The New Year is going to be an interesting one for the writers and bloggers out there. We saw a lot of Google changes in 2013, and some experts say that SEO has been forever changed. Forever changed or not, writers are going to need to get serious, and although many might not have noticed, they are probably going to be most affected by some of these changes. We have to change the way we write and how we optimize, and that’s no easy task.
Whether you’re hoping to train your writers on some of these new tactics or just want a checklist for yourself to help you be successful, look no further. Below are tips coming straight from a writer (an SEO writer no less) that will help you stay on track this upcoming year.
A Checklist for Writer’s in the New Year
- Semantic SEO. Semantic SEO is all about using synonyms and related words in your articles. Google is working to look at the “big picture” of an article, so now if someone types into the search bar “cars for sale,” entries that never mention cars but mention “automobiles” will pop up. Related topics are also starting to appear. In this case, rental vehicles or car repair might show up on a SERP. Keep this is mind when you write!
- Cocitation. Cocitation is a practice where you don’t link with anchor text, but rather the name of the actual company. Instead of saying “a great blogging website called BloggingPro,” you should say “a great blogging website called BloggingPro.com.” Google will look at the words around the link to determine how to categorize your post.
- Authorship. This is always important and will only be more important in 2014. Google is slowly moving away from keyword importance and is evaluating content based on other factors, authorship being one of them. You want to establish yourself as a brand as much as you want to help your company, so if you’re not utilizing authorship yet, this needs to be number 1 on your checklist.
- Video descriptions. Video is going to be huge this upcoming year, so you want to make sure you have the content down. Video descriptions are what’s going to help you rank on engines like YouTube, so make sure that whenever you create a video you have solid content to accompany it.
- Quality sites only. Just a few days ago head of Google Webspam Matt Cutts made the announcement that “guest posting is dead.” Of course there was more to that announcement, one aspect being that contributing on authoritative and quality sites is still OK and in fact beneficial. All these means for writers is that you need to really be careful where you publish your stuff. The site might look great at first glance, but dig deeper and make sure they’re not buying links.
In the end, quality content is always going to put you on top. You don’t have to stress too much over the little things you need to think about, but do keep them in the back of your mind because many of these changes did affect writers (probably the most!).
What else would you add to a checklist for a writer this year? Anything you’ve found difficult thus far? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comments below.
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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO firm HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.