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What is Still Trending in SEO?

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Finding the best SEO techniques can be long and tedious in one of the world’s fastest-moving industries. The techniques that worked yesteryear are now obsolete, so you must hurry to find alternative techniques, which might become outdated in another 12 months. Rinse, repeat, and there you have the SEO industry in a nutshell!

It is not so bad in this period, but you never know what might creep up on you next. There were days when you could target keywords in the anchor text, but with one update, Google wiped out a ‘small’ percentage of websites and possibly businesses simply because they were over-optimised. Those that used a keyword far too often in their backlinks would get filtered to the fourth page or even obliterated from existence, so many.

Webmasters started to build branded backlinks instead, or even partial match backlinks, or even turned their desperation towards the more risky PPC (Pay-Per-Click) industry. The point is a percentage of business owners or Webmasters that day either turned to find new techniques or quit altogether because they had lost faith in the challenging SEO industry.

What is Still Trending in SEO

So what still works in 2015?

Creating Quality Content…

Content has always remained a top factor in any SEO agency. Content is king, as Google keeps on preaching, and has always been important, but it is growing increasingly in importance by the day. Just recently, Google implemented a quality content update to its algorithm, and the change has caused varied opinions among certain high-profile webmasters. It was an update dubbed ‘The Phantom Update’ by the media simply because nobody knew what happened. All they know now is that it was not a Panda update but an update to the core algorithm itself. Either way, in the aftermath, it left people scratching their heads in bewilderment and confusion, a trait that Google has mastered these days.

Google recently went on record and admitted there was an update (which wasn’t Panda), which SearchEngineLand dubbed ‘The Quality Update’, which was a tweak to their core algorithm which has caused a flurry of opinions, with some mentioning that it could be Google giving more weight to specific ranking signals within the core algorithm itself, and less to others. Either way, something noticeable happened, and there has been a rising need for higher-quality content written solely by experts in the industry.

Your content needs to be engaging to your viewers and detail something unique which will make reading your content worthwhile and keep your readers coming back for more juicy information and gossip about their own opinion. The bottom line is that you cannot just create pages of poor content or pages that are 40% made up of Google Adsense adverts with thin content blocks to prop them up and expect to get top results. Those days are long gone!

Poor SEO Content

It is all going mobile…

As more people turn to their mobile phones as their primary internet search device, the need to cater to the desktop and laptop crowd has decreased. It told you a lot when Google introduced a new tweak to their algorithm that caters for mobile phone technology. If Google is moving on it quickly, then you should be sure that something is in it to be gained.

It was quite shocking when I did some research when Google released the Hummingbird update. It triggered a thought that had long been buried in our minds about mobile phone technology and its relationship with search marketing. After some Analytical research, we found the figures to be quite staggering. In less than one year, the mobile and tablet search numbers had increased an astonishing 30% over laptop and desktop to become the number one most used Internet device.

How had so many people moved into mobile technology so quickly without us even realising it? With faster 3G and 4G networks, that’s how, and with 5G on its way, the present and future of Internet technology is mobile. You also need to remember how people search on their mobile phones. People are converting to speech recognition with the QUERTY keyword being too small. People search differently through speech recognition as they would ask a search engine a question rather than typing in a keyword.

How Can You Tell Trending SEO

It felt like I had blinked and missed the boat. Still, luckily it helped us to pick up on another notion, which was to make all of our client’s websites mobile responsive as soon as possible, because if Google had their eye firmly on mobile search, then surely eventually they would bring something into their algorithm which affects mobile results?

Those nagging thoughts turned out to be accurate, so missing the boat on users moving over to mobile search triggered the thought that had us prepared for the April 21st mobile algorithm update before it was even announced. This update was dubbed Mobilegeddon and was much over-hyped by the media.

