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The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating SEO Content in 2014

The world of SEO is one that’s constantly changing and evolving, making it challenging for many businesses, and especially small businesses, to keep up. If your business has even slightly outdated ideas about creating SEO content, it can mean not only are you not rewarded by search engines, but you may even be penalized.


What Changed in 2013?

Last year was a big one in terms of changes to SEO, primarily because of updates to the Google algorithm.

One example pertains to Panda. Panda was an algorithm update initially introduced in 2011, but it was again updated in 2013, with the primary goal of reducing the occurrence of spam-based links.

Also in 2013, we were introduced to the Hummingbird update, which was less of an update, and more of a complete overhaul in how Google indexes sites. The focus was completely shifted in terms of strategies, content and keyword usage.

What NOT to Do in 2014

First, we’ll focus on the negative. While there are certainly many ways your small business can improve its SEO efforts in 2014, there are also more ways than ever to sabotage your attempts to rank on the first page of Google.

  • Don’t ignore the technical components of your website design. They have a big impact on SEO. Technical site issues may be a hidden, but important reason your site’s not performing as well as you’d like.
  • Don’t forget to keep track of your SEO efforts. It’s important to determine what works and what doesn’t, so knowing the impact of your activities is imperative to improving SEO. If you’re not monitoring how your actions are affecting your site’s SEO, everything else becomes irrelevant.
  • Don’t just count your links. Link-building in 2014 is all about high-quality links.
  • Don’t overlook the importance of the mobile device in 2014. This is important to all businesses, but especially local businesses. Mobile marketing is front and center in terms of importance in 2014, making it more vital than ever for businesses to optimize their site for mobile device use and local SEO.

What You SHOULD Be Doing in 2014

While there’s certainly a list of no-no’s for SEO tactics in 2014, the good news is there’s also a number of actionable things that can be done to implement an effective strategy this year.

  • Do create a content calendar for the entire year. This helps plan not only content goals, special events, etc. but can also help your business manage its SEO goals, and track your progress, successes and failings.
  • Do diversify. Yes, content is king and continues to prevail as one of the best indicators of SEO success, but gone are the days that quality content only means blog posts. Branch out and create a broad range of quality content, including white papers, videos, e-books, newsletters, and slide shows. Take advantage of social media and new media with your content.
  • Do invest time to cultivate quality citations. You’re going to rank higher if your site is mentioned and linked to more broadly, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Take the time to build relationships that will lead to quality link building, and be patient with your efforts.
  • Do focus on local SEO. If you’re a small business, you can’t afford not to focus on local search results. Ensure your geographical information is listed correctly, get your business included in local business directories, take advantage of Google+ Local, and utilize localized keywords on your site and in your content.

Above All, Add Value

If we learned anything in 2013, it’s the importance of adding value with your content. When you’re mapping out your SEO plans for 2014 and beyond, focus on curating content that’s useful, informative and will be sought-after by search engine users.

Google continues to make changes that reward valuable content, so regardless of your business or industry, it’s difficult to go wrong when you’re providing search engine users with something they’re seeking.

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