417 Marketing Blog

7 SEO Tactics For 2014

As the President of 417 Marketing, I wear many hats. As the company grows and evolves, my role changes. When I founded the company in 2010, I basically wore all of the hats. Today, my primary functions are to find and acquire talent, oversee our development team, lead our SEO team, and strategically grow the company in such a way that we can serve more people without comprising quality.

Of the roles I defined above, leading the SEO team is a big one. Part of leading the team is defining the vision for our SEO services and then picking SEO tactics for 2014 that will help achieve that vision. To find these tactics, I do a lot of testing on a day-to-day basis. This gives me a pretty good idea of what SEO Tactics for 2014 will be those that are most effective.

Here are 7 SEO Tactics for 2014 that work. These are purely based on my own experiences. Yours may vary.

7 SEO Tactics For 2014 That Work

1. Optimized Meta Data

This has always worked, and probably still will work in 2024. What Meta data should you be optimizing in 2014?

  • Title tag
  • Meta description tag
  • Header tags
  • Alt tags

The above list is certainly not a complete (nor is it intended to be), but it’s a good start. When working with the above 4 items, here are some do’s and don’ts:

DO…

  • Pick a focus keyword for each page and work this keyword into each tag
  • Focus on a branded keyword for your Home page (for example, a branded keyword for 417 Marketing would simply be “417 Marketing”. Your Home page highlights your company. It stands to reason that you should highlight the name of your business as the focus keyword of your Home page). This does not mean you can’t try to add other keywords to the Home page, however.

DON’T…

  • Try to optimize a single page for more than one keyword. Pick a single focus keyword for each page of your website and optimize for it.
  • Spam your copy. Keep the keyword density of your copy on a page to under 3%.
  • Use a keyword more than twice in a title tag (although you should probably only use it once) or a Meta description tag.
  • Jam a keyword into a header tag more than once on a page.
  • Use a keyword for an alt tag more than once or twice on a page.

Final note on Meta data: no, I didn’t forget the Meta keywords tag. It is my opinion that it is fairly worthless, relative to other SEO tactics for 2014. In fact, Google hasn’t used this data since 2009.

2. Clean, Fast Code

Let’s keep this one simple. Your development and SEO efforts should not be considered separate. It’s important that you build with an eye towards making the job of a web crawler (click here to find out how web crawlers work) as easy as possible. That means clean, well laid-out code. Fortunately, Google has provided a great (and free!) tool that measures how fast your website loads. Fast load times are a by-product of clean code. So use the test, follow the recommendations, and enjoy the faster load times on website. Users and robots (web crawlers) alike will thank you for the extra effort. This is one of many great SEO tactics for 2014.

google pagespeed

Google Pagespeed Insights Tool

3. Intelligible Indexation

When focusing on SEO tactics for 2014, it certainly helps your case if you make the job of a search engine’s crawler easier. You want the crawler to show up, find pages full of rich content, and move on. Here’s what you don’t want the crawler to find:

  • 404 errors (missing pages)
  • thin content (pages with less than 300 words and no real message)
  • random taxonomies that do nothing to improve the user experience or help the crawler understand what your website is about

That’s why it’s really important to make sure you:

  • Avoid 404 errors by writing 301 (permanent) redirects. This notifies the crawler of the location of a page that has been deleted or had its URL changed. If you are using WordPress, this can be accomplished very easily by working with this plugin.
  • No-index pages with thin or irrelevant content. For example, a page with your company’s privacy policy can be something you want to communicate with your users. But it’s not something that is relevant to a web crawler, in my opinion. So why not no-index it? Adding the no-index to Meta Robots for a page means you are requesting that a web crawler not index the content in their search engine.
  • No-index taxonomies that are not useful or relevant. Running a one-author blog on WordPress? Then why would you want search engines to index author archives? You wouldn’t.

4. SEO Pages

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that you should only optimize for one keyword per page. For the Home page, I argued that you should make that keyword a branded one (such as “417 Marketing”). But what about your other keywords? For example, at 417 Marketing we optimize for the name of our company and for our services. Where would we optimize for “web design” to communicate to web crawlers that offer this service, for example?

