Which Top SEO Tactics Will You Focus On In 2013?

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SEO tactics have morphed again over the past year, including the many Google updates we’ve seen.

For nearly any type of business, keeping up with these changes can be a challenge, but if you prioritize the tasks necessary for success in search and social media marketing, the efforts can pay large dividends.

Below are my picks for the top SEO tactics to focus on in the coming year. These tactics can bring you more relevant traffic and conversions for improving your bottom line in 2013.

  • Optimize your pages using SEO best practices
  • Implement social media tactics
  • Build mobile pages and/or mobile apps
  • Build local pages
  • Optimize map listings with local landing page URLs
  • Optimize IYPs & data aggregators for consistent data validation & relevant backlinks
  • Improve SERP visibility with semantic markup

Optimize Pages With SEO Best Practices

The best guide to SEO Best Practices is the Google 2012 Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, which includes the following topics in its Table of Contents.

  • Unique, accurate page titles
  • Description tags
  • Improved site structure
  • Improved URL structure
  • Easy navigation
  • Optimized content
  • Offering quality content and services
  • Writing better anchor text
  • Optimizing images
  • Proper use of heading tags
  • Dealing with crawlers
  • Elective use of robots.txt
  • Using rel=”nofollow” for links
  • SEO for mobile sites
  • Submitting mobile sites to search engines
  • Guiding mobile users accurately
  • Promotions and analysis
  • Promoting your website appropriately
  • Using free webmaster tools

If you take the time to implement these tactics as time allows, you will get gradual improvements in your rankings along with increased conversions.

Implement Social Media Tactics

Today’s consumers are increasingly going to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for information, influencing their purchasing decisions. They also share their own retail experiences with others on these sites. This results in brand mentions and recommendations from friends and strangers alike.

As a result, consumers have been turning to social media for product research before purchase.

  • 76 percent of consumers recommend companies they trust to a friend or colleague (Edelman Digital)
  • 62 percent of all online shoppers read product-related comments from friends on Facebook, and 75% of these shoppers click through to the retail site (Sociable Labs, 2012)
  • Customers who participate and/or interact with you on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook are 150% more likely to buy merchandise (eTail Blog, 2012).

With increased social recommendations influencing product search and discovery, it is important that Web merchants take advantage of these touch points, creating opportunities for consumer engagement.

You can encourage your customers to share positive experiences on social media sites, and you also have the opportunity to defend yourself from complaints on these sites. Some brands can benefit by using social media advertising to target their audience and drive new customers to their sites.

Build Mobile Pages And/Or Mobile Apps

Optimized mobile pages and mobile apps provide a great user experience for consumers on the go. In fact, shoppers expect to find them when searching on their mobile devices.

Optimize your mobile site and apps with the following features:

  • Location Specific Calls to Action
  • Location Phone Number, Address, Hours
  • Driving Directions
  • Local Store Promotions
  • Local Store Pictures
  • Company YouTube Videos
  • In-Store Offers
  • Social Network Sharing
  • Links to Promotions
  • Click to Call Features

Build Local Pages

In addition to the most basic local business information, aggregators wish to acquire as much “enhanced data” or local business details as possible. The more enhanced your local business data is, the more value it has for display to searching consumers.

Enhanced data can include, but is not limited to:

  • Additional business category types
  • Business descriptions
  • Operating hours
  • Web page links
  • Images and logos of the business
  • Images and descriptions of products your business offers

The white paper, How to Achieve Remarkable Results in Local & Mobile Search: A Step by Step Guide, can provide you with more information.

Optimize Map Listings With Local Landing Page URLs

First, ensure there are no data inconsistencies in your listings; then, manage and update your Local Maps data.

Fix Data Inconsistencies

There is a single point of contact for managing multiple business listings in the map areas of search result pages. Increase local map rankings for targeted categories relevant to business service offerings.

Ensure consistency in your local business NAP (Name, Address, and Phone) information to local maps when changes are made to your local business listings. Always link your local landing pages to your Maps pages to increase local relevancy.

Manage & Update Local Maps Data

Data consistency reinforces confidence from search engines and provides the best user experience and search engine rankings.

When claiming and managing listings directly on Google, Yahoo! and Bing, it enables the optimization and distribution of enhanced data with video, images, local descriptions, targeted categories, social media links, areas served, specials, hours/holiday hours and other enhanced content.

Local maps distribution networks include: Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local and Bing Business Portal for listing optimization and management. This includes direct management of all business data, validated business listings, targeted keyword categories, easy updates with landing page control.

Optimize IYPs & Data Aggregators For Consistent Data Validation

You can overwrite incorrect Local Business data and achieve higher rankings through “data consistency.” Local search ranking algorithms used by the search engines to determine rankings are heavily dependent upon consistent local business data.

