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by Andy Williams on 2nd January 2013
The turn of the year is always a good time to look over the previous 12 months and see how successful you really were online. So today I’m going to be looking at tactics for SEO in 2013 to give site owners some pointers as to the areas they should be looking into in the new year.
As we know, 2012 was dominated by Penguin and Panda updates by Google. So we know that some of the tactics that were probably relevant 12 months ago, 18 months ago probably aren’t going to be as relevant or as helpful to you now. So, today, I’m just going to run through some areas that all site owners should be looking into in the new year.
So let’s start with the site itself. You’ve got 12 months of data to look back on to see how successful you were in 2012. Did you get the rankings that you expected? Did you get the customers that you thought you would? Did you bring in the traffic that you were expecting? Maybe not.
So a good place to start would be keyword research. Although you may well have carried this out maybe a year ago, even six months ago, this is a really good time to give yourself a fresh look at some of the data. Some of the terms that you were targeting 12 months ago may not be relevant to you now, or they may not have the search volume that they did 12 months ago.
Also are there any other new terms that you could now probably go after? Did the terms you go after become too generic? Were they too strong? Were they too competitive? Should you look at more long tail terms? So these are some of the areas that you should look for, and the turn of year is always a really good time just to give yourself a refreshed look at some of this data to make sure that you’re still on track with the terms that you’re going for.
Also, other on-page elements, like title tags and descriptions, and of course the content should also be reviewed, just to make sure that it is up to date and it’s still relevant. Maybe some of the information you included didn’t truly bring across the message that you were trying to put across and maybe that’s why your site didn’t perform as well as you expected.
Content is also, of course, now a very, very important area when it comes to SEO. Google have put a lot of emphasis on the quality of content these days. So the content that’s on your site, is it putting across the message that you wish it to? Are you writing for the search engines or the visitors to your site? If you’re not writing for the visitors, then it’s time to refresh your content and time to have a look into that area there.
So it’s good just to have a look through the site. Make sure it reads correctly. Make sure it reads clearly. Make sure that your message that you’re trying to put across is actually coming across. So give your site a good fresh review and just make sure everything’s up to scratch and you’re putting across what you want.
Now another area is social. Now, as we all probably know, everyone should have a Twitter account, a Facebook account, a Google+ account, a LinkedIn account, and, of course, there are other variations as well that you should probably be signed up to. But not everyone has actually got signed up to these profiles. Some people think that maybe they’re not fitted to social. They’ve got nothing to say when it comes to social. But, personally, I think this isn’t the case, and I think if you look at it hard enough, there’s always a spin that you can put onto the messages that you put across and there is always something that you can do socially. I’m yet to come up with any sector that couldn’t be spun in such a way that you can actually have a presence on some of these profiles. So have a look, have a think about it. So even if you think it’s not a good fit for you, it probably could be, depending on how you spin it, depending on the kind of messages that you put across.
Another good way to look at this as well, of course, is to have a look and see what the competition are doing. If they’ve got a presence on Facebook, how are they doing it? How are they managing it? What sort of information are they bringing across? And that could give you some of kind of a guidance of how maybe you could manage your campaigns as well. So have a look at that and just see what other people are doing as well.
Also, even if at the end of all of that, you still feel that you can’t really have a social voice, it’s always good to make sure that you sign up for these platforms, because, at the end of day, it also protects your brand as well. You don’t want anyone to take those handles or those usernames and then use them in a manner that you wouldn’t want them to. So make sure you at least sign up for them, but I think there’s always something that you can do socially. So have a look into that, see what you can do.
Also link building as well. Now, link building has kind of changed recently over the last 12 months, and the emphasis has been more on link building for your brand as opposed to exact match keywords or anchor text that just focuses on a certain keyword. So, in the past, where you might go after certain terms, now you should have a bit of a balance about it. Vary it up. I don’t know if there is any exact percentages that you should go after, but I would say around about 65% or 70% brand links and the rest start going after key terms or anything else, like variations or your URL or anything like that. But make it look natural, but certainly don’t go 100% after key terms that you feel are relevant to you because that’s not going to work anymore.
Also, ditch all the old tactics that you’ve got. Now, you’d be surprised how many people still decide that they want to hide text, scrape content from other sites, create duplicate content, and other areas that you just shouldn’t go near anymore. It’s time to just move on from this and stop doing it. It’s going to hold you back. There is a chance that you could face a penalty from Google or you could be held back from Google in some way.
So start to look at the new tactics. There’s lots of information on the Internet as to what these tactics should be. So start to look at those. Stop leaving comments in blogs just for the sake of a link. The same with forums and article distribution, it’s fine, but obviously you need to be smart with your content these days and just displaying them out into sites like Ezine (Articles) is only going to get you so far. They’re not as strong as they once used to be. So have a look, see what tactics are being used out there, and start to employ those.
Also that leads us nicely on to content as well. If you are going to create content and you want to use that as part of your strategy, start to think about how you’re going to use it now. As I touched on earlier, just distributing articles doesn’t have the same impact that it once used to. So start to look at new tactics. There are things like white papers that you could use. There’s infographics. You could also do videos. There are loads of different ways in which you can now use content, the idea of which is that you’re actually going to give the people who watch it or read it very fairly broad information as opposed to just creating it for a link. So start to get a bit smarter with that as well.
And also updates. Now, if you’re the owner of a site and you’re relying 100% on that website to bring in your business, I think it’s good practice that you keep up to date yourself with what’s going on in the industry. There’s plenty of really, really good blogs to follow, the Koozai one obviously. There’s SEOmoz, Matt Cutts’ blog, etc. etc. There’s loads that you can watch and you can follow and you can read. There are a lot of people out there who give a lot of good information. There’s a lot of people who react to all the updates that happen. So there’s kind of no excuse as to why you can’t personally keep up with exactly what’s going on.
So I would encourage you to go follow some of the blogs yourself. Even if you don’t fully understand exactly what’s being spoken about, it gives you an idea as to what’s going on and how to react if any updates do come about. So I would say, even if you’re not in the industry, go follow these blogs, go follow these people. Find out what’s going on to keep up to date.
So, hopefully, these have given you a few guides as to where to go for 2013 with regards to your SEO and your online presence. For more information on any of these subjects come back to the Koozai blog. We do regular updates on there. And obviously follow us on any of our profiles that are coming up after this video. Thanks a lot.