If I recall the time when I started blogging, back in 2004, very less number of people knew about SEO. The term Search Engine optimization has come a long way since then. We can see a lot of change, a lot of algorithms and a lot of new web pages coming onto the web.
There was a time, I guess till 2008, when getting more number of search results for a keyword was considered as more amount of data, but these days, getting more number of search results for a keyword means more spamming.
That is all, Internet is about. Spamming has come a long way across since the time it was first introduced (No one knows the exact date when the first case of spamming was noticed). But certainly, it is one of the most important threats to fight these days.
No matter where you are, search engines, blogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking websites or article directories, spamming has its presence everywhere. Being a blogger, I receive thousands of spam comments on various blogs, thousands of spam emails in my inbox and hundreds of Facebook notifications and messages.
One of the same way of spamming is creating nonsense web pages and ranking them well on search engines with the help of black and white hat SEO methods (Together, these are known as Gray hat SEO techniques). Work of those spammers end here, and that is where the work of search engines start.
Search Engines have a tough time indexing all the pages present on the internet and then to index and arrange them accordingly and then to show them in search results when someone searches for something on the search engines. Most of the time, we end up getting some spam pages on the very first page of Google and that feels very pissing off sometimes, especially when you are searching for something important.
Just to make sure of those things, Google has introduced a lot of algorithms and SEO is no more like before. Now to rank a keyword, you need to implement many things. I will be covering most of latest seo techniques to give you an idea about all those things which are needed to rank your web page better on search engines in 2014.
Search Engine Optimization techniques to follow in 2014
On Page Optimization
Content remains the king
There have been a lot of talks on whether content is the most important part to rank a page in search engines. Till few years before, Search engines were neglecting that fact and that is why spammers got into existence and dominated most of the search engine results. However, the trend has changed now and search engines like Google, MSN have started taking protective measures to rank the pages which are rich by content.
Some of the new algorithms from Google, like Google hummingbird have focused on bringing the importance back on the content and not on the search engine optimization techniques. No matter what kind of page you are optimizing, always try to have a great content base on that page. Gone are the times when pages used to rank because of large number of backlinks and high density of keyword.
Always try to follow the basic content writing techniques. Some of the techniques which you need to follow are listed below
Always have a proper H1, H2 and H3 heading combination. Divide your keywords according to the importance and try to have them in the headings. The H1 is mainly the title of the page, so you need to make sure that the major keyword which you are targeting should be in Article heading. Other keywords with comparatively less importance can be included in H2 and H3.
Visitors, and these days even the search engines prefer simple language. Do not try to write as if you are writing a fiction book. We mainly write blogs to help people and you never know what kind of people with what amount of language skills are visiting your blog. So always try to keep your content simple which can be easily understood by the visitors.
Keyword selection and implementation
What keyword you are choosing also plays an important role. Most of the times, top level keywords are highly competitive that it might take a long time for you to rank for those keywords. In those kind of situations, you always have an option to do a little bit of research on your keywords and target the ones which have comparatively less amount of competition.
Tools like Google Keyword planner can help you to know about the competition as well as the CPC (Cost per click). You can research and select some 2-3 variants of a keyword. All of them can be targeted if you write a long detailed post.
Keyword Density is an important part. Sometimes, people might end up using the keyword many times in the article which is often termed as keyword stuffing and search engines might consider that as spamming. I know you would never hope to see your blog URL to end up in that kind of situation. It is always ideal to maintain a keyword density of around 2-3%.
Being bloggers, many of us use WordPress or Blogger platform. The CMS (Content Management Systems) are a great system altogether, but to make our blog look better, we mostly use third party templates.
Those third party templates are often designed keeping the design and functionality in hand. Obviously, SEO optimized themes are not the first aim for those developers as most of the bloggers want a great looking responsive theme.
Before you choose a theme, make sure that the theme has proper Meta tags implementation. It includes Meta title, meta description and meta keywords.
Meta title and meta description, both these fields have a limit of number of characters. You should not exceed that limit because after the limit, the letters are not included in search engine previews and results. So if you make your title long, so whatever comes after that limit will be automatically excluded.
The limit for meta title is 70 characters and the limit for meta description is 160 characters. Following this becomes important because if you have 85 characters in meta title and the keyword is included at last, then search engines will ignore your URL completely. So it is always good to use short title and description as well as to have the URL at the beginning to get the highest amount of exposure and authority for that particular keyword.
Off page Optimization
Once you are done with on page optimization, you need to make sure that off page optimization is also proper for your blog/website or whatever.
Spamming is done more via off page optimization. That is one of the reasons why there has been a lot of change in the off page optimization techniques over the years.
There are thousands of programs (Free or paid), available online which can do literally anything for you in off page optimization. The programs can fetch you the list of social bookmarking, article submission sites within few seconds and then you just need to give an article, which will be automatically spinned and submitted to thousands of websites within a few seconds.
If you have ranked in search engines by following these techniques, then I will suggest you to stop using the same, because Google have gone smarter and you won’t ever know why your website has been penalized. Just stop using these techniques and make sure not to implement these automatic things again for your blog.
Now let me come to the topic and try to explain on what are the things which you need to implement as a part of off page SEO optimization of your blog. Please note, whatever I will be telling in this post is to be performed manually and not with the help of any software.
Social Media Presence
Social media has emerged to be one of the biggest factors behind ranking the web pages. Social Networks like Google +, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest give you a great authority link to every post which you share with them.
Sharing the content regularly also gives you passive traffic which does not need any optimization. All you need to do is, try to be regular with posting on your social networks so that the fans are always updated with what is going on with your blog or your brand.
Guest Posting & Blog commenting
If you are a blogger, then these techniques will always be useful for you. Having links from a similar niche web page gives you much needed authority. Guest posting often gets you dofollow backlink and blog commenting often gets you a nofollow link. Having a proper combination of both the type of links is always important to maintain a decent search engine image.
In SEO, everything needs to be in a limit. So never go so aggressive and make thousands of links in a short span of time. Instead of getting 1000 links in a week, you can distribute them as 100 links per week and that will surely be more fruitful. For a new blog, there should not be anything more than 20 new links every day. If you have an old high authority blog, then the limit can go till 1000s of links every day.
Try to get a few Wiki and Edu links
Online Wikis are a great source to extract the PageRank juice and domain authority. Once you have a set up website, try to get a few Edu links pointing to your website. Most of the Edu sites are restricted for the outsiders, so all you can do is, you can comment on the published posts and hope for them to be approved. Most of the links from Edu websites are nofollow, but still they get you a great amount of exposure.
Apart from the Edu links, online wikis are on a rise these days. Wikis are nothing but a portal which has information about literally everything. One of the best things about these Wikis is, the content can be edited by anyone, which gives you a great chance of editing the topics related to your niche and give some links back to your website. Always remember that the approval system at most of the Wikis is very strict and you need to add a link only when your content is highly relevant to that page. If you get few backlinks from Wiki sites pointing to relevant sections of your websites, it would really be great for the near future.
If you are still struggling to figure out the SEO strategy you need to implement according to the latest SEO trends, then you can consult some SEO Service providing company. I own one such company, named as Haklu.
These were some of the techniques which you need to implement for a better SEO performance in 2014, If you have any doubt, feel free to comment here and I will try my level best to solve that out for you.