Organic Search is an inevitably changing process that can be daunting to keep up with and of course an approach that requires both experience and the need for constant auditing/testing. Nowadays with search changing so frequently, one of my main goals as an SEO Consultant is to keep an archive as to which methods work and which are antiquated. For many trying to learn SEO is a complex subject with polar opposite techniques depending on the tactician or strategists, this used to bother me as I am analytical in nature and wanted to assess a solidified approach..that simply isn’t how the game works. Needless to say I’ve been steadily creating a chart of items that I’ve seen great results with..These may change tomorrow but I do believe this structure makes for a solidified campaign and will leave you standing healthy with your SEO clients around month 4-5 at least. Another great resource to supplement is search metrics data guide comparing 2013 to 2014.
It is my belief that links are still valuable but they are taking longer to attribute value. From my experience I have seen old links influence specific keywords but I believe nowadays the algorithm is much slower in the process of inflating keywords based on topical content, anchor relationships, etc. WHY? I believe it was an old adage of circa 90 days to tell clients and I think Google as a means to balance old SEO tactics is making this process slower in nature to curb aggressive outreach for quicker results…again this is simply my observation.
- Technique – A good balance is definitely brand mentions, topical keyword anchors in small moderation and balance and random anchors that have value via the content surrounding the anchor (co-citation). I believe Google will actually negatively affect rankings these days if you are optimizing for specific keyword with prospective URL – this is unnatural in the eyes of the search engine.
Take a poll of your current clients. You will see highest number of ranking clients have a healthy bounce rate (under 50% for some niches) and at least 100 seconds on site. The main objective I always convey when starting a new campaign is the content quality on site above all else. You can always balance the process with design and development but make sure users are actively benefitting and engaged – very basic task but yet highly underrated. This includes rich media as well, users share and are more attracted to your internal pages that carry video, image and supportive contextual graphics to digest the information.
- Page load speed time and healthy click through ratios for top level positions. If you are looking at implementing CRO to your campaign you will increase the value of your organic listings – that is a fact.
Various Platforms – The search marketplace right now is the continuing shift to mobile platforms. Now that people now spend more time accessing the Internet on their mobile devices rather than desktop computers the search engine is going to prepare for this. I’ve seen a decrease in traffic for a local client after they had make a change to their mobile site via Go Daddy. After a couple days of assessing possible reasons I looked into the mobile analytics and noticed all traffic metrics were suffering. The client had taken the mobile site down on accident through the Go Daddy interface without thinking there would be much of a problem. Once addressed and re-indexed rankings along with mobile metrics incrementally changed for the better.
How To Optimize
Growing Trends toward Contextual and Semantic Search, the Mobile Search area (including Conversational Search) is currently one of the most important features of user integration on the web. Mobile searches often use different functionality and are highly influenced by attributes such as conversational (voice-based) search with Siri, Google Glass, etc., as well as being influenced by local factors. This is an area that is still very green so a hot topic to monitor and strategize in the future but no doubt important to watch out for!