Keep up with new SEO developments

Although tactics like content marketing are quickly becoming the standard, search engine optimization is still important to consider. However, you can't keep employing the same marketing strategy when it comes to driving unique traffic to your website. SEO has changed a great deal in the past few years. With Google's recent Hummingbird update and the shift toward content marketing, stagnant keyword-based SEO is gradually losing effectiveness. Here are some tips to keep in mind for crafting and maintaining a successful SEO strategy:

Start with an analysis of your website
To make improvements, you should first consider the current optimization of your page, according to Entrepreneur magazine. This means assessing your keyword strategy and the amount of coding in relation to the text. Search engine updates mean algorithms are less focused on keywords. While they still matter, you may need to update keywords. In Hummingbird, longtail keywords – the phrases people type into Google to find what they need – matter more than ones composed of one or two words. Hummingbird is intended to reflect the evolving way people interact with search engines, especially since mobile searches are increasingly common. 

In addition, the new Google algorithm will not give high rankings to pages with sparse content. It's all about providing value for visitors. SEO needs to be considered alongside content marketing plans for the best possible rankings.

It's not just about Google anymore
While Google gets most of the attention in SEO, Bing and Yahoo are poised to become major players in this form of Internet marketing, Business 2 Community pointed out. Google has the highest rates of search traffic, but it is worthwhile to devote some attention to other search engines for the best results. This doesn't need to be complicated: Microsoft and Yahoo teamed up a few years ago, so optimization is very similar for both of them. 

Bing has better connections for social media, which can improve overall SEO. Unless you maintain an active Google Plus presence, Google isn't as useful for social media. Unlike Google, Bing and Yahoo still depend on keywords, meta tags and title tags to determine rankings. Google is considered the top search engine for local search marketing, but it also seeks well-known names, which means it tends to favor larger companies. Bing shows more listings for small businesses based on the location of the user. This search engine is also more likely to provide factual data rather than social results. Google often includes the most popular websites in its results, which is why it favors regularly updated sites with unique content. 

Depending on your customer base and what your business does, it could be beneficial to optimize for more than one search engine. The basics for SEO are the same across all search engines. Good content, relevant keywords and organic links can boost results. 

Placing content marketing first can help you win at SEO
Although some marketers believe it needs to be content marketing or SEO, in reality, these two strategies go hand in hand. According to the "State of Search Marketing Report 2013" from Econsultancy and SEMPO, 45 percent of marketers are now blurring the lines between content and SEO. Including the most relevant keywords and search phrases in blogs and news articles can ensure you attract the right audience to your website. 

In the past, SEO was mainly about companies attracting potential customers to their websites and was very promotional. The wide adoption of content marketing demonstrates that brands are more interested in providing value to clients. However, this also has benefits for SEO because Google ranks pages higher when visitors find what they need from the site. Good SEO principles are essential for users to find your website in the first place, but informative content will keep them there. Customers have greater access to information than ever before and are less tolerant of useless Web pages. The major search engines pay attention to what users want, and they rank websites based on content and usability more than how many keywords are on a page. 

In fact, content is becoming so popular that banner ads may be losing effectiveness, the study revealed. Relevant blogs and articles are often more memorable than a display ad. 

Maintain a handle on the basics
With all the new developments in SEO, it may seem like everything has become unnecessarily complicated, but adhering to the standard best practices can help you succeed in this important form of Internet marketing, ClickZ stated. Keyword research and on-page optimization can help you create a successful campaign. Relevant content will drive results, and establishing thought leadership in your industry can help you get good search engine rankings, even if you didn't optimize for a particular keyword. In addition, link building is still important as long as it's done correctly. Google will penalize spammy links so you need to make sure you're attracting quality mentions.

Sheila Kloefkorn (1029 Posts)

With more than 20 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing,, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.