Get a Grip on Your 2013 SEO Strategy

March 01, 2013 Oh SEO, the glory and fall of many. Over the last couple of years, you must have heard enough about on-page optimization to feel sick, and I am sure you're still a little sore about that string of keywords that you perfected but no longer gets your website tons of traffic. The good news is Google's algorithms is vastly changing. Just take a look here at the lengthy list of Panda updates since its release in 2011. Note that in this post, we focus on Google's search engine algorithm, simply because Google accounts for almost 70% percent of search engine usage (in the U.S.), and most others follow similar guidelines.

What's New?

These changes mean no more old-school-keywords-pain and, surprise, your gained expertise turns out to be critical! The basics stay the same: character-limited meta descriptions and title tags, descriptive and structured URLs, proper encoding, and no spammy content. Still you'll need to adapt to Google's new rules about the backend (meta data), responsiveness, authority, accessibility, and content consistency, just to mention a few. In a nut shell: Google wants people to find what they're looking for - and to find it easily, quickly and directly. That's why the path the web giant is headed in 2013 (and beyond) will be starring responsive, organic and clean websites.

Meta Data

As a matter of fact, keyword-rich meta titles and meta descriptions still rule in the ranking. Google's new rules demand unique descriptions under 150 characters. More than ever, your keyword mastery combined with AdWords' Keyword Tool and Trends will be vital. However, use natural language: you're talking to humans and not (only) to robots.

Responsiveness

Mobile traffic to websites is catching up to desktop usage, and Google aims to further improve the user experience. Responsiveness scores a touchdown: responsive websites are available on every device and abide by SEO criteria for unique URL, minimized loading time, and consistency. Read more about how to design and develop responsive websites for an engaging user experience. Responsive web design still has a way to go in consistency in rendering so move cautiously in this direction asking a lot of questions.

Authority

The Wall Street Journal recently got an enlightening sneak peek at Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's new book, "The New Digital Age" to be released in April: "Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified) results. The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance." You may want to start creating your AuthorRank profile, making sure that rich snippets are enabled, ensure that your Google+ profile is filled up, and that they're linked up with your blog/website. This will improve ranking and click-through rate.

Accessibility

Broken links, duplicates and long load times will trigger Google's alarm in no time.  Think: what's your first reaction when you get a 404-page error or worse, when you're stuck in the traffic trying to load a page that won't show up?

Content Consistency

BlueSkyMarketing_HomepageAwesome content (and design!) is what searchers want, and it's what search engines prioritize in results. Just ask Google. Up-to-date content of the highest editorial quality and relevance drives traffic, improves organic SEO, increases  levels of engagement as well as lead generation, and, finally, influences purchase decisions. If you need support with your website SEO strategy, give Blue Sky Marketing a call! Contact Us here.

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