There are naysayers and doubters who'd have you believe that SEO is dead. And depending on where you look, you'll see these claims in all shapes and sizes. But why focus on the past? Let bygones be bygones. The future is a bright place for SEO and real marketing, so drop the bleak attitude and let's focus on what SEO success looks like in 2014 and beyond.
At WSI, we like to call the newfangled SEO and all its requirements something different: AdaptiveSEO™. The game has changed so we're starting over with a slightly new look. Moz dropped the SEO and we added an adjective. Stuff happens. Kapeesh?
When we were brainstorming creative ideas for an SEO checklist, we kept coming back to this notion of an acrostic poem using the term AdaptiveSEO™. Despite the fact that this isn't a checklist in the traditional sense, we hope you still get a kick out of us walking you through the AdaptiveSEO™ process and benefits.
SEO has changed, that much is true. The tips, tricks and games that used to help companies scoot up the rankings to #1 were beaten into submission by Google, led by the fierce Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates. But there are still traditional SEO practices that remain in tact and of course, there's a whole slew of new things you need to be doing. That's where are our acrostic-poem-checklist-thingy comes into play!
A is for Asset. Does your web presence have value, whether it's through sending online leads or enhancing brand visibility? If the answer is no, then you've got work to do. Your online properties should be generating a return on your investment, just like an employee. ASEO helps you develop your web presence into an asset that delivers results long after the active work stops.
D is for Demonstrate. Are you a thought leader in your industry? This one is just common sense! A company blog means you're creating more valuable content and information that establishes you as an authority. if you're implementing proper on-page SEO and generating social signals, your content will get indexed. And the more traffic you generate through indexed content, the more leads (and conversions) your website will get!
A is for Action. Do you consistently publish content? Remaining active with your content publishing is a vital component of your ASEO strategy. A greater importance for freshness, relevance and frequency was among the most important focus areas of Google's rash of updates.
P is for Proven. Are you keeping tabs on the success (or relative failure) of your content pieces? Whether it's content form, topic, or length, it's a good idea to know what kinds of things are working for you. That way, you can put more focus toward the stuff that sticks. Measuring your content's success is also the only way you'll ever be able to get creative with your content experiments, if you so choose.
T is for Trusted. Do you consider AdaptiveSEO™ a long-term strategy? Because if ASEO were a person, they'd tell you they're in it for the long haul. ASEO is a a marketing partner you can count on, both now and in the future.
I is for Increased. Do you do anything to enhance your brand's online visibility? Do you even know how to measure how visible you are? Just because you have a website doesn't mean people will visit it. You need to actively out yourself in front of searchers who are interested in your products, services and content. An ASEO strategy helps you do all of that.
V is for Valuable. Is the value you bring to your potential customers obvious and easy to spot? Your content should be focused on one thing: capturing potential customers' attention by highlighting your value to them. Whether it's by publishing content on topics they're interested in or coming up with creative and funs ways to underscore your products and services, value is they key.
E is for Engaging. Are you an engaging brand? Nobody wants to read boring content as there's certainly enough of that going around. Don't just create content that sits there, forge ahead with stuff that has life and a mind of its own. Things that are fun and interesting. Articles, blogs and videos that other people are dying to be the first one of their group to share, as if they created it themselves.
S is for Social signals. Are you maximizing the outreach and amplification of your messages by using social media? Social signals are also playing an increasing role in SERP rankings, so Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are platforms you can't afford to ignore.
E is for Ethical. Have you cleaned up your SEO act? Even if you've never intentionally done anything wrong, things can still go awry in Google's eyes. Make sure you always check your Google Webmaster Tools account to see if Google has sent you any warnings or handed down any penalties.
O is for Optimization. Do you conduct keyword research and implement basic on-page SEO? AdaptiveSEO™ isn't just about the new stuff - you can't forget about technical SEO fundamentals! And although keyword research methods are constantly evolving, it's always a good idea to see if you can find some juicy terms to lead your content up the rankings.
And there you have it, that's our 2014 SEO checklist (a.k.a. our rundown of the key points of an AdaptiveSEO™ strategy). Here's the infographic in full and beautiful form:
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