Here we are at the start of a New Year and you know what that means! It’s time to start some New Years resolutions. Many of you will make resolutions to stay in contact with old friends, spend more time with family, or the ever popular getting in shape. While you are working on those resolutions, lets consider the top 3 resolutions for your SEO strategy.
1. Run a Site Audit, with link audit included.
When was the last time you ran and audit on your site? 1 month ago, 3 months ago, 6 months ago? Most understand the fact that algorithm’s can change several times over the year. 2014 was a big year for Google and their algorithmic changes. According to Moz change history, Google rolled out at least 13 new updates in 2014 with several other small updates. With that being the case, there is a good chance that those changes have had some impact on your site somewhere along the way. Hopefully the impact was minimal but it’s hard to know exactly what that impact was unless a site audit is performed. If it has been longer than 3 months since you took a good look at your analytics or the data found in your webmaster tools account, now is a perfect time to evaluate that data. A site audit will help to identify any red flags that might hold your site back in 2015. As a side note, if you do find several things that need to be addressed, take it one task at a time. If your site has been hit with Google updates, this can be a bit of an overwhelming task. Start by working on any onsite issues that you have first (duplicate title tags, any content issues, etc.) then work any strategic issues like link detox or 404 errors.
2. Check your citations:
The second thing to address as part of your SEO New Years resolution is checking on citations. Citations are an important piece of search engine algorithms. Although this pertains mostly to local business, citations are an important branding activity and have a lot of SEO value. With all other components being similar, often times businesses with a number of correct citations will most likely rank higher than those with fewer or inaccurate citations. Correct citations help search engines be certain about your business being who you say you are and located where you say you are located. Often times during the course of a year, companies will move offices or add new offices. Once the new information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.) gets added to the site, it must be consistent in your local citations. Another thing to understand with citations are the impact it has on mobile searches. Consider this, let’s say you are a lawyer in Mesa Arizona and you specialize in DUI. In the event that a person in the greater Mesa area has been pulled over for DUI, they may be standing on the side of the road, or sitting in the back of a police car thinking “I am going to need a lawyer”. So they do what everyone does, they pull out there phone, and search for Mesa DUI lawyer. That person is more likely to see your citation at the top of the mobile search results, than they are to scroll through the natural results. With that said, local citations will be imperative to your site success and overall ROI in 2015.
3. Investigate your link profile:
The third component to your resolutions should be an investigation of your link profile. As mentioned previously, part of your site audit should include a link audit. The Penguin update that was released in 2014 was one of the harshest updates pertaining to links that we have seen. With linking still caring weight in search engine rankings, this is something that needs to be addressed. In 2015, lets focus more on earning links rather than just “getting” them. Here are a couple good ways you can earn a quality link that will help to safeguard your link portfolio from future algorithm updates. Remember the goal is to make sure you are acquiring quality links. Using press sites can be an effective way getting a good link. Consider finding opportunities to support a journalists’ story with some of your own information that can back up the topic of their story. Doing so can yield you links from high authority sites. Another idea to consider is to market quotes from key people in your industry. There are certainly top experts in just about every industry out there. Search for those people, find quotes and use them as link building strategy. Remember back in the day when websites had a page dedicated to testimonials? Although those days are long gone, testimonials can be a good bargaining chip for link acquisition. If you have purchased a product, attended a convention, or been involved in any way with a quality person or site in your space, offer them a testimonial. When people want to sell something, specifically a service, they can never have too many testimonials. If you have had a good experience with that person or their product, offer them a testimonial.
Although you may find that you don’t have time to keep up with old friends in 2015, or that some of your family members are just too annoying to spend time with, or that your addiction to cheese cake is too much for you to overcome, make sure your SEO New Years resolutions are kept! You can be sure the SEO target will move again in 2015, but following these tips will help you keep your SEO momentum in the New Year.