SEO is forever a moving target, and as search engines evolve, how you optimize your site needs to evolve, too. At the same time, there are certain good practices that hold true even through changes in search engine algorithms, and it’s important to keep up with the best ways to make sure your site is ranking as highly as it possibly can.
1. Use alerts to get ahead. Set up Google alerts for your keywords and keep on top of the news that comes in. Use that news to help inform your blog posts and site content. If you can consistently be the site that writes about topics before others do, that will help your ranking significantly.
2. Get mobile. If you don’t have a mobile version of your site, or, even better, a responsive design that looks good on both large and and small screens, you’re missing out an a rapidly growing set of users who search on their mobile devices. Don’t alienate these visitors – get your site optimized for a variety of devices.
3. Remember where you are. Local search is becoming increasingly important to web users, so it’s essential that you keep on top of your location information. Check your Bing and Google listings and make sure that the given contact and location information is correct – not doing so could mean the difference between you or your competitor getting the customer.
4. Vary your anchor text. it used to be that keyword-rich anchors were all the SEO rage, but these days repetitive anchors in links can get you severe penalties. Don’t be afraid to try variations on your keywords, and give priority to natural-sounding sentences rather than keyword density. If it sounds spammy to you, it’ll definitely sound spammy to your visitors, and search engines are getting very clever about punishing that sort of behavior.
5. Think beyond Google. The fiasco with the Panda update threw everything into chaos in Googleland. What if they did something like that again? Do you have all your SEO eggs in the Google basket, or do you have traffic coming from other sources, as well? It’s important to understand where your traffic originates, and to diversify as much as possible.
Have you made any changes to your site yet this year? How often do you go through and make SEO adjustments to keep up with the latest search engine updates?