SEO Resolutions for 2014

Written by: Drew Lyon   Austin, Texas

Posted on: January 3, 2014

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Twenty-fourteen is upon us…a new year sure to bring forth a new set of internet marketing challenges and opportunities. Bring it on, we say. Time to put what we’ve learned in the past year into practice. So with that in mind, here are a few of our SEO resolutions for 2014…

Write what comes naturally

Content has been bubbling up to the forefront of the SEO industry for several years now, but in the past year we found out that Google’s new algorithm (Hummingbird) can digest and parse meaning from long strings of text (entire paragraphs / whole pages at once), opposed to the shorter phrases it examined in the past.

Which means, if you mention “Austin” in one sentence and “dog grooming” several sentences later, Google will do the linguistic math and put together that you provide, and would like to show up for, “Austin dog grooming” searches—a conclusion any real person reading the site would also come to.

This is especially great news for those of us who write SEO content because it means we can focus more on message and worry less about how many times we’ve explicitly mentioned an SEO keyword. It also means there’s really no excuse anymore for keyword spamming. Just don’t do it.

Keep a close eye on that Google+ thing

If Facebook’s no longer cool with the cool kids, then where does that leave Google+, exactly? While we won’t comment on the relative popularity of Google+ (or relative lack thereof), what we will say is that Google+’s stock is rising in one key area: Google’s search ranking algorithm.

Seeing as it will always be in Facebook and Twitter’s best business interest to keep their information siloed in a place where they can make the most money from it, Google has to either fork over truckloads of dough to partner with them (not happening) or mine their own social network (G+) for clues as to what’s most relevant to users.

So really it doesn’t even matter if Google+ grows or stays stagnant because they’re going to take any social data they can get their hands on as long as they think it will make their results more personal. Being able to provide personally-relevant results (and deliver personally-relevant ads) is what Google’s whole business depends on.

Stop whining about “not provided” keywords and focus on more telling analytics

Contrary to what some industry folks might think, Google does not have it out for search engine marketers. They have it out for spammers and black-hat SEOs who manipulate rankings in ways that could potentially hurt a Google user’s experience. However, quality search engine optimization should actually improve the experience across the board—it should make what users find through Google more useful AND improve what users find when they visit a website. Win-win.

That said, we’re not entirely convinced privacy is the only reason Google removed this metric often touted by SEO firms, seeing as how the same data is still available to paying advertisers on Adwords. It looks to us like Google is trying to further incentivize businesses to use a service that brings in over 95% of their revenue (i.e. Adwords). No big surprise there. Google, too, is a business after all.

Either way, we’re done bemoaning Google’s decision to encrypt keyword data. Moving on…looking at the bright side…seeing this as an opportunity for us and other SEOs to emphasize to clients that search marketing success does not depend on the rankings/traffic from one or two popular keywords.

Instead, let’s show people that an overall increase in search engine traffic is far more important than 1st place for a few vanity keywords, and that how well that traffic is converting into new business is perhaps the most important metric of all.

Well, that’s all for now. Plenty of work to be done. Let’s get busy!

Happy New Year,
FMC

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