Posted January 2015 | By Charles Owen-Jackson
Search engine optimisation may seem to be in a constant state of flux, but this steadily evolving industry doesn't have to be as confusing as it might seem. Provided that you have always stuck by Google's Webmaster Guidelines in your search engine marketing campaigns, you shouldn't have any problem with raising Google's ire. If on the other hand, you have not deployed the best SEO methods in the past, you might find that your efforts end up being counterproductive, since Google is constantly getting better at penalising websites and content written more for the search engines than actual human readers. This brief guide offers some invaluable tips for adapting your SEO strategy to help drive your business forward in 2015.
Although SEO typically starts with optimising the structure and content of your website for the search engines, you should understand its close relationship to other forms of online marketing too, including content and social media marketing. SEO should be applied to all of your content, including social media posts and profiles. Social media continues to become more and more important in the world of digital marketing, and the search engines are getting better every year at determining which content genuinely provides value to people. An important search engine ranking factor is the number of editorially driven links and social media shares a piece of content has, so it is important that all of these areas of online marketing work in harmony with one another.
If you haven't done so already, it is high time to develop a mobile-friendly version of your website, particularly since 2014 was the year when mobile Internet usage overtook the desktop which has been dominant since the dawn of the Web. You can either design a completely separate version of your website for mobile devices or if you want to save time and money, a single responsive website will usually be adequate. Responsive designs allow a website to scale automatically, along with its various on-page elements, to the size of the browser window or screen that it's being displayed in. Other ways to optimise for mobile include decreasing loading speed and using structured content. Optimising content for mobile can greatly help boost your search engine exposure.
Social media has already started to take a leading role in the way in which we use the Internet, and this trend will continue throughout 2015. As previously stated, your SEO strategy should work hand-in-hand with your social media marketing campaign, but there are some important and relatively new tools on the scene to help you. To help boost your content marketing campaign and the chances of your content appearing in the search engines, you should claim your Google My Business profile so that all of your content is linked together with Google Local. Your profile will be integrated with Google+, one of the world's most popular social media services both for businesses and individuals. Google profile helps to build up trust and authority, something which the search engines take very seriously when it comes to ranking content.
Last but certainly not least is the importance of content itself. In modern Internet marketing, dynamically driven websites offering a constant supply of fresh, engaging content which offers value to its intended audience is what makes for success. As Google's algorithms get better and better at penalising over-optimised content, it will be more important than ever in the coming year to deliver content for your audience rather than for the search engines themselves. Another important thing to mention is that Google's latest Hummingbird algorithm has made the importance of engaging, conversational content even greater, since it relies more on natural search queries such as questions. To optimise your content for today's Web, focus on long-tail natural-sounding keywords.
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