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2013 Top SEO Tips and Tricks
2012 was a roller coaster year for SEO and included more changes than in any other previous year. If you were around in 2012 you probably heard words such as Panda, Penguin, Venice, and more. If you had a hard time this year in SEO it’s time to improve your game. Although sometimes good guys get hit, many of the changes Google made in 2012 were related to stopping more spam on the web.
With all of these changes it comes time to change your paradigm and prepare for 2013. Below, I have provided some tips, explanations, and action items for your 2013 SEO Strategy inspired by Dr. Pete’s SEOMOZ post.
Tip #1 – Don’t Rely on Exact Match Anchor Text
In 2012 it seemed like a great idea to have all of your incoming links point to your own site with the keyword you wanted to rank for as the anchor text. Maybe you even built 1,000 backlinks with the anchor text Blue Gumballs trying to get your Blue Gumball’s page to rank for that keyword. If you did that, change it now (Or maybe it was already too late?)
Why? – Google wants you to obtain natural links. It doesn’t want you to pay for them or go out and get them because that may be seen as manipulation. One sure way to see if someone is manipulating this is if the anchor text is the same. Think about it. Unless it’s your brand name, if you have 1,000 links coming to your site all anchored in Blue Gumball’s that’s just not natural. If I was going to link to your site, I as the webmaster may use your Company Name, descriptive text, or maybe the words click here. But since everyone is different, that text will vary greatly.
Action Item – When you get links diversify your anchor text. If your company name is Shatterbuggy, then make sure a large percentage of your links are anchored in variants of that such as Shatter Buggy, ShatterBuggy Inc., etc. If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, there are also variants you are probably trying to rank for as well. Therefore instead of building a million links that say Car Accident Lawyer to your car accident page, create others such as , Auto Accident Lawyers, Car Crash Lawyers, etc. If you really want to take this to the next level then stop chasing links and start doing some RCS!
Tip #2 – Get to Work On Google Plus Local
Are you using Google Plus Local yet? If not, I actually don’t blame you one bit. With the nightmare this product has created in place of Google Places it may seem intimidating. However as of today Google started making your Google Plus Local pages more overt in local searches. This means that more traffic is now heading there so it’s time to get them updated.
Why? – In addition to the fact that your pages are now going to see increased click through, it’s a selling point. It’s a great way to connect with your customers and engage in RCS. Not to mention it’s a ranking factor! How do I know? Last week I wrote a simple 50 word post titled “Was There A Major Google Update Yesterday?” and +1’d it. A few minutes later I was ranked #1 for this search. Go ahead and give it a try.
Action Item – If you don’t already have a Google Plus Local page, create one and verify it. Once it’s up and running pay close attention to your photos. Upload custom photos that are calls to action and fit their dimension requirements so they show appropriately in the thumbnails. Update your contact information and start posting your good content regularly. You should also start interacting with other businesses and getting your pages +1’d (if people think its worthy of course)
Tip #3 – Jump On The Video Bandwagon
Many users have always preferred videos to reading. Even though that street goes both ways you need to get in front of your audience in any way possible. What if you could do it fast and effectively?
Why? - If you read my post about Google+ Hangouts and How to Use Them for SEO you will see just how easy it is to rank for videos these days, especially if you use Google Hangouts. Taking up two results on the first page is not a bad thing and may just very well increase your exposure.
Action Item: Follow my strategy on using Google Plus Hangout’s to find out which keywords easily produce universal search results. Make good content and watch your brand grow.
Tip #4 – Pay It Forward
This one probably seems out of place right now, but that’s because you’re still thinking about chasing links. Give back to your community, volunteer for an activity, donate money, and help people out. Don’t use this for evil.
Why? - Giving back the community and helping people in need is a good enough reason, but if you wanted another, it can be a great way to build your brand. Volunteering your services to a nonprofit might motivate them to write about giving nature and provide your business information or maybe a link. Getting out in the community is a great way to turn heads and get people talking about you.
Action Item: Stop worrying about chasing links. Did I say that enough? Get out and help some people. If you do it with a genuine heart and for the right reasons then people will talk about you. Maybe news agencies, community organizations, non profits, and more.
Tip #5 – Fix Your Site Speed
Neil Patel with Quicksprout has talked a lot about this on his blog, but It’s something I’ve seen over and over again. Keep in mind it could be a bit technical!
Why? - Google is always after providing the best customer experience. But if you have a site full of rich content that takes a minute to load, they also know that the user is probably not going to wait for it to load. Instead they’re going to bounce. Speeding up your site will give your website visitor exactly what he or she wants now. It is also a ranking factor for your site. If your page takes too long to load, consider your site toast.
Action Item: Fix it! There are several options to get this fixed on your own site. If you’re using WordPress you have a couple of options including upgrading your website hosting to a CDN and also installing and optimizing W3 Total Cache which is a WordPress plugin. You can read all about it here on Neil’s blog.
These are only a few main points that came to mind while writing this today. If you have something to add please leave a comment and if it’s worth it shall be added.
Below is a test I’m doing using Google Plus Hangouts