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Getting Your SEO Campaign Ready for 2014

I’ve been in the SEO world for over 13 years at this point, and in my opinion 2013 was arguably the craziest year in SEO that I have ever seen. In addition to Penguin 2.0 and 2.1, which plenty of websites will be dealing with well into 2014, Google also updated the Webmaster Guidelines significantly, they launched an entirely new algorithm, introduced manual action warnings, made all search secure (meaning “not provided” should hit 100% any day now), added in-depth articles to the search results, and more. SEO tactics that used to work as little as 6 months ago are no longer nearly as effective. Even worse, they could actually be hurting your SEO! The game has definitely changed and that means site owners need to really take it upon themselves to do the best they can with their SEO campaign in 2014.

% Know the new link building rules
Keywords as anchor text are out. Links from press releases have to be the full URL or branded anchor text. Make sure links in guest blogs are Getting Your SEO Campaign Ready for 2014nofollow. Only use trusted and popular social bookmarking sites. Avoid any kind link automation systems. A lot of these “new rules” have existed in some form or another for a few years at this point, but with Google considering adding the Penguin update to the daily algorithm sites can’t afford to bend the rules in any way, shape, or form. Even powerful sites can be undone by a sketchy looking link portfolio. And with partial manual actions Google can attack specific sections of your website that have the worst offending links. While that may be better than a full algorithmic penalty dealing with the reconsideration process is no fun. Make sure your SEO campaign is squeaky clean when it comes to link building in 2014.

% Ramp up your content creation and promotion
The best way to build links in 2014 is to earn them with great content. If you’ve been blogging once a week for 2013 step up your game and jump to two or three times a week. Consider adding video posts, PowerPoint presentations, interviews, infographics, and other forms of content to your SEO campaign in 2014 so you can connect with your target audience in as many ways as possible. As more and more websites jump on the content marketing bandwagon “ok” content isn’t going to stand out as much. You don’t have to be churning out Pulitzer Prize winning blog posts every day but be sure you are creating content that serves the needs of your audience. Focus on helping and educating them and less on promoting your own products and services.

Don’t forget to take full advantage of the author authority that can be had through your Google+ profile. Those rich snippets might not increase rank but they have been shown to drive clicks and visitors.

% Keep your eye on mobile SEO
Back in October Marketing Land talked about the first signs of a mobile SEO penalty. Not every business needs to worry too much about mobile search just yet but B2C websites, especially those that stand to benefit from mobile search the most like restaurants, salons, and other consumer service businesses, need to make sure their website is mobile friendly in 2014. This could mean having a responsive website, or even creating an entirely mobile version of your website. As mobile search continues to grow in 2014 expect to see Google putting a greater and greater priority of mobile usability, design, and SEO.


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