We all know that search engine optimisation is always changing; the face of SEO today is very different to the one we knew a couple of years ago. This being the case, what exactly are the top SEO trends from the past year?
Creating SEO friendly content no longer means just creating a slab of text with keywords in it. Content written for SEO purposes needs to be in-depth, informative and useful to internet users – and keywords only really need to be inserted minimally. Google no longer scans content for keywords; it ‘reads’ content for meaning. Content therefore needs to take into account Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) – that is, information you would expect to see surrounding particular phrases. It should essentially include information that places the author as an expert on a topic. Like many leading SEO companies, WME Group review content regularly, tracking its effectiveness and altering content writing processes accordingly.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – they all have the ability to influence an SEO campaign. Social media sites are a major factor when it comes to referrals, in fact it’s believed that Facebook is the force behind approximately 20% of all traffic that sites receive. An active social media site, when linked to a business’ website, also has the ability to boost search engine results page (SERP) rankings, as it helps to improve the authority of the website. The influence of social media on SEO campaigns has seen large online marketing companies, such as WME Group, invest heavily in their social media divisions. These days, a comprehensive online marketing strategy is needed – not just an SEO campaign.
Google Authorship allows you to link any content you have created with a Google+ profile. This means that internet users can see who has written an article, and how reputable the author is – an authorship snippet appears alongside the search result. It is believed that Google does use a form of Author Rank, at least when it comes to ranking in-depth articles. This means that authors are essentially ranked in terms of authority. Over the past year, Google has reduced the snippets that appear alongside search results. For reputable authors using authoritative websites, full snippets still appear. However, for those with lower authorship rankings, snippets are reduced or scrapped altogether.
When it comes to blogging, think quality over quantity. Gone are the days where businesses could create spammy blog articles for the sole purpose of creating backlinks. Modern-day Google wants to see blogs that are of value to readers, so all blogs should be well written, industry specific and informative.Blogs can still be used to create useful backlinks, however it’s best to think of this as a secondary benefit. The primary benefit is to connect with readers and provide quality information.
As the SEO process becomes increasingly complicated, more online marketing companies are opting to hire full in-house teams. For leading agencies such as WME, SEO campaigns are carried out by in-house teams – SEO experts and technical staff, content writers and link builders.
While WME search engine opstimisation professionals were once enacting SEO campaigns themselves, they are now working for these types of companies in management roles, overseeing the process from start to finish.
In 2014, SEO became more labour intensive – and therefore more expensive! While some drastic changes were seen within the industry over the past year, you can bet that there is plenty in store for 2015 as well.
The face of SEO is always changing!