If you look carefully, 2013 has certainly been eventful especially when it comes to important updates laid down by Google. Some of the major highlights encompass critical releases like Penguin and Panda, importance of content and author ranking and the shift from just offering keywords (thanks to encrypted search mechanism).
Most webmasters have gone ahead to ask themselves if whether or not SEO still exists or is it dead or irrelevant. Research and reviews show that Google has now taken steps to fight spam and as a result, it created stiff challenges for most site owners. Concisely, it is now not so easy to get a rank in popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing unless you do not follow the laid down parameters.
As competition grows, many business owners can now see the importance of having a strong and prominent online presence. The potential to earn a strong ROI has encouraged people to take drastic steps. As black-hat tactics no longer exists, but if you still follow them then it would not be long before you get noticeable and penalized.
You may want to take this more of a tactics rather than a strategy. However, successful players usually try to anticipate Google’s next moves and proactively respond to them to make an everlasting presence. In other words, this game of chess with Google around SEO services would always continue however, the rules would become more complex every year.
By offering a mix of what I have observed and have read in the past and what I have experienced in the field of onlinemarketing, here are some suggestions on how to prepare your brand for 2014:
All key learning from 2013 are still relevant but more amplified
If you observe 2013 then be sure of the fact that Google will continue to penalize those sites that do not adhere to their guidelines. This would continue in 2014 and so you can expect more websites to fall prey. You can however expect a few adjustments to Panda and Penguin that would continue to target both link quality and content quality on websites.
Quite a few site owners would feel benefited by having quality inbound links. They would continue to perform periodic audits and remove unnatural inbound links. The key focus would always remain on quality and unique content.
Do remember that a solid performance in 2013, then in 2014 you can build a strong foundation and you can do exceptionally well and draw more relevant web traffic.
Marketing yourself through content is going to be bigger and better than before
From being nascent to mature, content is going to be the buzzword for most websites. This will continue in 2014. If you look at it from a SEO perspective then Google would accredit companies that offer robust content development efforts.
Advantages of having good and unique content:
- Fetches targeted audience
- The platform to share and engage more people
- The sign of freshness and uniqueness would be alive
This I guess would not be new as the approach to SEO got a basic shape in this way. The kind of changes you make in 2014 largely depends on what elements miss from your current website. Quite a considerable number of companies may want to build their strategies around mobile marketing, which is not a bad idea at the end of the day.
If you have not moved in the direction of content marketing then it is high time to become committed and start looking for unique ways to shape the content on your website.
Role of Social Media
Social media is and has been playing an important role in digital marketing for the past few years. In the beginning, we saw the exponential growth of both Facebook and Twitter and now, we see how strong social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are becoming.
Today, we see diversification in the trend and kind of role content plays on social media platforms. Both B2C and B2B companies recognized the powerof social media platforms and the way it changes the brand visibility.
Focus on Google+
In addition to social media, strengthening your position on Google+ is not a bad idea. According to Moz, certain critical factors have shown that Google+ is playing an extremely crucial role in SEO rankings.
Guest blogging and content limitation
May be you are not aware of this but GuestBlogging has gained a lot of popularity in the past one year or so. It is an effective means through which you can develop quality inbound links and achieve more traffic. Having mentioned that, you need to be sure that the content you place for your Guest Blog is of good quality. Do ensure that the length of the content is adequate and must be written in such a way so that it draws the attention of onlookers.
Sophie Hyde is a technical news junkie and works at SearchEccentric in India. She loves everything about digital world, Search Engine Marketing, Internet Marketing, Social Media and gadgets.