To maximize local search rankings, it is critical to manage your listing presence on all information services – not just a single or limited service.

Manage and update your Local Business Data including the information below:

  • Business name, address, telephone, manager information, neighborhood information, areas served, logo and storefront images, description, categories, operating and holiday hours, landing page URL, special offers and events, social networks URLs, local map URLs and review site URLs.
  • Local Search Directories and Internet Yellow Page Distribution Networks Include: LocalEze, InfoUSA, Axciom, Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, Yelp, FourSquare, Facebook, Local.com, GPS Devices and more than 300 Local IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages).

Improve SERP Visibility With Semantic Markup

Adding semantic markup to your pages will enhance your page-one listings with increased click-through rates (CTR). GoodRelations RDFa is frequently used by e-commerce sites. You can find more information on GoodRelations markup on the GoodRelations Community Wiki.

Schema.org was adopted by the three major search engines in 2011 and will be increasingly implemented on websites in 2013. For more information on using structured markup, see Aaron Bradley’s article, E-commerce SEO Using Schema.org Just Got A Lot More Granular and Barbara Starr’s article, How To Leverage Structured Markup To Create E-Commerce Web Portals.

Takeaways for 2013

Since SEO tactics have transformed over the past year, it’s important for website owners to update their websites and marketing tactics. Two tactics I highly recommend are local search optimization and implementing structured markup on your pages. These tactics can give you better visibility in the SERPs fairly quickly.

In closing, all the Web marketing tactics above can improve your presence in the SERPs, drive more traffic to your site and increase your conversions in 2013.


Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | Schema.org


About The Author: is Managing Partner at PB Communications LLC. Specializing in SaaS solutions for Enterprise Store Locator/Finders, Semantic/Organic/Local/Mobile and SEO Diagnostic Audits for increasing online and in-store foot traffic.

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  • http://twitter.com/sharithurow sharithurow

    Hey Paul-

    What exactly do you mean by “easy navigation”?



  • Socal Preferredbuilders

    I have been trying to focus on link building and dont really know the best solutions for my company. Any thoughts?

  • http://twitter.com/macsupportcentr Mac Support Centre

    Hey Sharithurow,

    Nice question, most of the guys missed to provide a proper navigation in their websites. Please keep in mind that “Navigation” is for users and not for search engines

    It does mean that the users should be able to land into any pages of the website from the page where he currently in… Please check the services and solutions section in the website http://www.macsupportcentre.com.au/, you will get an idea sure.

  • http://www.shopobd2.com/ shopobd2

    Good post! I am learning SEO now. Very useful for me. Thanks a lot!

  • http://twitter.com/andreapernici Andrea Pernici

    Please don’t suggest to use nofollow…(a stupid creation by Google) it will be the end of the Web.

  • munaazanjum

    I disagree with the author of this post on many instances. At time, when the evangelists are talking of responsive web design, and responsive SEO, the article highlights more or less the same SEO stuffs, as though we are still in Web 2.0.

  • http://twitter.com/mvsmarketing Mark Stockton

    So, your best optimization tip for 2013 is to ‘optimize your website’? Wow. Inspired. I can see why you earn the big bucks.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I also think it’s important that site owners evaluate their current link building campaign to see if they are leaving valuable link building opportunities behind. Sometimes you’re sitting on a goldmine of links and you don’t even realize it! Always ask yourself, no matter what you’re doing online, how can you get a link out of it?

  • http://www.noticiashoy.cc/ Noticias de Hoy

    You mention : Using rel=”nofollow” for links , I see all the links in this page do follow so what use would you recommend ?

  • robthespy

    Here are my tactics-
    1- SEO LOCAL
    4 – SEO SOCIAL

    Wait a second……those aren’t tactics. And neither is anything in this article. ;)

  • Raj kumar

    Thanks for give valuable information

  • Paul Bruemmer

    I can refer you to
    Eric Ward’s Linking Campaign Primer http://www.ericward.com/articles/primer.html,
    last updated 2009. Eric will be updating again

  • Paul Bruemmer
  • Paul Bruemmer

    Get an attitude check my friend. The purpose of this exchange of information is to welcome constructive comments. If in 2012 you had spoken with several dozen CMO’s in companies with annual revenue over $250 million and discovered 90% of them are missing 50% of the items listed in this article; you might have some insight in regards to just how far behind many companies are within their SEO road map. Good luck to you.

