Welcome to the Inspiration Marketing digital marketing strategy guide for 2014. In part 1 of our guide we are going to give you an overview of what we like to call “SEO red and green lights”.
SEO red lights are techniques that you should not be performing and SEO green lights are techniques that we would recommend for 2014 and beyond.
To start off here is a snapshot of what comprises SEO red lights:
SEO Red Lights
- Building as many unqualified links as possible from as many sources as possible.
- Using exact match anchor text in links used to manipulate the algorithm. An example would be “I want to get found for the Keyword SEO so I will have 500 anchor text links with the word SEO.”
- SEO content writing to manipulate search engine algorithms. An example would be keyword stuffing and writing content that provides no real value to its audience. All of these methods will leave your website open to Google penalties.
Google Panda and Penguin
If your website has thin, poorly written content or backlinks that look spammy your site may be penalized by Google. Why? Google has released a series of updates that influence the way its algorithm processes and ranks websites. There were two major updates of note called Panda and Penguin. The Panda update focused on penalizing websites that delivered a poor user experience and thin or duplicate content. The Penguin update focused on exact match anchor text and poor quality links.
There are several ways to diagnose if your website has received a penalty from Google. Google may give you a direct notice through Webmaster Tools or you may have noticed a significant drop in traffic over the last year or so.
You can use Google Analytics to view your traffic and help with the diagnoses or you can use tools like The Panguin Tool from Barracuda Digital, which benchmarks your traffic against the Google updates so that you can see if a drop in traffic coincided with a Google update.
For your website to bounce back after a Google penalty you need to find the source of the problem and fix it. You can use tools like Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer or Link Detox to diagnose low quality links. Once you have a list of poor quality links you can then submit a disavow request in Webmaster Tools.
If your website contains thin or poorly written content we would recommend re-writing the pages. If your website delivers a poor user experience you should develop a new website or enhance your existing website to ensure it delivers the best possible user experience for your audience. Your website can recover from Google penalties it just takes time and a fresh approach to your SEO.
SEO Green Lights
This leads us on to SEO green lights. This is where you want to be in 2014.
- Your website should deliver the best possible user experience.
- You should build your website using responsive web design, use clear navigation and strong visible call to actions.
- Your site should have a clean backlink footprint – with any toxic links disavowed.
- Your content needs to be engaging – think about your target audience and what type of content they will most likely engage with. Content that rocks earns links “naturally”.
- Use social media that is most relevant for your business. Whether it is Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, if your target market are using it that is where you want to be.
- Focus on increasing conversions on your website – through A/B testing, better calls to actions or copy that sells your product or service.
In part 2 of our Digital Marketing Strategy Guide we will be discussing best practices for competitor research. We are also compiling a more comprehensive Digital Marketing Strategy Resource for our clients covering all aspects of Digital Marketing.
Below you can find a presentation that summarizes the main points in this blog. Feel free to embed the presentation on your website.