This is a sponsored post.
The new year inspires many people to take action and get in shape, including upgrading their online presence and website. SEO PowerSuite put together an overview of what we can expect this year and how to prepare for SEO success in 2015.
When facing Google, even the best strategies face constant change. Yet, when striving for long-term ranking, there are a few rules that never get old: search results continue to be part of a complicated and strategic marketing plan involving social media, long content creation, and paid search outlets.
An interesting prediction made by the team is the Google monopoly may be ending, thanks to Firefox’s default search engine going to Yahoo. What do you think?
So with the constant change, what are the five areas you should be focused on for your site?
We all want to be found. Yet we need to make sure we can be. Just adding pages with no logical structure doesn’t help your cause at all.
Use a logical site linking structure that allows all important pages to be found easily from the home page. Also, make sure your page names reflect the structure of your site.
If users are having to use the back button to navigate through your site, this is a sign that your site’s structure is not optimal.
Action Steps to Be Findable:
- Examine your current linking structure. Are the important pages easily findable on the home page?
- Are you using breadcrumbs to help with navigation?
- Do you have a search box to help users find the content they are looking for?
Be Proactive With Panda and Penguin
Google’s goal with Panda was to sift out low ranking and poor quality backlinks. If you have too many of those links pointing to your site, you may be penalized. Following up with Penguin which identified unnatural linking patterns to your site.
- Create content that is unique, useful, and therefore shareable.
- Does your site have duplicate content from page to page?
- Is your site Canonicalization clear and understandable by the search engines?
- Use a program like SEOSpyglass to find links that may hurt your ranking.
Here is how you can do that with SEO PowerSuite:
After you log into your account and pull up your project, make sure you run the Update Factors option. If you have a lot of backlinks, this may take a long time. So, you can either let it run or just highlight the sites with a low PR since those may be the highest at risk.
Once you let the program update, go to the link penalty risks tab at the top.
Once there, SEO SpyGlass will show them from the most high risk on down. You can identify these through a color code system. Red being the highest risk, on down from yellow to green and the shades in between.
An excellent feature with SEO SpyGlass’s anti-penalty link audit is the little circled “i” indicating there is more information. When hovered over, a box will pop up letting you know why this particular link may be high risk.
When it comes to focusing on site issues brought about by Penguin, you will want to examine your anchor tags, as well as the rate of backlinks coming back to you.
You shouldn’t worry when people are naturally sharing your informative expert content. But, if you are participating in link networks, receiving links from sites that have nothing to do with yours and have only a few specific anchor texts pointing back, you may need to reevaluate how you are getting those backlinks.
- Examine the anchor text pointing back to you, is this varied?
- Find the backlinks that may penalize you and disavow them.
- Again, create amazing content that people want to share.
Improve User Experience
In SEO, we focus on Google and other search engines the majority of the time. Yet, it really boils down to getting a live person to your website and helping them along the path of conversion. Websites that focus on creating a wonderful and simple user experience are usually rewarded with sales.
- Test your site speed, does it load quickly? Remove elements that slow down the loading process.
- Is your site easy to navigate, finding the most relevant and important information easily from your menu?
- Do you have social share buttons available so your visitors can share your content?
Be Mobile Friendly
This one is a pet peeve of mine personally. I still can’t believe how many sites are not mobile optimized yet.
According to in recent reports, nearly half of users say they will not return to a website if it does not work well on their device. And, 50% or mobile searches result in a purchase.
Beyond people NOT coming back to your site, you are missing out on the potential sales and consumer interaction.
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly
- Make sure your site is mobile optimized
- Test if your website is mobile-friendly using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Get Social Signals the Right Way
By creating valuable content, your posts are more likely to be shared and referred to on other sites. By keeping track of what is being shared, commented on, and tweeted about by your followers, you can add more of those topics.
- Make is easy for people to share by including clickable buttons near each post
- Ask people to share it for you
- Make sure to share your content socially yourself
- Include images with the name of your attention grabbing headline in them
No one can totally predict what Google has up its sleeves in 2015. By being prepared and keeping your website fit, so to speak, you’ll be well on your way to quality traffic and secure rankings.
What do you think? What is the most important thing web owners should be focused on in 2015?
To read the full SEO guide for 2015 from SEO PowerSuite, click here.
Featured Image: Created by author for Search Engine Journal
Image #1: Created by author for Search Engine Journal
All screenshots taken January 2015