Article by Pierre Zarokian
2013 is already here, and things are changing fast in the SEO industry. But then again, that’s how it’s always been in this industry. Creating a search-engine friendly website that also resonates with your customers involves countless factors, many of which are constantly evolving in light of regular changes in Google’s algorithms.
By staying on top of the latest Google changes and relying on more than 15 years of professional experience, we’re able to predict cutting-edge SEO strategies designed to produce top positioning and conversion rates. According to my forecast, here are eight factors that should be implemented in your SEO campaign this year.
1. Quality Links
When factoring your site’s ranking, Google looks at the quality and relevance of the sites linked to your site. The arrival of the Penguin algorithm in April 2012 brought this matter into the limelight, as the tech giant’s webspam filter docked many sites for participating in link schemes or featuring low-quality links.
Many types of links that worked in last few years may not work anymore and the overuse of these types of links may even penalize you. Some examples of low quality links you need to stay away from are links from low quality directories, blog commenting, links from sites with too many outgoing links to irrelevant content, and unrelated forum inks.
2. Quality Content
Quality content has always been one of the most important factors of SEO, but Google began to crack down on sites with low-quality content in 2011 with the help of the Panda algorithm, a filter designed to penalize sites with duplicate content, scraped content, keyword stuffing, and all content that is not unique, valuable or engaging for the reader.
Panda is a filter that runs every few months and Google will most likely modify the algorithm every time it runs, which means quality site content is still going to be a major factor when developing any SEO campaign in 2013.
Captivating videos and images are abundant on the web, and results with videos are constantly ranked higher than results featuring only text. We’re expecting to see more media content incorporated into SEO campaigns this year, as it clearly creates a more valuable user experience.
4. Responsive Mobile Site Design
Mobile isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Creating a mobile-friendly site is important in 2013 as smartphones and tablets continue to grow as a source of traffic to your site. While responsive mobile site design will not directly affect your rankings, it will improve the user experience. It’s important to craft easy-to-use mobile pages and always use simple and coherent language.
Authorship status makes a difference in the search engine results pages. In Google’s words, The identity of individual agents responsible for content can be used to influence search ratings. AuthorRank is a major indicator of authoritative content, and is another way Google detects quality content on the web.
Continue tagging published content with rel=author tags, and follow Google’s recommendations of connecting the site with the published content to your Google+ profile page. Authors with many Google+ friends may benefit from a better ranking when they write articles.
6. Social Signals
As of today, social signals are used as ranking factors, and we’re expecting them to play an even bigger role in SEO as time goes on. Along with using the +1 button, continue to invest in Facebook shares, comments, likes, and tweets. It has also been reported by some that content posted on Google+ has gotten indexed almost immediately. It should be expected for Google+ to start having a higher influence in rankings.
7. Content Marketing
While it might be new to some people in the SEO industry, content marketing is a fundamental writing technique that has been used by trained copywriters, advertisers, and public relations specialists since the beginning of marketing campaigns. The SEO industry is catching on to this technique because it has the power to turn mere internet browsers into buyers. Proper content marketing strategies gain backlinks and add value for the reader. Invest in a professional SEO copywriter to get the job done right.
8. Local SEO
2013 is going to see a greater emphasis on local websites and information. If you haven’t already, incorporate local SEO into your campaign to see higher rankings. Local SEO includes local listings, map information, citations, and local reviews.