Predicting What Will Matter in SEO Next Year

2014 was a big year for Google updates, and it showed the SEO industry’s professionals pretty clearly where Google is headed in terms of search algorithms. With those hints in mind, we have developed a list of important factors to keep in mind for next year. The game has changed quite a bit lately, and it’s important to keep up with the changes and embrace new ways of promoting content online.

 1. Consistent Company Information Will Make You More Searchable

Making sure that your business information is consistent across your site and across the web will positively impact your searchability and rankings. This includes making sure there are no duplicates, and making sure your NAP+W is consistent (Name, address, phone number and website).

 2. Quality Content Will Continue to Mean Everything

Generating content that is informative, interesting, and high quality is one of the biggest things you can do for your web presence. If you’re pushing out content that is repetitive or thin, you’re probably not receiving any of the link-generating, brand-mentioning benefits you could be getting from it. It’s much better to spend more time creating one quality piece of content than to spend less time on several pieces of lower quality content. Create a content strategy that’s based around quality instead of quantity, and learn about which avenues are the best for promoting content in your industry. It’ll be well worth your time.

3. Site Errors Will Ruin Rankings

Keep an eye on the Crawl Errors section of Webmaster Tools and tackle those 404 errors. Google has been extremely focused on user experience in 2014, which means that technical errors are more emphasized in the search engine algorithms than ever. Important errors to look out for are 4xx, 5xx, duplicate content, missing or too long titles, and missing or too long meta descriptions.  You can use tools like Screaming Frog, Siteliner, and Moz to isolate these errors.

4. Microdata Will Have an Even Bigger Search Engine Presence

Implementing Schema in the code on your site can allow search engines to read and display details like menus, schedules, and lists. Rich Snippets on Google are generated using the Schema on the site, but not all sites are currently implementing Schema, which means there’s room to get ahead of the competition in this area. Rich snippets can make you stand out in search results even if you’re not in the top three. Currently, Google displays rich snippets for information on people, product specifications, business and organization information, reviews of products and features, recipes for food items, events and music, and video content.

5. Mobile Will Continue to Take Over the World

Having a responsive website is now absolutely essential to keeping Google and your customers happy. You’ll rank higher for mobile search queries, your mobile bounce rate will improve, and Google is even tagging search results with a “mobile-friendly” sticker if a site is optimized for mobile. There’s no way around it anymore – mobile-friendliness is key to online success.

6. Link Outreach Strategies Will Continue to Grow in Importance

Your link strategy should not just be about building local links, but it should focus on forging relationships with other quality websites in your industry. Building natural links that help your business is key – even just one of these kinds of links will mean more to Google (and to your users) than 100 easy directory links.

7. Tracking Website Data Will Continue to Open Doors for Marketing

Analyzing your data can tell you how well your site is adhering to Google’s guidelines. You can target which pages have high bounce rates and aren’t satisfying your users needs, notice when your organic search trends correlate with Google updates, and understand how to improve your site according to both Google and your users.

8. White Hats are In

Black hats are so 2013 – it’s time to embrace the “right” way of doing things. It’s no longer about finding loopholes in the algorithms and tricking them into ranking your site higher – it’s about actually building a functional site with quality content, lots of genuine references, and making your business the best it can be.

It’s important to have a marketing plan that conforms to the changing times. If you need help deciding what’s important for your business’s website, get in touch with us at Boomtown! We can design a digital marketing package that fits your individual needs.

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