cookie, gimmieSEO strategies have to be at the heart of any business that wants to succeed in the online world in 2014. But SEO strategy means something different than it did one decade ago, five years ago, or even last year. If your SEO strategy places a great emphasis on link building, you may find that your SEO influence has waned recently. While links connecting to your content are important, it is content itself that is becoming the most important aspect of an SEO strategy and what pleases Google the most. Here are a few things that you can do in 2014 to improve your content offering and make Google happy.

Create Content That Answers Questions

With Google’s latest Hummingbird algorithm it has been announced that the company’s focus has moved away from keywords and on to content. This means that picking out keywords that your target audience searches for and stuffing them into any piece of content is not going to work as part of a successful SEO strategy. Google’s aim is for its search function to behave in a way that is closer to the way that humans behave. Humans do not stuff keywords into their daily lives – they have problems and they find solutions, they ask questions and receive answers. In order for your content to lead to improved SEO, you need to create content that answers the questions of real people. This is not as simple as creating a keyword dense meta-tag but it will be more meaningful to your target audience, and Google will like you more too.

Consider Long Form Content

The world is so focused on the influence of social media that it can be easy to forget that people also like to read long form content. While the power of Twitter and its 140 character platform has grown exponentially over the last few years, so has the eBook market. Contrary to popular belief, our smartphone and social media culture has not completely dominated our lives and we still enjoy getting stuck into a long read. And we are not the only ones – Google really likes it too. When you create a post about a niche topic that delves into thousands of words, not everybody is going to want to read it – but not everyone needs to. Just like great businesses, all great content operates within a niche. Creating long-form content for a particular niche demonstrates that you can provide useful and meaningful content for an audience, and Google will rank your content more highly as a result.

Create New Content Regularly

Creating long-form content is a great idea, but if you simply post one 1000 word blog on your website every six months, you are going to see very limited SEO benefits. In order to compete with the multitude of content creators on the internet, you not only have to be answering questions, creating genuinely useful posts, and posting long-form content, you need to be doing this on a regular basis. It is a great idea to form a content plan so that you can ensure you are working towards content being posted at regular intervals. Both your audience and Google will appreciate this and you will see improvements in your SEO over time if your efforts are sustained.