The world of organic search engine optimisation (the type of SEO that achieves high rankings without paying search engines for placement) has always been an ever-changing and evolving one, but never had it changed so much in such a short space of time than when Google released its major Panda update in 2011. Then, just as webmasters and SEO practitioners were repairing the damage and coming to terms with Panda, Google released another black-and-white animal update in the form of Penguin, further cementing its position as a search engine that desires to provide the very best service to its users.
So, with further algorithm changes happening by the month, where does search engine optimisation of the organic kind find itself in 2013?
Organic is as important as ever
With the various algorithm changes of Google, organic SEO strategies are required to change and adapt by the month. A certain method or technique that Google may have loved last month could have little importance this month and that can be confusing to everyone involved with SEO. Despite the various changes, though, the two fundamental things about organic SEO remain the same: high quality links and high-quality content result in high quality search rankings.
While PPC certainly rewards you with a prominent search position, research has shown on countless occasions that consumers always favour organic search results over the sponsored ones – this fact will not change in 2013.
What is different about SEO in 2013 is the way that high quality content and links are used to naturally boost a search ranking, and this year it is all about keeping strategies fresh.
Keeping SEO fresh
Google is obsessed with top-quality content and relevancy, and will push any content that it deems to have these traits up the rankings in place of anything that it decides is low quality.
Today, there are more ways than ever before to produce high quality content, and with new sources continually popping up, it is important that you keep your strategies fresh. A good example of how new content can positively impact in your search position is social media. A couple of years ago social media had no bearing whatsoever on search results, in 2013 it is one of the key ranking factors.
If you have a good presence and a strong following on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, the content and links you put out can really help elevate your search ranking, it will also generate a lot of traffic, which is always helpful.
Make sure you follow the trends, if something is popular, there is a good chance Google, and the others, will like it.
Search engine users are changing
Recently, there has been a change in the way that searchers are using search engines to find what it is they are looking for. More people are now using more specific phrases and “long tail” keywords, and there has also been a significant rise in the number of searchers using local keywords. This is mainly due to the rise in the number of people using smartphones and tablets to access the internet.
It is important that you keep up with how people are using search engines so that you do not slip behind the competition. User habits will always change and you will need to keep up with keyword research in order to understand how search is being conducted.
Organic SEO strategies in 2013
Organic SEO is probably the only sure fire method of enhancing your online presence and generating more traffic to you website in 2013. Yes, it can be a lengthy process but, providing it is done correctly, it is the only method that can have proven results.
We already know about producing fresh and unique content – this should be the backbone of every SEO strategy in 2013; but what else should you be doing?
Diversify your traffic
When it comes to your traffic sources, it is important not to put all of your eggs in one basket. I know I have mentioned Google a lot throughout this article, that’s because it is undoubtedly the best search engine to optimise for – but it is not the only one. You need to know that if your website ever fall’s victim to one of Google’s many algorithm changes, you have other traffic sources to fall back on until the problem is resolved. Do not depend totally on one search engine for your traffic.
Optimise for mobile
One of the big changes in organic SEO over the past year or so has been the shift from desktop to mobile; this will be even more the case this year. Your organic SEO strategy must cater for users of tablets and smartphones; this means mobile-friendly content, on a mobile-optimised website.
Mobile has also led to a rise in the number of people performing local searches whilst on the move. If you are a local business that relies on foot-traffic, using localised keywords will be essential in an organic SEO campaign.
Vary your anchor text
Anchor text done incorrectly can have a negative effect on an organic ranking and it is important that you use good variety to avoid being penalised for spam – both internally and externally. The same anchor text used repeatedly will be flagged up by search engines, so always try to use different variants of the keyword and descriptive text in your links.
The state of organic search engine optimisation in 2013 has never been healthier. While Google’s algorithm changes can be confusing and frustrating at times, there is no doubt that it has made SEO a better place for us all. If you are looking at growing your business online, organic is the way to go.