hAs the year comes to a close, we look back on the actions we’ve taken to improve ourselves and our businesses. It’s always a perfect time to contemplate mistakes made, goals unachieved, and benchmarks reached.

2014 was a whirlwind year for SEO with Google’s numerous search updates, local search carousel removal, crackdown on guest posts, and other controversial steps to better manage search rankings.

Regardless of how your year has turned out, there is still massive opportunity that can help improve your search rankings for 2015. So if you’re feeling discouraged having missed the mark on your online visibility, don’t worry! You haven’t exhausted your SEO toolbox quite yet.

Below we’ve offered some smart SEO suggestions you can work on as projects for the new year. All it takes is taking action on one to increase your rankings and domain authority. Do them all for even greater results!

Here are our top 10 recommendations for SEOs next year:

1. Redesign your website for the mobile world.

During commutes, while shopping, in the middle of a conversation, the mobile device has become the most important screen for consumers and marketers. Workers are also quickly embracing the change to the mobile landscape with this technology enabling us to work from anywhere.

Knowing this, one of the best things you can do for your business is make it mobile-optimized.

2. Go through your website for SEO bugs and fix them.

We get it, it’s not always easy to do an SEO audit. It takes a little bit of SEO know-how as well. Luckily there are all kinds of tools and reporting platforms available online for your repeated use (feel free to check out our tools for more information).

Also check out this guide if you’re in the market for more specific local SEO advice.

3. Partner up with someone in your space and create relevant content.

There’s nothing better than creating valuable content, especially when you do it in partnership with someone in your niche. One of the best ways to do this is to write a guest post for an authority in your industry.

Here’s a good plan for next year: set a benchmark for the maximum number of content pieces you will create for authorities and hit that mark!

4. Increase your site speed.

Things are going to get even faster in 2015. Is your site ready to handle even greater traffic levels than before? Sites that underperform in this category tend to be swept under the rug by the search engines.

Take it from those who know best that speed and user experience should be high on your next year priority list.

5. Update your blog software.

Never let your software go out of date, especially your blogging platform. Seeing as it can often be time-consuming, you may have put this off thinking you can avoid potentially bad consequences.

Play it safe instead, and update your blog platform early and often.

6. Lead groups in your industry using social media networks.

Here’s something you can take on as a bigger project next year. Start becoming more of an authority in your niche if you aren’t already. This will force you to produce not only more content, but higher quality content to stay abreast of the trends in your field.

Doing this through social media networks also allows you to connect with other experts much more quickly.

7. Keep track of your SEO efforts.

Record your search optimization progress. How much have you done with on-site optimization? What efforts can you continue to take in the future? Is the amount of time you’re allocating to this part of your business marketing appropriate?

Make sure you’re on top of this in order to have a clear look at your efforts.

8. Read SEO news regularly.

Keep yourself informed on the latest goings-on regarding the SEO community. You always want to be one of the first to know how a search engine update can possibly affect your site. Search Engine Land is one of THE best (if not the best) sources on the web you can find to learn all the latest search news.

9. Make sure your local SEO is taken care of.

Did you take a look at our local SEO resolutions for this year? Let’s hope you did! If not, put this on your action item list for 2015. Local search is going to become even more relevant next year as increasing numbers of consumers use it as a tool to accompany their shopping.

Sign up for Google My Business and submit your site to the best local directories you can find, to start.

10. Brainstorm a few SEO experiments to try out.

Last but not least, we really encourage you to test your wits with search engines. We all know the basic building blocks of getting traffic and how Google often ranks content (links, clicks, relevancy, etc.). Come up with a few of your own experiments to rise through the ranks for your targeted keywords.

Nothing spammy of course (always promote your most valuable content), but see how far you can go with this.

Here’s a recent Slideshare presentation by Darren Shaw demonstrating how clicks affect search rankings.

*Bonus* Revise your keyword list and target some new ones.

Do your research and find out what other keywords you could add to your target list. There are always helpful opportunities, so be sure to keep an eye out!

Check out our trusty infographic on keyword research.

We hope this list has been incredibly helpful for you. Put things in perspective and don’t forget that SEO is a lot easier to get a jump on once you have goals and a clear plan of action to get there.

Enjoy this post and the New Year!

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