A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

…SEO was all about getting traffic. The industry was new, so how it happened didn’t quite matter as much as it does now. There weren’t many restrictions. People found what worked and they did it. And then they did it a lot.

But a lot has changed in the industry since its beginning, especially over the past year. Just check out our Social Media 2013 End of Year Review and you’ll see what I mean. The entire internet marketing trade has seen similar progression across the board. On the SEO side, Google’s multiple algorithm updates have continued to shift the linkbuilding focus further from quantity toward quality. Sheer quantity of links and one-dimensional link profiles just aren’t rewarded like they used to be. But that’s not a bad thing.

As a result, strategies have continued to shift. The SEO seas are stormy as algorithms are continuously changing and if you aren’t constantly adjusting your strategy then
your rankings will eventually sink.

So what should you focus on in 2014? Well, hopefully the same things you were focusing on in 2013 but, you know, more so.

google

Content

A solid content strategy is the new face of SEO. Algorithm updates Penguin and Panda have practically forced a shift in focus from a set of individual tactics to a well-planned strategy centered on creating quality unique content and getting that content in front of your audience. This shift includes moving away from an overemphasis on a small set of exact-match keywords. Keyword variation is much more natural.

Variation

Gone are the days where submitting your homepage to thousands of generic directories will do you much good. Today, you need a highly varied link profile – one that I like to refer to as natural. No normal human, on any given day, submits the same link with the same description to hundreds of different directories. It just isn’t natural.

We’re more likely to visit a few interesting blogs and leave some meaningful comments. Then maybe we read the news a bit, find an interesting article, and share it with our friends on social media.

Social

Dive into the social realm. Dive in now. SEO campaigns exist to raise awareness and attract new customers via organic search results. PPC campaigns exist to raise awareness and attract new customers through paid advertising. And social media campaigns exist to maintain customers and build relationships. While Google is intentionally vague on to what degree Social influences SEO, there is definitely a connection. So whether you do it for the relationship-building or the SEO influence, do it.

The social media platform that is best for you and the strategy you use depends on your industry and your target market. If you’d like some help figuring it out, you can use this social media infographic. And if you’d like to learn more, or if you need a confident SEO team capable of navigating the stormy seas, contact us at Leadgenix.

Jamie Bates