So what are the SEO best practices 2015? Going into the new year SEO or search engine optimisation will continue to change and develop according to what is required from the search engines in delivering the best value for the end user or the searcher on Google (or whatever platform someone is using). Google has the largest share of online customers for search engines though and they will be setting the bar in 2015.
It is important to remember that it is the end user who Google are providing content for. That is, you and me and whoever types any queries into the Google search bar looking for answers. What they get in the first listings that appear should answer their questions most succinctly and definitively. We all want quality content. If we wanted spammy affiliate links everywhere and a bunch of pop up advertising that’s what Google would reward. However this is not the case and we must learn, if we are the ones providing content, to provide the best possible content possible for the end user. Google has changed and will continue to do so to evolve as the marketplace evolves. But one thing does not go out of style and that is quality.
Search engines are computers however, and although they are sophisticated computers, they are computers none the less. The algorithms used to determine which sites appear above others still use information that they always did. Incoming links and keywords, domain names and content. A site’s authority is also a key determining factor in how it will rank and this is determined by a number of factors. How old the site is, whether it is regularly updated, incoming links from other quality sites all have a factor in determining a site’s authority.
Sites like wikipedia.org and bbc.co.uk are authority sites and as such whenever they post something it gets to the top of Google straight away. What makes them authority sites is their obvious authority and age but also the regular content, incoming links and the reputation which has made all those links.
When Google rolled out their new algorithms known as Penguin and Panda a lot of people suffered. Optimisation tactics which used to work had been changed. Smaller sites who were trying to ‘trick’ the algorithms by creating fake back links from low quality sites and creating overly keyword targeted articles were punished badly. I was working for a company who’s pages simply fell off Google altogether from the first few pages to nowhere to be seen!
Although there is no specific hard and fast ‘rules’ as to where the search engines are going in the future, there are a few things which you should always bear in mind:
1. Consider the end user and don’t write for the ‘search engines’. Offer the best possible ‘experience’ for them as this is what Google ultimately wants.
2. Make sure your website works. If it is slow this will not give the end user the best experience and therefore you will be penalized.
3. Do use your keywords in titles, tags and meta descriptions as well as in pictures in the description. Don’t spam keywords into content but write naturally.
4. Links should appear naturally. A link profile which appears overnight is obviously a sign of manipulation. Link from quality sites in your niche/area. Earn your inbound links by creating content that people want to link to.
5. Make sure your site is organised. Use a sitemap on your site to help the search engines navigate it. The structure of your site should allow the engines and people to easily navigate it.
6. Post regular content and make updates regularly
7. Make sure there are no broken links on your site and avoid spelling errors.
8. Use Google Webmaster tools
9. Mobile optimise your website or blog so it can be seen clearly on mobiles and tablets.
10. Use www.google.com/trends/ to help you know changing trends in your industry.
11. Use the Google Keyword planner to help focus and plan your marketing activities around focused keywords in your niche.