2013 has been an incredibly eventful year in terms of Google updates. Major changes in 2013 include further releases of Panda & Penguin, Hummingbird and shift away from providing keyword data (all thanks to encrypted search). Google has taken major spam –fighting steps in this year and have shifted the playing field of SEO.
At the same time, the need for stronger online presence has never been so difficult, as there has never been such a high competition. The potential to make good return on investment with your online marketing company is greater than ever. But the black hat techniques no longer work instead SEO experts or professionals have to set up a more robust vision of their area of expertise.
Through a mix of what I am reading and observing working out in this field with my client’s, below are some of the suggestions for SEO professionals and companies that are thinking ahead to 2014 for their digital strategies.
Everything that you learned in 2013 is still relevant and are just amplified
When you look at the targets of 2013 updates closely, I expect these will be carried forward throughout 2014. We can expect some micro adjustments in Panda and Penguin that continue to target both content and link quality. Some online marketers will benefit from keeping an eye on their link profiles and performing the audits to identify and remove those links that are built unnaturally.
Content Marketing is bigger and important than ever
Content Marketing will become mature marketing movement in 2014. From a SEO point of view, Google will be looking at those companies that have robust content marketing efforts.
Benefits of a good content strategy
- Helpful content targeted at your audience regularly
- Signals that your site is alive & growing
- Increased authority
- Social signals from regular sharing & engagement
It is almost the same approach to SEO. Now, you might think, what changes you need to make in 2014 to stand in relation to active content marketing strategy? Companies with existing content strategy will have to access the role of mobile.
Social media progressively plays an important role
Social media has been a great player in the field of digital marketing for last few years. First we saw only the rise of two platforms that are: Facebook & Twitter but in last couple of years, visual content from other social networks like Pinterest has swept through. Diversification is a major trend now days. It is not at all enough to be active on a single network. Companies and SEO professionals will be asking these questions in the year ahead (2014).
- Are we taking social media seriously?
- Are we implementing the pillars of good content, engagement, strong profiles and reciprocity?
- Are we active on those social networks that matter in our industry?
- Is easy social sharing enabled for all our content?
- Are we active on those social networks that matter to our customers?
- Does our SMM (social media marketing) strategy stimulate the level of social signals that are required to achieve our goals?
Invest in Google +
Recent study of ranking factors by Moz’s confirms that Google + is playing an increasingly important role in SEO ranking. The areas to focus on include:
- Establish the Google authorship of your content and connect it to your Google + account.
- The +1’s add up. It is not clear exactly how much Google+1’s contribute but it is true that it is one of the major factors in social signals element of algorithm.