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The best practices associated with these trends:
Although much has changed over the past year when it comes to SEO, the principles of keyword research have remained relatively stable. So, which keyword tools and resources are still current and relevant in 2014?
Following are some of the best keyword research tools available in 2014. Keep in mind that while not all of them are free, all offer a limited-time free trial so you can at least test them out before buying.
Here are a few more helpful resources for conducting keyword research:
On-page SEO elements, fortunately, haven’t changed much over the past year or two. Your goal should still be to produce high-quality, unique content that meets the needs and expectations of your audience.
To ensure that both your readers and Google know what your content is about, be sure to include your keywords in your:
Other important on-page SEO factors include:
For more info on how to implement on-page SEO best practices, see my article,
If you haven’t already optimized your website for mobile, this should be your #1 priority this year when it comes to SEO. As Google seeks to keep up with the rise in voice search due to high mobile usage, your website and your content must be optimized with this in mind.
Some elements to consider include:
Setting up Google Authorship isn’t difficult, and should no longer be considered optional. By linking your Google+ profile with all the content you produce, you claim ‘ownership’ of all your content, thereby increasing your Author Rank, which is a theoretical value determined by the quality and quantity of the content you produce, as well as which publishers publish your content.
In a Google Webmaster video published on May 5th, Matt Cutts addressed the question “Will backlinks lose their importance in ranking?” The short answer is “not for at least several years,” but Cutts did hint that Google Authorship will play a larger role in the ranking algorithm in years to come. “If we could be able to tell, Danny Sullivan wrote this article, or Vanessa Fox wrote this article, that would help us understand, this is something where it’s an expert in this particular field.” The way Google can tell that is via Google Authorship.
Authorship is also useful for increasing click-through rates when your content shows up in search engine results pages, because your name and headshot appear next to your content, as shown in the screenshot below. This builds your personal brand, and extends the reach of your content.
For more on how to implement Google Authorship, see my post
Building high-quality, relevant links to your website is one of the most time-consuming elements of SEO, but also one of the most rewarding. Links are the most important factor in the search ranking algorithm, and one of the most effective ways to build inbound links is through guest blogging, which I covered extensively in my article,
Guest blogging has gotten a black eye since Cutts
Some best practices to keep in mind when working on any inbound link building strategy include:
When it comes down to it, producing excellent content and promoting it to the best of your ability should still be seen as the gold standard of not just link building, but also SEO as a whole. This is why many experts are touting content strategy as the “new SEO.” Social media has become the great amplifier for content dissemination, making it essential for any content strategy and SEO effort.
SEO is changing; as black-hat tactics are squashed by Google’s algorithm, SEO disciplines are blurring the lines with traditional marketing best practices; and Matt Cutts concurs. In a recent interview, Cutts said, “a lot of SEO has been focused on technical matters and very highly specific ways to configure your website and stuff like that. There are best practices, and you need to make sure you get the basics right, but it is true that a lot of SEO is now circling back around to good old fashioned marketing.”