SEO has always been a fast changing landscape. Things can fall apart just as quickly as Google can dish out the next algorithm update. Our practices change just as drastically. This is crucial to SEO. So…what should SEO experts be doing in 2014?

Keep in Mind That Social Is Key

Google has now officially and fully recognized the authority of Social media. Not that this hasn’t happened before, it is just that now, the effects of Facebook shares and Twitter links will now be fully felt in the search results. This is surprising for some people who always thought Google will try to suppress the dominance of Facebook. In any case, any self-respecting SEO campaign will and should include social networking in it’s overall strategy.

On-site Optimization Is (Still) Key

SEO types have always thought of on-page optimization as a critical aspect of the job. And now, this is more important than ever. But, we have to change our paradigm. Our content should address the reader much more than any attempt to build anchor text density.

Schema.org is Key

For those who don’t know yet, the top three search engines (Yahoo, Bing, and Google) created this website for easier and more detailed indexing of websites. It will tell the search engines the nature and character of your website. Take advantage of rich snippets to increase the data that the Search engines will know to publish in your SERPS. This will also mean increased click throughs.

Avoid Low Quality Backlinks

Avoid low-quality linking schemes designed to artificially inflate your sites position.  Gone are the days when an automated tool could provide real value.  Now, links built with private networks and automated tools are more likely to harm your site than help!

KPI’s are Key

Yes, it’s redundant, but Key Performance Indicators are, of course, key. It does not matter whether you have a client to answer to or whether you are doing all this by yourself. What matters is that without proper feedback on your campaigns, they might end up being fruitless without your knowing. Today, it is not enough to simply look at the rankings of your keywords. There are more factors to consider.

Things like Bounce Rate, New vs. Returning Visitors, Growth of Visitors, and Time Spent on Site are all critical metrics in the new SEO world.  It is very important to track and measure using Google Analytics a host of fields to determine if you are successful or not.

Just keep in mind that all practices change. But the goal of Google has not really changed that much. It has always been to make it easier for them to deliver quality search results to their audience (and make money from ads while they are at it). Do you have any other good practices to shoot for the coming year? What other big changes in the SEO landscape must be considered? If you have more to add to our list, we would love to hear them all.