Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is probably the most complicated aspect of online marketing. The biggest trouble here is its evolutionary nature. You can spend months learning the best tricks of the trade, only for Google to change the system completely. If you’re following SEO techniques you learnt twelve months ago, chances are they’re already outdated. Worse still, they could actually harm you and your website! So, without further ado, here are 5 things you might not know about SEO in 2015.
1. Social media does matter
Marketers have been claiming that social media doesn’t matter when it comes to SEO. It’s true that Google doesn’t index how often you’re mentioned on Twitter or Facebook. It also doesn’t take into account your following or presence. However, what is important, is how widely your content is shared. Google does take an interest in how many people visit your site and whether they share it with others. Social media matters because it shows you have a community that think you are important.
2. You need more than keywords and backlinks
SEO was certainly easier back in the day. All you needed were plenty of accurate keywords spread throughout your website. You could also happily buy links to your website to show Google how influential you were. Nowadays, it’s not so simple. These things still matter, but what is more important is your authority and reputation. Google only wants to serve its users the best content and it has developed much smarter ways of finding it.
3. Quantity no longer beats quality
Up until a few years ago, search engines were looking for quantity. They searched for sheer numbers of links back to your site and the density of relevant keywords. Lots of content and lots of links were the tricks of the trade. Now, it’s all about quality. It’s better to publish one staggeringly great piece of content than six average articles. It’s better to get one link from The New York Times than a hundred small blogs. Of course, this is all easier said than done, but reframe your way of thinking.
4. Speed matters
Search engines are looking to provide their users with instant answers. They’ll present only the fastest websites to its users. That means every millisecond of your load speed matters. Seek to improve how fast your site responds. Reduce the amount of plugins on your site and optimise your imagery. You may need to tweak your web design to make the necessary changes here.
5. Reviews matter
Google’s latest algorithm update, named Pigeon, changed the way local search results are displayed. To understand this further, we spoke to the experts at Irving SEO. They told us that Google now indexes reviews from sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp. That way, they can offer results to users based on real-life experience. It puts control back in the hands of customers, so it means you’ve got to focus on excellent customer service.
Quite simply, there are no shortcuts or games to play when it comes to SEO. Your goal should be to produce the best possible content at all times. Strive for genuine, organic growth and build your reputation. Let us know your experience with SEO in the last few months in the comment section below.