What should we expect?
As 2013 comes to a close the online marketing world is buzzing with all sorts of questions regarding what SEO will be like in 2014 and where the emphasis will be placed.
There are changes on the horizon and SEO companies should be ready for these. Keep reading my brief blog on this below to get the lowdown on these changes and so you can be sure that your SEO company is ready to react as and when these SEO changes come along.
We are looking at just some of the most critical changes due to occur in 2014 here.
Google is always changing
The world of SEO and technologies is continually changing to the point where a website that pulled in a significant amount of organic traffic as a result of good SEO practices in 2013 doesn’t automatically translate to a successful 2014, so much so that if your online marketing company doesn’t understand the following changes or have a plan, you could find your website sliding off of the face of Google altogether.
Search results pages have changed – to favour Google
Google will be taking a full-on, full-force approach to search results pages by putting its products first – what this means for businesses is the use of Google+, YouTube, Google places and other Google products will favour your website.
SEO is changing
Search engine results pages and the businesses shown within can vary depending on the location. Google now knows where users are when conducting a search for a product, business or service and will provide results that are relevant to the location.
Social media is now CRUCIAL to the point where any serious SEO campaign (and indeed any serious SEO company) must now fully align SEO and Social Media – it is critical to ensure that you maintain active Social Media Accounts.
Social media has been a major player in the digital marketing landscape in recent years. First we saw the massive growth and rise to glory of Facebook and Twitter. In the last couple of years, visual content from networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and various micro-video services has grown massively.
Today, diversification is a major trend: depending on who you’re targeting, it’s no longer enough to be active on just one social media network. The Content Marketing Institute recently released a study that the most successful B2B marketers are active on as many as several social media networks.
Important factors to consider in the year ahead include:
- Are we taking our social media seriously? Are we ensuring that we have strong profiles with good content, reciprocity to our followers and fans, and also engagement with our followers and fans?
- Is easy social sharing enabled for all of our content? Have we made sure that our content is interesting and compelling to share in the first place?
- Are we active on a regular basis on the social networks that matter in our sector / industry?
- Are we active on a regular basis on the social networks that matter to our customers and on social networks that our customers will also be on?
- Are we active on the social networks that matter to the search engines?
- Does our social media marketing strategy generate the amount of social signals through follower interest and engagement to reach our business goals?
These factors are important and should be well considered as they WILL play a major part in your Social Media Strategy.
Customer feedback and reviews
Google places a LOT of emphasis on customer testimonials and reviews – especially reviews left for businesses on Google. In short, comments from your customers about your business are now considered more important than many other SEO elements from your web page – this means that testimonials and client reviews matter now more than ever.
Videos and animations
2014 will see the year of the video (and animation). Embedding videos into your website (not just having a YouTube channel) that teach or educate your visitors will be favoured by Google.
Content is King
More than ever, 2014 will see all of Google’s Algorithms as seen in 2013 have the same emphasis placed upon them – but amplified.
It is important that you include and consider the following on your website:
- Regular, helpful content targeted at your audience.
- Social signals from regular sharing and engagement.
- Freshness or signs that your site is alive and growing.
- Increasing authority connected to your body of work.
Quick fixes won’t work
So called “quick fix” SEO tactics are dangerous as they are a sure-fire way to end up in a mess – Google will not appreciate it and you could even get banned by Google for trying them – “Black Hat” SEO techniques will be all but dead in 2014.