You may be wondering if SEO is still worth doing these days since there have been many changes in the last couple of years. Your websites may have lost their rankings due to the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates resulting in lost sales. SEO strategies that worked well for you in the past may no longer generate effective results.
For example I submitted content to article directories for many years to share with a larger audience and to build back links to my websites. This often resulted in gaining high rankings in the search engines and generating lots of free traffic. After the Panda and Penguin updates my traffic dropped by 50%. This can primarily be attributed to getting too many back links from article directories using the same anchor text.
Recently one of the most popular article directories on the net… Ideamarketers, closed down because the owner no longer believed this business model was effective strategy for generating income.
So what are the new strategies for effective SEO?
1. Focus on user experience
Instead of writing content just for the search engines, create content that offers great value to your readers. For example offer solutions to their most pressing problems. If a person finds a solution to one of their problems they’ll most likely want to hear more from you and subscribe to your newsletter.
2. Accessibility of content
If your web pages load slowly or can’t be accessed from multiple devices i.e. computer, tablet, smart phone you’ll lose customers and sales. For example the quality score for Google Adwords will be lowered if your landing page of your ad is not mobile-friendly. Also if visitors quickly leave your landing page (high bounce rate) you’ll pay a higher cost per click (CPC).
3. Create diverse content
Instead of just creating text-based content re-purpose it into videos, podcasts, slideshow presentations(slideshare), infographics and white papers. This extends the reach of your audience because they will find it in multiple locations on the web and be able to consume it in various formats.
4. Create compelling title and description tags
Avoid just placing generic content within these tags because it won’t motivate your readers to check out the rest of your content. Since these tags are what visitors see first, write a captivating title containing your most important keywords and a compelling description that will motivate them to read the rest of your content.
5. Rel: Authorship Tag
Google gives credit to content authors by displaying a profile picture next to your content in the search engines. This increases the chances of your content being seen ahead of your competitors and adds a layer of trust.
6. Microdata content format
Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages. By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, “Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video”—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way. Microdata is a set of tags, introduced with HTML5, that allows you to do this. For more info visit: Schema.org
7. Keyword Diversity
The success of your content is NOT based entirely on using exact keywords anymore. Instead research related keywords (synonyms) then weave them into your web copy.
1. Diversify your links
Instead of using one source for obtaining backlinks (ie article directories) get links from multiple sources on the net such as guest blogging, press releases, forums, image sites, document sites, etc.
2. Vary your anchor text
Instead of using “exact match” anchor text for every link, mix it up a little. Here are a few ways to implement this:
- Vary your keywords
- Use the full URL (with and without trailing slash)
- Use variations of your URL ie domain.com, domain.com/, www.domain.com
- Utilize non-keyword text such as “click here”, download, free report, etc
3. Get quality backlinks
Quality trumps quantity. For example one link from an authority site will have more authority than 100 links from low quality sites.
4. Create sharable content
Regurgitating content that has already been written won’t get passed on to others. Use your own voice to create unique, valuable content so your readers will want to share it with their friends.
5. Social media signals
Share your content on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest to build your brand. Search engines will reward your site with higher rankings based on the degree of activity on these sites.
6. Manual submissions to targeted directories
Find local and or specialized directories in your niche to submit your site to. Write captivating titles and descriptions to motivate readers to check out your website.
7. Relevancy of links
In the past webmasters got lots of links from unrelated web properties. Google later penalized these sites by lowering their rankings because they only want to give high rankings to websites that are tightly themed and contain backlinks related to that theme.
Therefore before you build backlinks to a specific web page make sure they relate to the content on that page.
Even though your website may have lost much of its traffic due to the Penguin and Panda updates…don’t despair. If you begin implementing the above SEO Strategies you’ll see a steady increase in rankings and traffic.
Make sure you keep an eye on your website statistics so you track your progress then adjust your methods as necessary.