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2015 is upon us and other than fitting back into non-stretchy pants, my resolutions have stacked up quite nicely. There’s one about picking my socks up off the floor, another to donate more money to local charities, but then I realized I don’t have one regarding my career. So to remedy that little gap in my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of 10 New Year’s SEO resolutions you need to make in order to help you along with having a fantastic, bottom line-boosted 2015!
1. I Resolve to Not Post to Facebook Without a Strategy
Having social media accounts does not mean you have a social media strategy, and there’s no point in posting anything to Facebook if nobody sees it or nobody cares. Take time to craft what you say and post, and use tools like SproutSocial to get a bigger picture of how your strategy is working. Moz gives a great, brief rundown of ways to maximize your social media strategy.
2. I Resolve to Target the Right Audience
I can’t emphasize this enough. Creating content for content’s sake is probably one of the dumbest, time-wasting things you can do. You’re writing for THEM, not for you. Do some research on your target audience and find out what they like. What are they reading? What’s trending in their demographic? Where do they live? How do they think? All these questions you should know the answer to before you open your Word document.
3. I Resolve to Stay Up-to-Date on Industry News
Google updates algorithms faster than my 13-year-old cousin gets a new BFF. Sure, you may be an expert in content marketing. You may have 10 years of online marketing experience and may have even written a book or two, but none of that matters when the rules change. SEO and content marketing have completely different rules today than they had in 2005. This is an evolving, fluid industry.
In the past, marketing campaigns have been marathons—lots of planning,d preparation, and a stay-the course attitude. SEO is more like a 100-yard dash, except it also has fire and zombies and people throwing wrenches at you. You try what works, and then you change your tactics and try something else, because you have no idea what Google’s going to throw at you around the next curve. The best way to stay on top is to always be vigilant.
4. I Resolve to Learn More About __________________
Pick something. Pick Analytics or management or web design or infographics and learn more about it, because the more you know about how the entire team works, the more you’ll get each other. A lot is lost in failed communications, and I’ll agree there have been many times when I thought my web designer was speaking Russian while I was speaking Bangladeshi. If you don’t get each other, you won’t understand each other. And the more you broaden your abilities and expertise, the farther you’ll be able to take yourself in the future.
5. I Resolve to Use the Right Keywords
Keyword research isn’t dead, and you shouldn’t let yourself fall into that lull of writing whatever you feel like it. There are tons of tools at your disposal—Google Trends, Adwords, Autocomplete, BuzzSumo, Soovle—so use them. Find out what your target audience is talking about, and then find the keywords that will lead them to your site like breadcrumbs.
6. I Resolve to Implement Outreach—Not Linkbuilding—Campaigns
Linkbuilding has become a nasty, almost-taboo practice in SEO, but it really isn’t all bad if you do it right. Instead of building links, focus on building credibility and a following. Reach out to your community and genuinely participate in discussions. The more credibility you have and the more networking you’ve done, the more likely people are to share your stuff.
7. I Resolve to Make Data-Driven Decisions
A world of information about your company is at your fingertips, so use it. Google Analytics, Moz, Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer, and Ahrefs are all fantastic tools to gather data about your company and make better decisions with them.
8. I Resolve to Keep Mobile in Mind
In 2015, mobile will be key. It already is key, with mobile searches surpassing desktop searches in 2014 with approximately 60 percent of all online searches coming from mobile devices. Get on your mobile game because Google continues to prioritize mobile usability.
9. I Resolve to Become A Speed Demon
A huge factor causing business’ sites to drop in rankings is slow loading time. In fact, a Compuware 2011 survey found that 43 percent of users are unlikely to return to a slow-loading website. Beef up your speed.
10. I resolve to focus on the quality, not the quantity, of all content
Content is king, I’m not denying that. But there’s a difference between good content and bad content, and too many content and SEO professionals are focusing on pushing mindless, meaningless drivel out like a printing press. Getting people engaged, involved, and caring about what you write and what you post is one of the biggest factors in ranking. Have a purpose, and drive that purpose home. Care about what you say and really try to use all your tools in your toolbox to make it awesome.
About The Author: Betsy is the social media lead and a digital marketing expert with Blue Corona. When she’s not managing Blue Corona's digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring, hiking with her dog, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
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