Search Engine Optimisation: The Post-Penguin World

By Kate Ross

Since the roll out of Google’s latest algorithm Penguin 2.0, the way we need to approach SEO has changed dramatically. Focus should now be placed on creating quality content and engaging online experiences – this means moving away from out of date techniques, such as multiple landing pages and keyword stuffing.

Digital marketers now need to get creative with their SEO campaigns, putting the user at the centre of their strategy.

Content is king

Emerging as one of the key trends for SEO in 2013 is content marketing, which if managed successfully, can be an effective way to increase a site’s ranking by generating valuable links back to your site.

Although content is not new to SEO, traditional black-hat link baiting will no longer cut it. Great content marketing should be inherently sharable and if you can achieve this with SEO in mind, your website’s search visibility will reap the benefits. Not only can you achieve higher rankings, but your company is producing content users can get excited about. This can come in various forms from video to competitions running across various social media and reactive content campaigns.

SEO for mobile

The mobile experience has become even more important post-penguin. Do you have a dedicated mobile site? If not, why not?

The dramatic increase in people using their smartphones or tablets as their primary means of searching is clear, in fact it has been predicted that the majority of search queries will be mobile by 2016.

Despite this, the #digi2013 conference reported that only 40% of the top 100 advertisers have fully optimised mobile sites!

If you don’t offer users a strong mobile experience, you are drastically devaluing your website. Mobile users need to be served content in different ways to desktop users. This includes everything from website design, to the architecture of your copy. So, whether your website is, or you have a parallel mobile site, analysis of bounce rates and engagement should be central to improve your mobile experience.

This is particularly relevant to businesses that provide a service that people might require while they are on the move such as a restaurant or bar. A mobile user will want to know if there are any of these services in their immediate area – a poor experience will result in high bounce rates and minimal conversions.

Think globally

A good international SEO strategy is also fundamental to a post-penguin digital marketing plan. Thinking about whether a website is optimised for its international audience is essential. This covers everything, from whether you’re choosing ccTLDs, Subdomains or Subdirectories, to regional onsite optimisation.

The right local keywords need to be used as well as the content being language specific. Google Trends and Google Global Market Finder can help with researching the local trends for keywords in specific areas.

In summary, any business, whether established, or just starting up should be using user-centred SEO techniques on their website as part of their marketing strategy right from the start – this is one of the most effective ways to stay ahead of algorithm changes and future proof your strategy.

About the author and company

Kate Ross is the commercial director and co-founder of eight&four, a digital marketing agency based in Soho.

Established in 2008 eight&four is an award winning digital Marketing agency working to create compelling brand experiences through a blend of technical, strategic and creative innovation. We are focussed on long term relationship building and pride ourselves on organic, sustainable growth that enables us to maintain our high standards of client service. We believe in digital because of the global and immediate opportunities it presents to us for connecting brands with people.

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