SEO is a constantly evolving field. Every year brings with it an updated set of recommendations as to what you should do to improve your search engine ranking.

So what are the experts recommending now?

Back to Basics SEO –  Guidelines from Google

At the top of the list (always, anytime) is Google’s own search engine recommendations, summarized in their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.  Although labeled a starter guide, this handbook for web masters includes a host of recommendations that will keep any organization afloat in the sea of links known as search results.

For basic SEO, Google recommends: Making sure you cover the SEO basics such as page titling and meta tagging; Creating a site structure through a structured approach to URLs and easy navigation (information architecture); Optimizing content through quality writing, good anchor text, optimized images and good headers; Dealing with crawlers; Dealing with mobile by notifying Google of mobile sites and guiding mobile users accurately; and Promoting and analyzing your site and making use of free webmaster tools. If you do everything in this guide, you’ll be in a solid position to optimize your site for SEO.

Forbes’ SEO Recommendations for Small Businesses

Jayson DeMers’ Forbes article aimed at entrepreneurs: “The Three Pillars of SEO In 2014” calls out three core strategies for business owners to keep in mind as they build and promote their business online:

  1. Content – Start by understanding your target market, and what they’re looking for online, then develop content around relevant topics or phrases to provide solutions to their questions.
  2. Inbound Links – For business owners and entrepreneurs this can include guest blogging, getting listed on organization websites and online directories, and becoming active in forums and Q&A websites.
  3. Social – Social media facilitates word-of-mouth marketing, and increases brand awareness, which can improve SEO ranking. By bringing in additional people to your site through social media, you raise awareness across the Web.

Recommendations for Enterprise SEO from Search Metrix

Search Metrix’s Ranking Factor Study for 2014 had a number of insights as to what elements of a website will rank better. They recommend focusing on:

  • High quality content
  • Full topics rather than single keywords
  • Sound technical implementation, as per Google’s pointers, above (strong site architecture, good internal links, short loading times, and relevant meta tags)
  • Quantity and quality of backlinks

Search Metrix also have some informative charts analyzing what accounts for top SEO rankings in today’s market. They’re worth a look.

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Technical Compliance Checklist

Finally, since all the above quoted sources keep referencing technical compliance, you may want to check out VuDu Marketing’s Onsite SEO Guide.  It covers a range of technical topics, from picking an SEO friendly CMS to social sharing elements to help web masters and small business owners alike end up in that optimal zone of organic search results.

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