Over the past one year, Google has been awfully busy giving its search ranking algorithm a substantial overhaul. While it’s true that one SEO strategy doesn’t work for all industries or niches, it’s also important to understand that your strategy for ranking high on Google should be planned adhering to the latest guidelines of the search engine giant. To dominate searches in 2014 and beyond, you should devote adequate time to planning or re-structuring your SEO strategy to get ahead of the competition quickly.

Though there are several areas where you can focus your SEO efforts and numerous tactics that you can include in your plan, there are three important pillars to build your strategy upon.

SEO Strategy

Here’s a look at those three core components –

#1. Links
Most of the SEO strategies fail only because they pay little or no attention to building links. But only building links is not enough. More importantly, after Google’s release of its Penguin algorithm, the way links were acquired till now has changed considerably. On the one hand, adequate attention has to be paid to acquiring the right type of links. On the other, how you acquire those links should be in accordance with the new rules that Google has laid. For example, link building tactics like exchanging links or purchasing links have been declared as spam or black-hat.

Now, you should build the right (high quality and relevant) links without using any underhand techniques, which means you have to earn those links naturally or unasked on the basis of your site’s content quality.

#2. Content
I’m sure you’ve heard about the term ‘content marketing’ becoming the most important factor in the modern SEO era. Whether you’re a business owner or an online marketer, high quality content delivered consistently is the winner’s secret. You can’t ignore it anymore. If you plan to boost the SEO of your website or blog and keep on generating leads quickly, you should start focusing on creating content that your target audience is actually looking for. You should be able to understand the day-to-day issues of your customers and offer them content that will bring them real help. To fulfill your ongoing content requirements, you’ll also need to develop a good in-house team of your own content writers or outsource your needs effectively.

#3. Social Media
Great content can’t reach your customers on its own. Social media platforms like Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter provide you with an excellent option to market your content easily. Your SEO strategy can never leave out social media because search engines have also started to measure the quality of content by the amount of shares, likes or tweets (i.e. social signals) it gets. If you take a look at some of the brands in the popular niches, you’ll know how they’re using social media as a quick tool to get their content in front of the target customers while increasing the traffic to their sites manifolds.

However, you should always choose the social media platforms you’re going to use carefully so that you don’t waste your time.