SEO will still be alive and kicking in the year 2014, so don’t believe anyone that tells you that it’s dead.
Many startup owners told me last year that they think that getting a website to rank high on search engines is a dark form of art. I suppose that in some way you can look at SEO as some kind of e-witchcraft or e-sorcery. I believe that knowing well the ins-and-outs of Search Engine Optimization is like knowing how to design clothes, fix electronic devices or tutor students in mathematics, you either know what you doing at a level you can make money off it or you don’t. I woke up this morning and really wanted to give startup founders some small SEO pointers for 2014, but before I start, I would like to prove with the following image why you should trust my SEO tips and why my guidance will be worth your precious time.
If you search “Startup Marketing Tips” on Goolge, the first result you will find is something I wrote for imonomy. As you might imagine it wasn’t only my SEO skills that made this possible, it was a combination of great editing by Leytal Ross and the imonomy widget that helped a lot imonomy’s blog in the process of getting ranked high. Anyway I think my point is clear so lets continue with the my SEO tips for your startup business.
I really love writing about SEO and I know that for business owners this is a difficult issue. Attracting readers to your business website for the New Year is as simple as putting on a new pair of shoes. You have to wean yourself into the new methods and trends until they become comfortable enough to act like a second skin. In order to make the following seven SEO tips work for you, it’s going to take some adaptation on your part to keep up with these new trends that will dominate 2014.
1. Disavow Links
Google has been constantly changing its algorithm every two weeks in order to ensure that web searches produce the highest quality results. This has led to many content writers to be constantly adapting their writing and SEO skills in order to keep up with these changes and make sure that their websites maintain their rankings, or risk being removed altogether. Most website owners have tried to beat these tactics by increasing the number of sites that they link back to in order to appear more authoritative. However, use of spam-filled links has also been caught by Google and has results in being blacklisted from search results. To combat these, the only solution left for a startup website owner is to simple creating quality content for his/her readers. Putting in the effort to publish professional content will eliminate the need to be constantly altering your methods in order to stay off Google’s radar. In the scenario that you have been blacklisted, don’t panic, there is a course of action that you can take. First all of make sure that you are really blacklisted, the next step is to get familiar with the disavow link tool.
You will find in each SEO tips guide this year something about Disavow Links, here is a video of the tool announcement by Matt Cutts who I highly recommend following.
2. Go Mobile
Building multiple version of your website for mobile use is also a new trend that is creeping its way into the market. As one of the most important SEO tips out there, the use of Smartphones and tablets is increasing, so there is always need to adapt to the needs of the consumer. Not many websites translate well to the mobile platform, so it’s important to test your website on multiple platforms to make sure that it is being presented properly. If you ask most SEO experts about how important it is to have a good mobile website running, the will tell you that if you aren’t on mobile you don’t exist. Check out Statista’s mobile traffic chart to see just how much of the internet traffic is coming from mobile devices.
If you need help turning your website mobile and you are thinking about a mobile app and not a mobile website, check out what Conduit Mobile can offer your business website.
3. Pin It
Pinterest is slowly gaining attention in the realm of social media as users are free to share links and information with their followers. It makes it easy for your content to be shared with others, creating organic results that many search engines enjoy. Rankings that are purely client-driven are taken more seriously than backlinks as readers are actually enjoying your content and are increasing its exposure with other Internet users. At the rate that Pinterest is growing, it could quickly overtake Twitter as the social media of choice. One latest study showed that 1 out of every 3 women in the United States is using Pinterest, that is a huge demographic you just can’t ignore.
If you are really interested in digging into Pinterest and getting the most out of it, I recommend checking out the official web analysis tool for businesses that Pinterest provides.
4. HTML 5
The incorporation of HTML 5 makes it easy to transmit data across all platforms, much more easily than Flash. It is compatible with multiple browsers, as well as devices, such as Smartphones and tablets. In case you are still using flash, stop, and move to HTML 5 as soon as possible. You need a website that is responsive and readable on every possible screen. This is really related to the Mobile tip I gave on top, but it is important as an individual tip because of the user experience that your visitors expect to get when they visit your website. SEO Tips can only go so far if your users are experiencing a buggy browsing experience on your site.
5. Get More Traffic
You might not agree with me, but my personal belief is that if your webpage gets traffic, it rates higher on search engine results. It is a tricky subject that many people have issues with, and all I can recommend is that you read about how to get traffic. There are a handful of methods, some will serve you better than others, I wrote a post about how to increase traffic, and you might find some of the methods I used in the past useful for your own needs. There is no one solution that fits all websites when it comes to getting more traffic, many SEO experts can fail in trying to get traffic to a specific niche business website. My biggest SEO tip regarding traffic is just advising to never give up and try all sorts of methods until you find your own personal secret sauce to traffic. My personal favorite method is organic search traffic, yours could be social media or something different.
6. Bounce Rate
When people visit your site for the first time they should stay more than 30 seconds, if they left earlier you are doing something wrong. Five things that usually lead to bounce rate:
- You are attracting the wrong traffic
- Your website doesn’t look any good and it has a poor design
- The landing page isn’t engaging
- Your site speed is slow
- The text is poorly written
Bounce Rate SEO Tips: Avoid pop ups, make sure you site is up to speed and designed properly with relevant images.
7. Use Google+ and Authorship
If you haven’t given Google Plus the respect it deserves when it comes to SEO importance, it is time to do so. Google is relying on Google Plus to give the search engine a more reliable algorithm to rank websites. The authorship, which I personally use often, is a great tool to give a face to the content writer. Search engines had a problem with understanding who wrote the webpages, search directories want to know who is behind the written text, and authorship helps the search algorithms challenge this issue.
Check out more about Google Authorship, and watch the following video to get a better understanding on the subject.
Good Luck This Year
Here is my bonus no brainer tip: Build a business blog and make it awesome, make it better than any other blog in your niche, and dominate Google, Bing and others. Content has always and will always stay king, and good, creative and unique content will be a major part of your SEO success this year.
These SEO tips for the New Year and designed to help your website thrive in every way possible so that you can reap the rewards of putting all of your hard work to good use. Don’t allow your website to fall by the wayside of Google’s algorithms; take the first step in ensuring that it maintains its ranking that you’ve worked so hard to get.
Thanks for tuning in for my SEO tips post, do you have SEO tips for 2014? Do think I missed something important? Share with us your thoughts in the comment section bellow.