Because the growth of the latest Google search algorithm called Hummingbird, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts and their clients have to adapt slightly their way of thinking. Here are some of the strategies to adopt this year.
1. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile traffic have now officially exceeded desktop traffic on the web. Google was always clear that they want websites to provide the best experience to their users, and have recently started including a mobile-friendly annotation next to search results that are indeed mobile friendly.
You can use this official tool by Google to see if your website is mobile friendly
2. Goodbye Ranking Reports
Solely ranking for keywords doesn’t mean our SEO campaign is successful. This kind of report can be made to look impressive and many SEO firms will even target low competition keywords without value just to be able to say, “Your website is ranking in the top5!” Beautiful PDF ranking reports don’t show if our SEO is working or not… Your conversion rates, revenue, visits and ROI do.
Moreover, with the arrival of Hummingbird, Google is now focusing on key phrases and contextual language associated with our content, which is totally logical. Ex: “something on 4 wheels that runs on gas” is also a car. Google knows it.
Whereas in the past it would simply match keywords to pages, it now considers context and user intent. This means that your content should contain conversational keyword phrases that prospects are more likely to use when searching for your services or products, as well as broader, semantic terms.
Additionally, ranking reports are not considered precise anymore because big part of internet users are constantly logged in, meaning their search results will be tailored to their search history, emails content and much more.
Because of all these reasons, we stopped using ranking reports as our primary indicator of SEO success. On the other hand, we still rank groups of keywords so we can still follow the their efficiency along with multiple other factors.
3. Strongly consider HTTPS
Google announced that HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) had become a ranking factor and that encrypted websites would have a ranking advantage going forward. To encrypt your site, you’ll need to get an SSL certificate (not free, but can be found for cheap). It may not suit every site on the internet, but it’s one of the new SEO strategies that is worth looking into.
4. Focus better on social media engagement.
Many small businesses sign up for every possible social media site and share their content everywhere. This is a mistake if they can’t handle them.. which is the case for most. Social media is now a legitimate marketing channel as well as an online customer service channel. Your social media audience expects your business to engage with them on a more personal level.
Instead of trying to be active on every social media platform available, focus on two or three and be extremely active and helpful. You will end up generating more leads, sales and revenue, and you will also build a very loyal following that will share your content. This benefits your SEO when new people are introduced to your website and even presents opportunities to earn links.