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The changes to Google’s algorithm in the past twelve months have paved the way for a new emphasis on content [See: Google’s Panda Algorithm Update: What sites were hit and why?] The focus on unique and fresh content has been spoken of long before the changes, but the algorithm updates legitimised what many industry specialists predicted would happen.
In any case, 2011 has been particularly crazy with the amount of changes, so what does 2012 have in store? Well here’s a list of a few ideas to get you thinking….
Regular and Consistent Posting
New content that is unique and good quality, which is posted up regularly and consistently will help in terms of rankings. More authority is given to sites that release a steady stream of posts, so it’s a good idea to implement a blog on your site for 2012. The more content you post using competitive keywords, the better you will rank over dormant websites that are not posting regularly. In terms of knowing how regularly to post, this is determined by your competition – look to post at least once a day, or at the least once a week, depending on how competitive your market is. To get some ideas, see 5 Ways to Find Good Blog Topics.
Whether its videos or pictures, if there’s something that will aid the user experience when visiting your site, it’s worth including. If you’re going the extra mile to inform users of a particular product and service, and you’ve explained in detail using pictures and videos, then the more multimedia you use, the better. When Google crawls pages, they look at the diversity of content, so make sure you add pictures and videos, and don’t forget to optimise them as well [See: Optimising Images on a Website for SEO].
Replace Poor Content with Quality Content
Check the pages on your website and see if any of them are duplicated. You can do this using a plagiarism checker called Copyscape. If you have content on your website that has been copied from another website, then unfortunately this will work against you in your SEO campaign. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, so invest some time in writing good quality, but specifically unique content. This will give you a chance to improve upon your competitor’s sites and write far more engaging content with a better chance of converting those users into customers. [See: How to Deal with Duplicate Content on a Website]
Share Content via Social Media
A great way of generating more traffic is by using social media and social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Ensue that you’re fully engaged with these platforms for 2012. When you write a blog post or some off-site copy, be sure to use these platforms to distribute the content (not forgetting to include a link back to your site) and engage with the people who ‘follow’ or ‘like’ you.
Another great tip for 2012 is to optimise your web pages for social sharing. Each page has a title and Meta which can be optimised using coding specific to Facebook called Facebook Open Graph (don’t worry, this won’t affect your existing Meta). When someone goes to share one of your web pages, your new optimised title and Meta will be more social media friendly, with the idea to improve the conversion rate to your site from people using this platform.
Work on Branding
One of the big changes to hit 2012 will be the focus on branding. Make sure your business stands out from the crowd and has its own identity. At the very least, this relates to weeding out the duplicate content on your site, but more so it means working on your content to fit within your brand. The more unique you sound, the better this will be towards your own identity and hence you will stand out from your competitors. Google give stronger authority to brands, especially with their site links update [See: Are Google Favouring Big Brands with their Sitelinks Update?], so be sure to work on this as well in 2012.
Writing on a white laptop via BigStock
Search engine technology is evolving, and so is the digital marketing industry. The more experienced professionals amongst you may remember the days of gleefully stuffing keywords into your copy to boost your rankings, blindly spamming strangers to join your email lists and easily securing media coverage for your thinly veiled advertisements.
Site speed is an important area of website optimisation that people working in the world of Search Engine Optimisation are becoming increasingly concerned about.