SEO in 2014: How To Beat The Search Engine Game

Posted by Murray Sye

on Thu, Jan 9, 2014 @ 08:49 AM

Over the years, good search engine optimization (SEO) was all about knowing the tricks of the trade. The SEO of today is less about having the right H1 tag or the right keywords on the page and more about creating really good, original content that is socially consumed and shared. 


Here's a brief introduction to modern SEO

According to Google, SEO is "about making small (meaningful) modifications to parts of your website. When viewed individually, these changes might seem like incremental improvements, but when combined with other optimizations, they could have a noticeable impact on your site's user experience and performance in organic search results (where) your ultimate consumers are your users, not search engines."

In short, you need to understand not only the web, but also your visitors and what your visitors want – and get – out of your website.

The key to SEO: Meaningful content

By creating content that is high quality, compelling and relevant, you can engage your site's visitors in a meaningful way. When content resonates with someone, it feels personal and authentic. The new direction of SEO is all about creating a unique user experience for each visitor and personalizing those experiences as much as possible.

How your website helps (or hurts) SEO

You want your website to easily provide that unique user experience right? Unfortunately, most websites are stale and do just the opposite. Here's why?

  1. Websites need additional coding too optimize for mobile. Many websites today require special templates or additional coding to optimize for mobile. When a mobile searcher arrives on a site that isn't mobile-friendly, you can bet they'll have a less-than-stellar experience.

  2. A website's CMS is isolated. A content management system (CMS) often stands alone from the rest of your site's architecture, creating a fragmented experience for your visitors.

  3. Websites offer the same static experience to everyone. 76% of website visitors want a site that "makes it easy for me to find what I want." And yet, most websites show the same thing to every person who visits.

  4. Some websites are slow to load. The speed and performance of your website will vary depending on what CMS you use.

  5. Many websites haven't caught up with recent search engine changes. Social media and mobile have more influence on SEO than ever before. Despite this fact, most CMS tools have yet to incorporate these elements out-of-the-box.

So, what do you need?

You need a system that functions as a fully integrated website. One that is part content system, part personalization engine, and that is customizable for you, your team and each individual visitor.

Inbound marketing is about tailoring content creation strategy to attract not just any person wandering around the internet, but your ideal customers – also known as your buyer personas.

Wouldn't it be great if for each one of those personas the content that your website displayed was actually unique – like Amazon tailors what you see based on what you like? HubSpot has built a system that can do all of that. It's called COS: content optimization system. I'd look into it soon.

Back to basics
In this video, Google's Matt Cutts offers some additional ways that will help influence your site's listing in search.

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Flickr Photo Credit: by Ed Munoz

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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