The Big 3 Search Engine Ranking Factors for 2014
In today’s article we will discuss 3 big SEO buzzwords for 2014 that you simply can’t ignore any longer. Both the changes in Google ranking factors (aka its algorithm) and changes in the way people access the Internet make it critical that you at least understand, if not act on, these three SEO trends in 2014.
1. Semantics – the way Google understands the intent behind a search
Semantics isn’t really a new concept to SEO but has emerged in the spotlight since the Google Hummingbird Update in September 2013. Now semantics are intrinsic to almost every operation performed by the search engine.
So what is semantics? Semantics is understanding the meaning of individual words and the context of the words when placed together in a search result. It accounts for synonyms and modifiers and seeks to understand the intent behind the terms in order to generate more relevant results. The goal of semantic search is to fulfill your search as well as providing related concepts associated with the phrase.
Here is a very basic example. When you search for “types of apples” the algorithm will conceptualize the definition as the fruit apple and provide results such as types of apple trees, apple pies and apples for baking. However if you search “types of apple products” you will find results for iPads, iPhones and even iTunes. It uses the search words to apply meaning to the search rather than finding everything related to apple. Make sense?
2. Mobile – the way we use Tablets, Phones and PC’s to browse the web
Mobile website statistics are overwhelming – mobile phones and tablets are quickly replacing the use of PC’s in many homes. If your website is not set up to be viewed in the scaled down versions of web browsers on mobile or tablets you likely have some huge visitor experience issues. Google also favors mobile-friendly websites when completing a search from a mobile device so you will soon (if not already) be left behind in a large percentage of search results.
Many marketing reviewers and SEO gurus are being so bold as to suggest that new sites should be built as mobile sites first and a PC version should only be secondary.
3. Local – the way we find websites that are close, reviewed and credible
The final SEO buzzword for 2014 that has been around for a few years already is local. There are three items you must factor in when becoming a leader in your local search results:
- Location – searchers expect to find their local service providers with a few key strokes. Most buyers are incredibly loyal – they want to support their town, their area, their country, so tell them where you are. If you are trying to be listed for Vancouver based search results but your business address is in a suburb an hour out of the city you could have difficulty ranking. Type in a search for your service and desired city and see where top ranked businesses are located.
- Reviews – both the Search Engines and your customers use online reviews to evaluate the quality of your services. Local websites with several reviews (even if some are negative) are more favorable in the eyes of the Search Engine than websites without any reviews.
- Credibility – because the internet has no real rules of credibility (anyone can put up a website), more and more searchers are checking out your credibility. In addition to reviews, “citations” or directory websites that confirm your phone number, address and other business details add to your credibility.
The changes that Google has implemented in ranking factors and the changes in internet usage can no longer be ignored. If you are a small business we can help you further understand Semantics, Mobile and Local so that you can properly address the big SEO trends in 2014. The websites that do will come out ahead as the biggest winners in 2014.
Contact us at 888-262-6687 to arrange a free consultation or use our contact form to send us your info so we can be in touch.