2012 will definitely go down in search engine marketing history as one of the most turbulent times in SEO. Carcasses of websites which died because of their outdated SEO tactics clutter cyberspace while new superstars have emerged.
As search engine marketing enters another year and as the SEO industry is set to become a $2 billion industry in 2013, the question in everyone’s mind is how to occupy the coveted and limited top spots in search engines’ results pages. Here the SEO strategies you need to strengthen your online presence in 2013.
Enough with the Antiquated Optimization Tactics
This strategy may appear like stating the obvious. However, the need to move forward from the popular SEO tactics a couple of years ago cannot be overemphasized. Surprisingly, many online marketers are still keywords-obsessed. While keywords are important, they are not the be-all and end-all of SEO. Keywords stuffing and over optimized title tags and meta descriptions still plague a number of sites. You should focus more on creating powerful and compelling content rather than overloading them with keywords.
Don’t Build Links, Earn Them
Link building has been the quintessential tactic in search engine optimization. In fact, it is safe to say that every SEO effort is geared towards building links. This insatiable hunger for inbound links pushed online marketers to resort to what is now called “black hat” tactics. 2012 was the year when search engines, particularly Google, condemned link spamming and went on a hunt to penalize sites with low quality inbound links. For 2013, a change of mindset is necessary – from link building to link earning. You earn link by developing good content and reinforcing your authority. Again, high quality, unique and useful content is the backbone of this strategy. Your end goal should be for other credible and authoritative sites to link to you. That’s how Google gauges how good you are.
Eliminate All Second Thoughts on Using Social Media
The role of social media in a site’s SERP performance has been debated for a long time. However, with the sheer number of social media users and the many success stories associated with building strong online social communities, social media is now a must-have in any SEO strategy. More than traffic or ranking, marketing in social networks is about engaging your audience meaningfully. It’s about building brand equity and forging trust between your business and the relevant stakeholders and influencers.
When developing a social media strategy, don’t just focus on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Remember, YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world and also doubles as a video-sharing social community. Further, photo-driven social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest are gaining momentum. Recently, Instagram has overtaken Twitter in terms of daily mobile traffic. It’s an opportunity for you to become creative and innovative with your social media strategy.
Weave Everything Together and Focus on Results
Enterprise SEO will be on the spotlight in 2013. Often times, marketers mistake the definition of enterprise SEO as something that is dependent on a business’ size or the scale of its web properties. The new paradigm is that enterprise SEO is all about integration. Marketers need to shatter all their previous notions of how to do search engine optimization and redefine it in a more holistic and all-inclusive strategy. This includes social media, relationship management, search and the site itself. It also involves streamlining processes and systems when identifying metrics, conducting analysis, monitoring and forecasting.
Be results-driven. Focus on ROI. Doing SEO for SEO’s sake is a thing of the past. Reconfigure your strategies in such a way that the tangible results and measurable metrics are of utmost priority.
Good luck on your SEO campaigns this 2013!