In retrospect, 2013 was a difficult year for Search Engine Optimisation. The large algorithm changes implemented across Google search made life for SEO’s much harder, to the point where some reactionary critics claimed that SEO was dead.

However, many simply believe that it is now more competitive, and that the core premise behind SEO remains the same: chase quality back-links to your site, and create quality on-site content relevant to your keywords in order to boost your rankings within search.

In this blog, and indeed, in future blogs, we’ll be outlining what needs to be done to adapt to the changes in search, to bolster your website’s online presence.

NO TO KEYWORD STUFFING – In the past, SEO’s would clumsily cram as many keywords into a site’s content and its meta tags as possible. Keyword stuffing is considered an unethical and cynical technique by Google, and they’ve now cracked down on it considerably.

That’s not to say that utilising keywords in content and meta is a bad thing, but it must be used cautiously and intelligently, and certainly not to excess, in order to avoid a blacklisting on Google. Still, tracking keyword data has become increasingly difficult due to the rise of (not provided) search terms, which means that other areas need to focussed on more.

CLEAR SITE STRUCTURE – The algorithm changes deployed by Google also effectively meant that any sites with thin or duplicate content, or even any sites with too many ads, were seen to be spammy when Google crawled through the site. A webpage needs to have a clear site structure to combat this. Carefully chosen keywords and links that navigate fluidly across the whole domain are now a must.

FRESH RELEVANT CONTENT – Sites need to have relevant content that is in the interests of its core audience. It needs to be fresh, it needs to be reliable and readable and it needs to be arresting and engaging too. On landing pages, you will want some explanatory text, but not too much, and not too little, as well as, ideally, images with alt text and a title with a H1 tag, both in line with your keywords. A regularly updated on site blog or news page is highly recommended. Posting news and blogs to engage with your target audience on your social media page will help with integration and will help generate traffic.

EMPHASIS ON LOCAL SEARCH – with increased sales of mobile and tablet devices ahead of laptops (according to PC World), the amount of quick searches for local products and services on a handheld device is likely to multiply. Having keywords in line with your proximity is therefore advisable, even if you’re a national company.

We’ll be adding another blog soon, which will discuss other methods of supplementing your SEO, such as PPC, advertising, email marketing and social media integration. We will be looking at how SEO can be optimised through Schema as well.

Want to know more about the changes to SEO? Why not call us on 0116 326 1116 or drop us a message on our contact page, and we'll be back in touch in no time.