What to Know About SEO in 2014
As many webmasters know, the algorithms that ultimately decide where your website ranks in search results are continuously changing, making it challenging to keep up with the most important SEO factors. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s currently important in SEO to help you decipher which factors to focus on.
Social media is not traditionally considered a part of SEO, but with 1 billion active users on Facebook, 560 million active users on Twitter and 240 million active users on LinkedIn, it is clear that social media has become engraved in our world. Yet, some businesses and professionals still opt not to use these channels of communication. These people are missing out on the enormous benefits of what social media can do for them and their brands. Not only do social media platforms allow users to keep up with competitors in their field, but they also offer an outlet for consumers to interact and engage with businesses. Additionally, utilizing these mediums allows for opportunities to share content, network with other professionals and drive traffic to company pages. All of these activities help to improve your SEO ranking through building, maintaining and strengthening relationships that ultimately improve organic search results.
More and more people are accessing information from mobile phones and devices, making it crucial for websites to be optimized for mobile compatibility. A mobile-friendly web page results in more website traffic and content sharing, so it’s important to make sure that your website is adaptable to different devices. Users’ searches from mobile phones are another contributing factor in SEO and can be easily overlooked. Since mobile devices allow users to search using their voices, it’s important to keep in mind the types of phrases that will be used when utilizing this function.
Is your company website utilizing keywords throughout its web pages and content in order to properly direct traffic to your website? Keywords are what search engines use to identify what your content and organization is about, and highly-searched keywords will render better SEO results. Main keywords should be spread throughout your content at least three to four times and should be included in titles, headings and URLs. They should also be used when sharing posts on social media—hashtags can be especially handy for doing this. If you are unsure of which keywords to use, there are plenty of free keyword generator services on the internet that can help.
We live in an age where everyone is busy and looking for faster and more efficient ways to receive information. This explains why views for the top 100 YouTube channels have grown by 80% in just one year, and why Google prioritizes videos in its search results. By adding videos to your website, you are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results. Videos also provide a way for your website visitors to stay on your website longer. This “dwell time” is one of the main metrics Google uses in its search ranking algorithm and will give your website an extra SEO boost.
Cyber security has been a hot topic in 2014 due to the increase in data breeches, identity theft, stolen passwords and crashed websites. In an effort to encourage improved cyber security, Google has decided to begin factoring website security into its site-ranking algorithm. To help ensure that your business’ website is protected, check with your webmaster that you are utilizing an HTTPS-encrypted connection. It’s a good idea to make the transition to a secured website now so that your SEO ranking is not affected later when Google decides to put greater emphasis on this factor. Here are some tips from Google on how to secure your website with HTTPS.
Google Authorship is a service that allows users to link all of the content they publish to their Google+ pages. The idea behind this service is that it allows Google to attribute content on the internet to the original author. Through using this service, Google is able to identify authors and rank them. Your Author Rank is a theoretical value determined by the quality and quantity of your content, as well as the publications in which your content appears. Google Authorship also helps grow your personal and brand recognition, as it publishes the author’s name and headshot photo next to their content on search engine results pages. All you need is a Google+ account to sign up for Google Authorship.