Even before the April 21st update, Google was testing the ability to tag a website as mobile-friendly on mobile phone browsers, but it wasn’t even considered a ranking factor then, it was just an indicator to the searcher that a website was mobile-friendly. However, on April 21st 2015, Google introduced it as a minor ranking factor for mobile devices only, which means it will not affect results on a desktop or laptop. Okay, I will admit it, there is not a massive difference in the results between mobile and desktop, but creating a mobile-friendly website for our clients means we are one step ahead of those that haven’t, and I would be rather one step ahead than one step behind, that is for sure. Besides that, isn’t it better for your users if you provide them with a responsive design? Put them first, after all.

Google has admitted that even if a website is not tagged as mobile-friendly, if the content on a non-mobile-friendly website is more relevant to the search query than a mobile-friendly website, it can still rank above it in the search results. So again, going to our first point above, quality SEO friendly content still significantly impacts your search engine rankings over a mobile-friendly website. Being mobile-friendly is just another cog in the machine.

What Does Responsive Design Mean?

Visual-Based SEO…

Websites have to introduce pictures and videos if they want them to be more engaging to their visitors. A video, picture or infographic can appeal more to your readers than a block of text that will bleed your eyes. According to our research, a page with just text has a higher bounce rate than pages that use media to engage with visitors. ‘Just text’ pages also show that people spend less time on the website because sometimes it is harder to read without visual media to back it up.

We usually prefer video over an image, especially for an e-commerce website which can show a live product demonstration. This has proven to increase conversion rates when used with the surrounding content. We should place images with careful consideration, along with the appropriate alt tags and descriptions. Of course, if you have many videos but lack quality and relevant content on the page, you may not get very far in the search results. Combine your visual media with your quality content to see the best results.

SEO Its More Than Just Keywords Its About Content

Make them talk…

Key trends include comments and engagement with other external sources to build organic content. As search engines increasingly turn to social, mobile, and user interactions with a website, generating authentic conversations and shares from customers and users is essential to having excellent SEO services. Be careful, and ensure you build your comments organically and not through a provider. You want honest opinions from people commenting on your content.

Google use social signals as a minor ranking factor, so you must engage with your customers and readers because they are the ones that will share your content if they approve of it or will link to it from their blog as a way of providing further reading for their visitors. The more you engage with your readers, the more they will get to know you and grow to respect your knowledge. Therefore, encourage interaction with your visitors at all times to grow an audience for your blog.

Word Of Mouth Marketing Strategy

Getting more social…

As mentioned above, Google has introduced into their algorithm social signals as a ranking factor. Many experts have dismissed this as a theory, but others have tested it and yielded positive results. One thing is sure: nobody but Google themselves knows the genuine answer, and all we have are our theories and strategies to get us through the working day, which makes Search Engine Optimisation so interesting to follow, especially as a career.

However, SEO theory or not, social media is excellent for expanding your network of people who share similar interests or will follow you because of how you approach your SEO service. If you can offer sound advice, then people will follow you, SEO is not easy to understand, and if you can help people understand it on social media, you will generate a following.

Social Media Marketing Strategy

Backlinks still matter…

Of course, they do. There is no better signal than a ‘vote’, which is how Google sees a backlink. Okay, they are much stricter these days than in the past, but can you imagine an algorithm that eliminates backlinks as a ranking signal? Google can. They have even tried it and admitted that the results looked terrible, so to the naysayer out there that says backlinks don’t matter anymore… think again.

Backlinking is not as easy as it once was, and with introducing the Penguin update by Google (which walks hand-in-hand with Panda), your backlinks have to be chosen carefully. Avoid inferior quality, non-relevant backlinks, as they will not do your website any favours, and avoid the overuse of keywords in the backlink’s anchor text.

However, search engines, with Google in particular, are not always 100% truthful with backlinking, and they rely on fear-mongering to control how we approach it. I have known this to be true through tests, but as long as you approach it carefully, there is nothing to fear.

Are you looking for SEO Services in Macclesfield? Contact us today! We do marketing for businesses in every corner of the UK.