SEO never went away. It's as relevant today as when people first noticed that it was possible to create targeted marketing campaigns using search results. But the game has changed and some of the things you used to do to optimize your sites for search may no longer be as effective.
Here are some of the ways you can amp up your SEO game to be successful in today's online marketplace.
Expand Your (Keyword) Vocabulary
Expand your SEO vocabulary by exploring other possible search terms people may be using to find what they need from the search engines. Are there new approaches and perspectives to your subject matter that are just now emerging? Or are there approaches and perspectives that you have not yet explored and considered? Now would also be a great time to review long tail keywords.
For example, if I were to write a series of blog posts about Facebook marketing, one of the keywords I would explore now is "facebook graph search" and I will make plans to write specifically about this emerging trend.
Mind the Panda and Consider the Penguin
There used to be a time when you could stuff your content with keywords then sit back and wait for the results that would almost certainly come in. Thanks to Google's algorithm updates those days are long gone and now just part of web marketing lore. These days it's all about producing quality content. That's content that people find compelling because they are either useful, entertaining or both. Keep that in mind when you plan out your blog content this year. And if you feel you don't have the skills, the savvy or the time to continuously and consistently produce top notch content, then hire someone who can do that for you.
Measure the Results
"If you can't measure it, you can't improve it." This bit of business wisdom applies to your blog, as well. You will want to establish a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that you then consistently monitor as you publish your blog posts. What these KPIs are will depend, of course, on what you want to accomplish with your blog posts. Are you looking for maximum exposure and reach? Are you looking to convert? Do you want to build a community of loyal followers who will march to the ends of the earth with you? The answers to these and other important questions about your intent will lead you toward establishing your KPIs, and will allow you to monitor your blog's performance to tell you if you are on the right track.
At every opportunity, create a links from your blog posts to other content you have previously published. Where possible, create links to external resources as well. The web is all about linking all these immense sources of information to each other, and the search engines absolutely adore this. There are a few things to keep in mind, though.
It is quite possible to overdo the links. Be very careful when you choose the references in your blog posts for which you want to create links. Make sure they are relevant to the subject matter, and that creating links will be of value to the reader. For example, if you mention an article or another blog post, it might be helpful as a point of reference to include a link to the actual article or blog post, so that the readers can see and assess for themselves the source of your information.
Be mindful of the quality of the external website or blog you are linking to. Make sure you link only to high quality sources of information.
If you decide to go wild with links, it also becomes necessary for you to review these links regularly. Some of them may lead to sites that have long been dead or decommissioned. This could hurt you in the long run and leave you with grumbling, unhappy readers.