2014 was a busy year for search engine optimization professionals, as Google continued to release a steady stream of algorithm updates. As the new year approaches, it's a good time to take stock of your current SEO strategy and figure out which techniques may require some fine-tuning.
Let's take a look at a few search engine optimization tactics that you should definitely add to your arsenal for 2015.
1. Clean Up Your Site's URL Structure
An easy way to score some search engine optimization points is to review your site's links and URLs and make some improvements. 404 errors and broken links tend to damage your ranking, so fix those first. If your website's URL structure is out-of-the-box, creating rich Search Engine Friendly URLs containing rich keywords should be one of your search engine optimization priorities for 2015.
2. Focus On Link Quality, Not Quantity
In the early days of search engine optimization, websites attempted to boost their rankings by collecting hundreds of low-quality inbound links. Today, it's far better to have a smaller number of links from authoritative, reputable websites. Don't run the risk of a Google penalty: Start the new year with a comprehensive link audit to identify and clean up any sketchy inbound links.
3. Think About HTTPS
Secure encryption has become a hot topic in the SEO community, ever since Google announced that websites using HTTPS would fare better in the rankings. Unfortunately, this announcement led many websites to transition to HTTPS without the proper preparation and research. If moving to HTTPS would be a fairly easy process and would make sense for your business, transitioning would be a smart move this year.
4. Cast A Wider Keyword Net
Google's Hummingbird algorithm update changed the way that Google looks at search queries. The intent behind a query has taken precedence over simple keyword matches, so it's important to alter your search engine optimization strategy accordingly. To freshen up your keywords for 2015, try to think of the type of questions and conversational queries people might use when they search for your products or services. Individual keywords still have search engine optimization value, but these long-tail keyword phrases should play a big role in your strategy.
As best practices for search engine optimization continue to change and evolve, it's important to stay on top of Google's algorithm updates and make the necessary adjustments. It's not always easy to keep your website optimized for the search engines, but the rewards definitely make the effort worthwhile.