidays or perhaps you'll vow to adjust your SEO strategy to include these dos and exclude these don’ts.
All the best,
Lauren Sheridan is an SEO Consultant at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia-area advertising agency.