Important Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips You Need to Know in 2015

Is the Meta Tag Dead?

In some cases, but not really. Despite search engines minimizing the ‘keywords’ meta-tag, the ‘description’ meta-tag remains significant. In fact, a properly-written description can boost the reach and relevance of your website in several ways. In addition to providing clarity, the description tag may be used as a snippet by search engines, replacing contextual keywords. This allows webmasters the opportunity to craft their search engine presence and makes choosing a snippet easier for search engineers, which not only improves your search ranking, but also increases click-through rates.

Can I use more than one Header 1 (H1) tag?

You can and should use more than one H1 tag. Search engines have adapted to the standardization of HTML5, including an acceptance of multiple H1 tags on a page. Previous revisions of HTML limited H1 tags to one per page, resulting in this style of coding being accepted as a best practice. Now that search engines have been updated to acknowledge the need for several sections per page, each section merits its own H1 tag. Search engines penalize overly-aggressive marketing tactics such as keyword stuffing and cloaking techniques, but as long as these tags are concise and appropriate, they can result in increased visibility.

How can long tail queries boost ranking?

Long tail queries allow advertisers to customize pages to suit the needs of their target market. Recent changes to search engine infrastructures have recognized that, in addition to strong keywords, many consumers are searching in question or statement format. This allows designers to focus on a local region or niche community. For example, including the keywords “movie times and tickets” will conflict with nationally advertised chains, but the contextual phrase “Independent films in Annapolis” is more likely to be noticed and ranked, and will effectively reach consumers who are likely to relate to the content of your page.

Should I optimize my site for mobile devices?

Optimizing your website for mobile devices is not only beneficial, but imperative. According to the Pew Research Center, 60% of Americans use a smartphone, and the demographics they represent are increasingly educated, affluent, and demanding. As consumers become more likely to access data on their phone, they are also increasingly likely to abandon slow or unfulfilling websites. Rather than choosing between support for desktop browsers or smartphones, business owners must plan for both formats in order to remain financially and technologically competitive.

Will social media marketing improve search results?

Yes. Social media campaigns have long been an effective marketing tool. Despite the reluctance of search engines to admit that popular social pages and public figures carry increasing weight in results, there is much evidence of this fact. Google has been refining their algorithm to boost the ranking of subject-specific authority figures, a means of rewarding well-intentioned thought leaders rather than crafty development attempts to manipulate rankings. By establishing an effective campaign, businesses accomplish dual goals of reaching their supporters on social media, as well as declaring themselves as an authority on the subject to search engines and new consumers.

How important is Integrated SEO?

An integrated SEO plan is the most important aspect of your marketing efforts. As search engines refine their analytics, web designers are rewarded for professionally-designed contextual content rather than unscrupulous techniques aimed at short-term payoff. Success in this new reality requires moving away from design templates and toward customized websites built with quality coding techniques and an understanding of standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). W3C allows the sharing of ideas among white-hat experts on web architecture, security, and proliferation among varying formats, cultures, and abilities. By constructing websites with an eye for full integration of social media, traditional marketing, and user-centric coding, we can improve usability, adaptability, and sustainability, and search engine optimization becomes a natural extension of this foundation.