Unless you have just opened up your online business, then you are well aware that SEO has fundamentally changed over the last 12 months.
For years Google has been saying that if you want to rank, then you must have a high quality site. The problem was, that the sites that were ranking were not necessarily high quality sites, but sites that had the most links.
There were many schools of thought as to what you needed to do.
Those that followed the instructions of Google to just create high quality content, were frustrated as they knew that what they were doing SHOULD work… after all they were following the rules that Google laid out!
Others hedged their bets and built links from relevant sites to their sites in addition to producing high quality content.
And yet others relied solely on building a massive quantity of links without any discrimination of site being relevant or not.
Those that simply relied on link building were hit about February 2012. Those that had hedged their bets and were trying to both give Google what they wanted, yet also get immediate results as well weren’t hit until about April of 2012.
And the sites that just built quality content without doing any marketing… well they are still waiting for top rankings.
So what still works now? What does a business owner need to do today in 2013 to get top rankings in Google?
Well it is not that simple.
Today Google is truly ranking quality and authoritative sites. But what makes a site quality in the eyes of Google? What makes a site authoritative? What do we need to do to get a site ranked in 2013?
Clean Code. Does your site have html errors, php errors, broken divs, or obsolete code? Does the site load quickly?
Awesome User Experience. Are customers staying on your page? Are they reading more than one page or just one? Are they staying on the site or quickly leaving?
Fresh High Quality Content. Your site must have a blog and you must be publishing to it regularly. You don’t have to publish every day. But what you do publish must be high quality. And you can’t put up articles posing as blog posts!
Social Media Signals. Your business needs to have a presence on social media for many reasons… SEO being one of them. Social media used the right way is how you can promote your blog content to get likes, shares, tweets, and comments.
Author Rank. You must connect your site to your Google+ account and also connect all of your blog authors to their Google+ accounts as well. Google is looking for more transparency. They don’t want to have personas on Google+.
Links. Yes you still need links but before you run out and get more, you might need to get rid of some. If your site has a lot of links from spammy sites, you will first have to get those links removed. You still need to get high quality links to your site but fewer is better. All links should be earned links. For example, if you are a guest on a radio show and the radio show has a website, they would link to you so their listeners can find your site easier. If you have true news and you publish a press release and the real media picks it up, that is fine. Article directories, web 2.0 sites, and any other type of manufactured link is no longer part of SEO for 2013.
There you have it! Focus on those six things and your site will get back on track!
If you would like an extra set of eyes to check out your site and show you exactly what you need to do to get your site on track, just contact me and ask about the SEO Site Audit. SEO Site Audits start at $1500 and go up to $5,000 depending on the size of your site.