Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the last BlogAid Podcast for 2013. I’m your host MaAnna and this week, I want to talk to you about what it’s going to take to make your site successful in 2014. This past year, Google turned SEO on its head. There were significant changes to the core of WordPress, starting with version 3.6 that will have a serious impact on whether or not your site even shows up in search down the road. And changes on G+, Facebook, Pinterest, and other platforms have permanently altered why and how to use social media to grow your business. Relationship marketing has hit a new high. And everything now hinges on trust and authority. So, let’s dive into the podcast and I’ll give you three actionable tips that you can put into motion in the coming months to bring your site up to speed. Listen to the podcast.
The Biggest Change in 2013
There were two major changes this year that combine into a powerful SEO feature that you must jump on as quickly as you can.
The first was a change to the core of WordPress. Version 3.6 now supports HTML5, which includes microdata, and that is a form of semantic markup.
The second huge change was the Google Hummingbird update that gobbles up semantic markup and social signals on G+ like candy.
Capitalizing on Change
The early bird gets the worm. THE best thing you can do for your site success in 2014 is to ensure that you have a theme that is HTML5 compliant and outputs microdata. It’s not enough to just have WordPress 3.6 and up, or to even have the Genesis 2.0 framework. Your theme has to actually be compliant too.
Sites with microdata are going to be light years ahead
of those without it by this time next year.
Y’all know that I’m a huge Genesis fan. If you’re looking to make a change to your theme in 2014 anyway, be sure to start with one that is already HTML5 compliant. If you have a fully customized theme that runs on the Genesis framework, like I do here on BlogAid, you can have it converted. It will cost you around $200 to have that done and is worth every penny. I had BlogAid converted immediately when Genesis 2.0 became available.
If you want to know more about all the new SEO buzzwords such as microdata, semantic markup, and Schema.org, plus why the version 2.0 of the Genesis framework and everything after WordPress 3.6 make such a difference, see my 5-part Microdata and Genesis series.
If you’re thinking about a theme change or getting yours updated, contact me http://www.blogaid.net/general-contact and let’s discuss your options and goals before you spend any money. One theme will outperform another to meet a goal. Let’s make sure you have the right one for you.
First Action Item: Get a theme that outputs microdata.
Google’s goal is to deliver the best search results to end users. You want your site to be at the top of that list.
Actually, you want your blog posts to be at the top of that list. It’s a whale of a lot easier to get a post ranked well than it is to get your whole site ranked well. And establishing authority on a topic matters. I’ll give you an example of that.
I write about hosting quite often. When the news broke this summer about HostGator being bought out by EIG and then bunches of their new servers going down, I jumped on it. That post hit #2 on the front page of Google, right under a similar news story on Mashable. That doubled my business in one day. After the original post showing my author snippet fell off the front page of Google, shares from folks with high ranking on G+ replaced it. So, in one way or another, that post stayed on the front page of Google for over a month.
It did that because Google declared that I had authority on that topic and all of the shares from ranking G+ folks just backed that up.
If I had not already been writing about hosting for the past several years, I would not have garnered that kind of authority ranking when it really counted.
Second Action Item: Chose one or two topics and write high-quality, high-value content on them consistently.
Who You’re Friends With Matters
Relationship marketing is nothing new. In fact, +Mari Smith wrote the book on it a couple of years ago. And I bet the whole time she was building her empire on Facebook that she didn’t care if Google or G+ even existed.
Well, that’s changed now. But what hasn’t changed is the fact that folks that need help flock to helpful folks. And that’s how Mari, and now others, have built their visibility and their businesses.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter and other social networks, the number of folks that have you in their Circles on G+ doesn’t matter nearly as much as who has you in their Circles. Influence and authority matter on that network, just as much as it matters on Google search rankings.
In fact, Google is now using G+ as their primary social ranking indicator. That’s huge! And it’s something you just can’t ignore any more.
Third Action Item: Get busy on G+ and then get strategic about how you use G+.
And if we’re not already connected on G+, here’s a link to me.
Okay. Let’s review. Action item #1 is to get a theme that outputs microdata. Action Item #2 is chose one or two topics and write high-value content on them often so that you build your authority. And Action Item #3 is to get serious about G+ and making the most of all that it has to offer.
That’s wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Wherever you’re catching this podcast, please be sure to leave a rating for it and I appreciate everyone who is doing that and helping me get more eyes and ears on this valuable resource. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for tips, tutorials and resources to make your site better. And I’ll see you online.