17 Dec 2013

SEO Skills For Success In 2014 And Beyond

SEO basics and fundamentals are now more important than ever. However, the always changing landscape of SEO forces most of us to learn new things every year and adapt. A year ago if you asked me what skills SEOs need to learn for the future, I might have said something completely different, but for 2014 I am willing to bet the following will be crucial.

Taxonomy Design

Taxonomy is simply the practice of classifying things at the concept level. It seems like a very common sense practice, but when you actually start doing it, you will realize that it can be very complex. For example, lets pretend that you sell paper products online. You might start organizing your inventory around product types, but then realize that your target demographic searches for paper products by type of use. Or you might decide that you want to sell paper based on manufacture, or milling process. There are literally millions of ways that you can classify information, and having a clear articulated process will help in many ways.

Why is taxonomy design so important for SEO? With Hummingbird, mobile search, and other future search trends, defining concepts is more important than ever. A strong taxonomy design can be the foundation for other important elements such as content development, information architecture, and keyword research.

Community Management

Online community management has become an important task with brand building and social media management. Having a robust community means more exposure for your brand, and a closer connection to potential consumers.

With Google’s ever increasing dependence on Google+ as a platform, community management is becoming an important part of SEO. Sites with strong Google+ profiles will get more exposure and tend to rank higher.

Public Relations

Public relations has always been an intricate part of any successful marketing campaign. Engaging with media outlets can help with brand building a campaign promotion.

Public relations can also be used to build strong powerful links. The types of links that don’t trigger Penguin. Understanding how to pitch a story to news outlets, get them to run the story, and then link back to your site, will be one of the most powerful link building tactics now and in the future.


Whether it’s content development, keyword research, or taxonomy design; research is becoming an increasingly important step with SEO. Hummingbird is forcing SEOs to have a very developed understanding of user intent. This goes a lot deeper than regular keyword research. SEOs need to now understand what types of questions users are asking, not just what words are relevant to the page.

Basic Understanding of HTML

A basic understanding of HTML has always been a valuable asset to SEO. Meta, title, and anchor tags are the traditional on page SEO HTML elements. However, now Google is putting more emphasis on structured data and authorship. Both of which requires unique HTML tags to implement.


  1. Kingsley December 17, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Nice one by Joe. SEO skills are now completely different from just building crappy backlinks. Google made sure of that, especially this 2013.

    I particularly like and agree with the what he said that “online community management has become an important task with brand building and social media management” and that “having a robust community means more exposure for your brand, and a closer connection to potential consumers”.

    But of course, many will say that’s not SEO, but hey, anything that helps to optimize or improve one’s position with the search engines is also part of SEO, right, 🙂

    I found this shared on the Internet marketing social bookmarking website, Kingged.com by the way, and I “kingged” it.

  2. Ken December 20, 2013 at 4:37 AM

    I hadn’t really thought about taxonomy being part of SEO. I suppose I always had it pegged as UI design or information architecture.

    You’ve reminded me that it comes into how people are going to search. We usually peg that with personas, although we don’t usually go back an take a look at the taxonomy as it relates to the personas we develop.

    SEO is a very different animal than it was a few years ago. Thanks for the insight.


  3. Peter Zmijewski December 23, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Very good SEO skill for success, I would like to follow them. Thanks for sharing this blog.

  4. Jeric December 27, 2013 at 2:12 AM

    That ‘Taxonamy design’ stuff is quite new to me. I should put it on my SEO list to get ready for this coming 2014. 😀

  5. Ray Cassidy January 7, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Good overview of the way things are going! You mention structured data. Is there a straight forward plain English readable and usable guide to implementing it in different contextxts. My clients are mostly small companies with small budgets. I have had a stab at including mark up from schema.com but I don’t think I’ve actually grasped the most effective way to implement it quickly and accurately. I’m a bit of an old slow learner so I need it simple! 😉

    1. Admin Ninja January 7, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Thanks for reading and commenting Ray! Ann Smarty wrote a great guide on implementing Schema.org microdata. Give it a read and let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck! http://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/blog/search-engine-optimization/schema-org-guide-beginners-cheatsheet/

      1. Ray Cassidy January 7, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        Cheers Ninj!
        Popping across to look when I get back from the bouldering wall this evening. Too square eyed to comprehend at the moment! All the best!

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