Wait… isn’t SEO dead in 2014?
I really hope you don’t believe this nonsense because it’s not even remotely accurate. SEO’s not dead, it has just morphed into a completely different animal.
I’m going to point out one incredibly obvious fact that has disappeared under a cloud of theory and generalizations: SEO IS EASIER THAN EVER.
It’s not only easier in 2014, but it’s actually way simpler than it’s ever been!
Below, I’m going to explain exactly what you need to do this year to see real success from your SEO campaign.
Content, Content, and More Content
It is undeniable at this point that developing valuable, shareable, and highly engaging content is absolutely critical. Not only does content reveal your expertise and establish your website as an authority within your industry, but it’s also hands-down the easiest way to acquire backlinks, social shares, and build your brand.
That is, if you’re doing it the right way.
Simple Guidelines for Developing Content That Skyrockets Your SEO Efforts
- Study your industry – are your competitor’s blogging? Is their content average or stellar? Are they building a strong blog following which shares and interacts with their content? Understanding and acknowledging your competitors current content strategy is where you have to start. It doesn’t matter if they are producing content like Neil Patel or writing garbage, you need to brainstorm a strategy that will allow you to not only compete with them, but also attract their audience.
- Target the voids – there are content voids in every industry. You just need to find them. Visit popular forums in your industry, read relevant blogs, and watch Q&A websites. You will start to notice questions that continually popup. By answering these questions (voids), you’ll be fulfilling a need, solving a problem, and establishing yourself as the expert.
- Write insanely good content – there’s no room for mediocre content if you want your business to standout. Focus your efforts on QUALITY, not quantity. Some of the best types of content for attracting links (link bait) include ego bait (create an epic list of the top influencers within your industry: “Top 100 Home Decor Bloggers”), create a super resource or guide, create a highly technical post, find a resource that already exists and create a better one, or get controversial
- Vary your presentation – writing epic blog posts is the best, but you should also vary up your content by using videos, slide presentations, webinars/podcasts, PDFs, and infographics. Not only will this keep your blog readers engaged, but it will also bring more personality and “realness” to your business because people will actually hear your voice and see you.
SEO in 2014 is about building your brand. Developing your blog and creating stellar content is the first step, but content without marketing is a losing effort. Anyone who’s involved in national SEO campaigns should know that Google favors brands.
There is no denying it and there’s also no point in crying about it either. So instead of complaining, you need to focus on trying to replicate the same success that websites like Amazon, Wikipedia, and Overstock have in the SERPS.
The first step to being treated like a brand is something that you could never guess…
ACT LIKE ONE.
Remember when I said SEO is simple in 2014? I wasn’t lying.
If you want to be treated like a brand, then you have to act like one. That means engaging in activities that brands would. Brands focus on “being everywhere” and becoming recognizable.
Obviously the best way to improve your brands presence and credibility online is through informative and valuable content designed around solving consumers or business’s problems.
But aside from content, you should be focusing these tactics below to spread your influence online:
- HIGH-QUALITY press releases – I’m not talking about the garbage press releases designed solely for link building. Those are way dead. I’m talking about using press releases for brand recognition and notoriety of what’s going on in your business.
- Secure branded properties – you should be securing every single property related to your business. This not only eliminates headache, but it also indicates to Google that you’re acting like a brand. Use KnowEm.
- Utilize Credible Directories – once again, not for link building. Focus on paid directories and super high-quality free directories with moderation in place.
- Free: DMOZ, CrunchBase, R-TT.com
- Paid: BOTW, Jasmine Directory, World Web Directory, Yahoo Directory
- Business Directories – this should be a no-brainer, but you should submitting your website to business directories Please don’t make me explain why.
All of these brand / link building techniques are not only designed to build your brand, but it will also build Google’s trust for your website. Without building trust, your link building campaign will eventually fall flat.
Every wannabe guru has their link building philosophy. Me personally, I focus on WHAT WORKS, not philosophy. Link building is about testing and that’s what I do. Believe it or not, the Google Penguin updates have actually made the entire process way easier.
Here’s how you build links in 2014:
- Write amazing content to attract links – explained this above, but getting links naturally is always the best strategy.
- Get the links that are “hard” – one link from CNN is better than 10,000 average, unmoderated links.
- Don’t do what everyone else is doing – whenever certain strategies become publicly known, it means they will soon be dead or at least targeted. Matt Cutt’s latest propaganda about guest posting is a good example. Bring me to my next point…
- Guest posting – guest posting on relevant website is going to be the best way to build links for a long time as long as you understand how to do it. The goal of guest posts is to building your authority within your industry, send relevant referral traffic to your site, and to get an authoritative link. It works… well, that is if you understand anchor text.
Anchor Text in 2014
Penguin has been in place for quite some time now, but people still don’t understand how to use anchor text for their links. Follow this formula and you’ll never have any issues:
- Keep your exact match anchor text below 5% or less
- 50% of your backlinks should use variations of your brand name
- 30% should be generic anchors “click here, go here” etc.
- The last 10-15 percent should be LSI keywords and extreme variations of your keywords.
Just don’t get crazy with exact match anchors you’ll be good.
To Conclude About Your 2014 SEO Strategy
SEO in 2014 isn’t difficult. Just keep things simple: create valuable content designed to solve problems and help people, focus on spreading your brand online by using the “be everywhere” strategy, and use common sense when building links.