When answering in the context of SEO tactics for 2014, the answer is relatively straight-forward. Just create a page for each service that you offer and then optimize using a focus keyword related to that service. Here’s an example. 417 Marketing offers web design. Hop over here and you’ll notice that we added the focus keyword for the page (“web design”) in the following locations on the page:

  • page URL
  • title tag
  • description tag
  • header tag
  • alt tag

We also achieved our goal of a keyword density between 1-3%, in addition to other optimizations that we made on this page.

The point of SEO pages is simple. If you are going to focus on one keyword per page (advised), you’ll need a page for each keyword you are targeting. Whatever you do, don’t try to jam 10 keyword into your Home page. That would belong on a list of really bad SEO tactics for 2014.

5. SEO Page Silo’s

Every SEO has a different definition of a Silo. I almost hesitate to write about this topic because (regardless of how I define “Silo” in the SEO context) there will probably be someone that disagrees. For whatever reason, this is a contentious issue among SEO’s that cannot help get out of their own way long enough to…you know…be effective.

The goal of an SEO page Silo (using my definition) is to link SEO pages together in an effort to make each page in the “chain” more authoritative. I keep my Silo’s simple. Here’s an example:

SEO SiloIn the example above, you would include a link on your Home page to SEO Page A. You would then link SEO Page A to SEO Page B. You’d then link SEO Page B to SEO Page C. Then SEO Page C would close the loop by linking back Home.

This tactic passes the authority from the Home page down into your SEO pages, which in turn passes the accumulated authority back Home. It’s one of many simple, effective SEO tactics for 2014 that will increase the authority of your SEO pages, and your rankings in search results.

6. Blogging + Google Authorship

Let me say this before I go any further. Blogging for the sake of blogging is a total waste of time and resources. Blogging with a strong strategy can extremely beneficial, and a good example of sound SEO tactics for 2014. It increases traffic and helps you reach people you’ve never reached before.

At 417 Marketing, our blogging strategy is simple:

  • We blog on a regular schedule
  • We pick a topic we find interesting
  • We decide on a focus keyword for that topic
  • We optimize for that focus keyword as we write (using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress)
  • We gain an additional authority boost from setting up Google Authorship

This strategy results in high search engine rank positions for our blog posts, which increased exposure and more traffic to our website.

If you follow the first four bullets on the list above, you should see an almost immediate boost in traffic to your website (assuming your blog is part of your website…which it should be if it is not).

But how do you set up Google Authorship? It’s a fairly simple process if you are using WordPress.

  • Create a Google + user profile
  • Add the URL to your website under the “Contributes To” section
  • Add your Google + URL in your user profile in WordPress

That’s it. You are done. Now, when you publish a blog post to your website, you’ll see your head shot as part of the search result. Here’s an example:

Google Authorship in Search Result

If you aren’t sure if you have Google Authorship setup correctly, here’s a tool that makes it easy to check.

Here’s an example of what the tool will show you when you have Google Authorship setup correctly:

Google Structured Data Markup Tool

Adding Google + Authorship to your website will give your blog posts an additional boost in search results. Combining that additional boost with quality optimization is a strong 1-2 punch.

7. Authority Link-Building

I could easily write a long post on just this topic. But I’m already over 1,500 words on this SEO tactics for 2014 post. So I’ll keep it simple. When focusing on link-building in 2014, you should build links that:

  • are on pages with high page authority (a MOZ metric) and trust flow (a MajesticSEO metric) scores
  • are relevant to what you do
  • do not over-use optimized anchor text

If you follow those 3 rules, you’ll help yourself. Focus on quality over quantity. I love to say that 1 high-quality backlink will do more to advance your cause than 1,000 low-quality backlink. That’s because it’s true.

That’s as far as I want to take you on authority link-building tactics. I’m all for leading fish to water, but I’d rather you learn how to swim on your own. Our unique link-building recipe is our greatest SEO asset at this point. It’s not something we are ready to give away.

So there you have it. 7 SEO tactics for 2014 that will help you boost authority, increase online exposure, and generate more leads for your business. This is not meant to be a fully-comprehensive list. So let us know in the comments what SEO tactics for 2014 we missed!

 

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