Because search engine algorithms and practices shift over time, it's important that your SEO campaigns shift right along with them. Here are five ways you should be adapting your website to reach and maintain a prime search position:
1. Going past straight keyword matching. Most marketers realize by now that keyword stuffing and link farming are terrible ideas. What some still don’t realize, though, is that Google and the other search engines have moved beyond simply matching search results to keyword phrases. New contextual algorithms combine a searcher's intent with the relevance of the site to make the appropriate introduction.
2. Including local keywords and links. In the past couple of years, searchers have started heavily emphasizing geography in their browsing and shopping preferences. As a result, Google and the other search engines have started pairing buyers to companies in their area, too. So, your site needs geographic keywords to rank well.
3. Ensuring that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. More and more traffic is coming via mobile devices, so search engines are putting a high preference on responsive or mobile-friendly websites. Make your content accessible to everyone and you could see a bump in the search engine rankings as a result. (Update: This is now a new algorithm in Google and does affect rankings for mobile users.)
4. Taking advantage of social tools and rich snippets. Not only is Google indexing social content more than ever before, but rich snippets are allowing savvy users to have author bios, photos, and other information displayed alongside their content and search results. These added advantages can dramatically increase click-through rates to your website.
5. Giving visitors the best possible on-site experience. If users act like your site is useful (by staying on your pages, clicking through, etc.), Google will notice and send more people your way. Conversely, if you have very high bounce rates, you can expect a lower search engine position because your site seems less relevant or informative.
Good SEO used to be about tags and technical details; now, Google and searchers are both taking a more holistic approach to determine the quality of the search result. So, if you want to keep up, you must stay on top of the changes and make updates to your strategy. Let us know if we can help.