In the last few years we have seen Google change their Algorithm on numerous occasions, with these changes we see a more dynamic search functionality and many “tried and true” methods for Search Engine Optimisation no longer working for websites or penalising them for bad practices.
Google no longer appreciates SEO spam tactics like overusing keywords, bad links, duplicated content and bad site design and layout, these things are now undesirable for companies wanting their sites to rank well in search and not be penalised.
For online marketers in 2014 their favourite word from last year “content marketing” is a trend we see repeating. Content is king and is going to be here and center stage for a long time.
In order to be successful in 2014 companies will have to put great quality content creation in the center of their online universe. Incorporating all components of “brand building, mobile optimisation, content marketing and social media integration” will be really important for the year ahead.
Jayson Demers shows us five key trends that will be important for successful SEO in 2014.
Source: Rand Fishkin (Founder of online marketing firm Moz)
SEO has three core components.
This year the relationship between these three components – Social Media, Content and Links – will become really important. Content must be valuable and targeted, focused on customer wants and needs and be engaging. Links will be trusted if they are from good quality sources that reinforce your site is trustworthy and of value. Social Media will be the big draw this year which pushes the boundaries of your reach showing other search engine users that your information is relevant and is good quality content that they may find useful.
Content marketing is here to stay.
Content marketing is an important part of a business’s marketing mix and something that is becoming essential in telling a brand’s story in a way that engages their audience. For marketers this means telling a story in a way that will see more conversion and return on investment. With the maturation of content marketing we will be able to optimise strategies to make our efforts more targeted and measurable, with the ability to improve and become more focused as time goes on.
Being mobile-centric is important.
With the growing number of mobile searches almost taking over those of desktop searches, its important for businesses to have websites that are optimised for mobiles. These sites will be simpler versions of the desktop sites ideally with a simpler interface, large fonts and correct sized videos and pictures. Even better will be if mobile sites are a responsive design which allows for a good looking website across a range of devices from smartphones to tablets. With Google’s Hummingbird updates, ranking well without a mobile strategy is getting more and more difficult.
Build a strong brand by being a Thought Leader.
Being a thought leader is important for building a strong brand, and also for ranking well over time. Google Authorship allows for brands to connect their authors with their content and thus recognised authors content will perform better in search results. Generally the more content and better quality it is, well written by a thought leader in your team is going to be better for your business and search results.
The intersection of Social Media with SEO.
We always knew the day would come where having a strong social media presence would influence your company’s ability to perform well in search. With Google’s Algorithm essentially becoming more “human” (smarter) as time passes, its relying on the behaviour of social media users through shares and mentions to influence the strength, relevance and quality of content on sites. It’s important for brands to have a strong social media presence on the platforms that work for them and get people sharing their content. Two essential social platforms for businesses are Google+ and a blog on their website that has a built in sharing module.
Get a good balance:
Quality content, build a strong brand, develop your social media presence, engage with users who will share your content and get quality links. Do this all simultaneously as the collective effort will support the strength of your search results, which allow you to tell your businesses story better and ultimately get found.
Remember content is king, and your channels give you access to your audience, who share and give you links as a trusted thought leader.