SEO Trends And Predictions For 2014
The field of SEO is one of the most dynamic industries. What was effective and successful a few years ago may not be good practice now and what may be a valuable SEO practice for this year may also not work for next year. SEO can be as changing and versatile as fashion and just like the fickle fashion industry; there are trends and predictions to what out for regularly. Below are some of these SEO trends and predictions that will hopefully help you have a SEO success for 2014.
This aspect of search engine optimization becomes even more important this 2014. With the major changes in Google’s algorithm last year, particularly the new Google Hummingbird algorithm, good content marketing strategies are the most solid ones you can rely on. A strong content marketing approach will be all good for websites and the businesses on these sites. In treading your content marketing path for 2014, keep in mind of the following:
- Offer regular, good quality, relevant content that specifically focuses on your target audience.
- Offer a variety of content such as images, videos, and infographics or diagrams.
- Publish content that answers comprehensive questions.
- Streamline your content marketing strategies with your social media strategies.
- Be a solid authority or source of knowledge in your targeted industry.
Expectedly, Google authorship will be a huge determining factor in the importance and significance of a particular piece of content. The stronger the Author Rank is of the one who wrote the content, the better. The weight of Author Rank will only get heavier in future Google updates.
The role of social media continues to be very important in the SEO landscape, but more significantly, in the aspect of digital marketing. While Facebook and Twitter have long sealed their places as the social media networks to tap if you want to market your business, more visually-focused social media websites such as Instagram and Pinterest are proving their worth in gaining online popularity. Other social media networks to tap are LinkedIn and of course, Google+.
Although having accounts in various social networks is a huge step in the right direction, you will only tap the full marketing potential of these social media sites if you are active on the network and you successfully engage your followers. However, some SEO experts might say that social media marketing is separate from search engine optimization but a lot of people in the SEO industry foresee a more significant involvement and participation of social media in future Google updates. Keep the following things in mind in plotting your social media strategy:
- Increase your presence in visual social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
- Engage your Facebook followers and work on aggregation of likes, check-ins, and reviews to increase the number of targeted users who would see your business in the graph search.
- Utilize and improve your Google authorship for your niche or industry.
- Work on building your Google+ profile by focusing on strengthening the number of +1s and shares.
A growing number of Internet users are now browsing online with the use of their mobile phones or tablets. This already huge percentage will only get higher for 2014 especially with the continued release of better Internet-capable mobile devices. Hence, a website that is mobile friendly is a must for 2014.
However, some websites address the need for a mobile friendly site by having a separate mobile version of their websites. Unfortunately, this practice could possibly hurt your search engine rankings because you will now have two URLs of concern.
The best way to address the need for a mobile friendly website is to have a responsive web design for your site. A site like this automatically adjusts its layout and size depending on the computer or device it is being viewed from, effectively removing the need for a separate mobile version of the website. This would mean that visitors to your site will all be directed to a single URL whether they are using a computer, a laptop, a mobile phone, or a tablet.
Aside from having a single URL, having a website with a responsive web design will help you focus your SEO efforts on a single URL and all search engine ranking value is likewise drawn to that single URL.
A few years ago, some local businesses might put off having a more solid online presence while reasoning that they do not cater to a global clientele after all. Nowadays, a large percentage of Google searches have geographical parameters. This means that a lot of searches are related to location, creating an added benefit for local businesses that have adequate online presence. Businesses, whether local or not, have huge potential for success this 2014 if they have a strong online presence and are optimized for search engines such as Google and Bing.
However, do not just aim for optimizing your search for search engines. The most important thing is to be able to build a local presence with the help of your audience. Building your own brand is good, but building a community or a brand that changes and grows with the audience is so much better. Optimize your website so that it provides a good experience for those who are mobile and content-hungry.
Some experts say that link building has died along with the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. However, there is still some value to building links to your website. The key is not in the quantity of links but in getting relevant and high quality links. Keep in mind the following when acquiring back links for your website:
- Focus external link building efforts on the acquisition of editorially given links which are those that require human intervention and approval.
- Build links that are relevant – on pages where the readers would have a genuine interest in your website.
- Go for quality instead of quantity; prioritize links from high authority websites in your particular industry or niche.
- Have a variety of anchor texts instead of using just a few ones.
SEO has definitely changed over the years and 2013 was a huge year in terms of changes in the field of search engine optimization. The many changes brought about by the Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird hold even for 2014. Some concepts, such as those listed above, will be more amplified than others. The main SEO thrust for 2014 that will ensure success for your site is to provide value to your users and improve user experience.