  • Paul Bruemmer

    Yes, very important, thank you Nick. This is probably the most important thing I missed in the article. Analyzing your link genome is critical path for two reasons 1) as Nick Stamoulis says “finding a goldmine of links,” and equally if not more important in my opinion, 2) cleaning up what Google might perceive as “unnatural links” to avoid the penalty box. Several website owners every year are penalized by Google (90% loss of traffic) when they have no idea what they did wrong and it always seems to trace back to “unnatural links.” Always re-evaluate your link structure and scrutinize any link building campaign to insure 100% Google compliance.

  • Paul Bruemmer

    I can refer you to
    Eric Ward’s Linking Campaign Primer (Google it), Eric will be updating again

  • Paul Bruemmer

    Tactics may refer to a plan, procedure, or expedient for promoting a desired end or result. The purpose of this exchange of information is to welcome constructive
    comments. As I’ve shared with Mark Stockton (in the post above), if in 2012 you had spoken with several dozen CMO’s in
    companies with annual revenues over $250 million and discovered 90% of
    them are missing 50% of the items listed in this article; you’d have
    some insight in regards to just how far behind many companies are
    within their SEO road map. Good luck to you.

  • Paul Bruemmer

    Google (Google SEO Guide), it’s the best authoritative guide on using NoFollow

  • Paul Bruemmer

    At their core, search engine algos haven’t changed much over the past several years, they remain complex “probability engines” not “answer engines.” Yes thier algos have been updated and improved however, at their core technology not much has changed. The fundamentals remain critical path to building trust and authority i.e., rankings.

  • Paul Bruemmer

    I predict links will be of little or no value in less than 5 years.

  • Paul Bruemmer

    Thank you and all the best of luck in your career path.

  • robthespy

    I would say that 50% of the items on your list might not be relevant to many $250M+ companies.

    •Optimize Map Listings With Local Landing Page URLs
    •Optimize IYPs & Data Aggregators For Consistent Data Validation

    Obviously it depends on the industry and customer base. But if I mentioned “Yellow Pages” to to some of the CMO’s we work with, I probably wouldn’t hear from them again. ;)

    That said, I appreciate your articles and anything that spurs discussion is valuable.

    Most of our customers are medium-sized companies with ecommerce sites. Two things we’re spending more time on this year:

    -Optimizing marketplace feeds (not just for Google & Bing).

    -Making sure EVERYTHING we do has a clear line in PnL attribution reporting.

  • http://twitter.com/andreapernici Andrea Pernici

    I don’t think so, but suggesting nofollow probably it will be :)

  • Gavin Sutherland

    I think links will always have some value, but what we are seeing is a broader range of signals that may affect how and in what context a site might rank e.g. specific verticals, personalised search, social signals, local etc. The link will still have currency but as part of a mix of signals.

  • http://www.quickpromarketing.com Pete Kici

    Did I miss something?No one said anything about reviews or reputation??? is it not very important for local business to have a 5 star reputation their customers posting great reviews people saying great things about your product or service?That is the new SEO, a bad reputation and all this other stuff is worthless.

  • Curtis Worthington

    In 2013 I will be concentrating on great content, building author rank, split testing for conversion and social media among a few other things!

  • http://twitter.com/erocketSEO Dave Fowler

    Anyone reading this who is new to SEO should be aware that “Using rel=”nofollow” for links” is not an ‘SEO tactic’. I’m sure this is not intended to read like an instruction, rather it is a content heading from the Google guide to SEO as stated, but one that has been paraphrased. So any newbies here, DO NOT go adding nofollow to all your links!

  • http://twitter.com/erocketSEO Dave Fowler

    I’m really worried that some readers are going to interpret that part of this post in that way, and having read the response to Andrea Pernici (http://searchengineland.com/top-seo-tactics-for-2013-141993#comment-744632907) I’m even more worried that this is how it might have been intended.

    Noticias, rankings are still influenced in large part by external links into your site and – the important point here – by the flow of that link ‘juice’ to your internal pages. If your organic traffic matters to you, do not go adding nofollow to all your links.

  • Tuan Le Duc

    Fantastic. Let me bring this about in my Seo Forum.I want all our seoer know this.

  • http://twitter.com/Koozai_Emma Emma North

    This guide is a good point of reference for SEO’s looking to fill in the gaps of a a site optimisation process. Of course, not all points are relevant for all sites or industries and a bullet list of tips is not ideal for SEO newbies who may get mixed up with references like the nofollow being discussed, but as a resource for developing strategic top-level ideas there are a number of pointers, including local, markup, social and content which will each play a big part in SEO for 2013.

  • http://www.makeitmindful.com/ Mindful Marketing Strategies

    great article paul. i especially like the checklist of the onsite seo best practices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001908060728 Shraddha Patel

    Thanks for this article but i didn’t get what you mean by “Easy navigation” .


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