We’ve seen a lot of changes to Google algorithms and, as a result, the way we practice SEO in 2013. There’ve been several updates to Penguin and Panda, Hummingbird has launched, and, of course, there’s the move towards secure search (not provided). But as the year comes to a close, many of us are wondering: what’s next? And how can we prepare for it?
While we can’t exactly read Matt Cutts’s mind or know what Google is up to at all times, there are pretty certain SEO trends you will see in 2014 and predictions are being made across the web as SEO companies and savvy business owners like you prepare for the year ahead.
The most successful of you will start doing your research and planning now so you can stay ahead of algorithm updates—and we can help! If you don’t have time to stay abreast of Google’s changes or develop strategies in response to them, just call us and we’ll handle it for you. Or keep reading to see what you should focus on in 2014!
This isn’t exactly news—we’ve already seen the shift towards content marketing with recent algorithm changes, including (not provided). But as SEO trends go, this will only become more important in 2014. Google will look for companies with robust content and having a strategic marketing campaign in place will help you gain authority and boost your rankings.
If you haven’t already started a content marketing campaign, it’s time to commit to one. And if you already have one in place, you’ll want to use 2014 to reassess your existing strategies, particularly in terms of mobile sites.
Since the Hummingbird update was released, it’s become more important for users to be able to view content across multiple devices, making mobile accessibility critical for your small business. And many predict that this is just the beginning! If you don’t already have a mobile site, make it a priority in 2014 and make sure your content is designed for mobile if you want it to rank. Be aware as well of the growing importance of semantic search and Knowledge Graph, as it appears they’ll only be more influential next year.
We’ve told you before, but we’ll tell you again: you should be using social media! Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter play a bigger role in SEO each day and we’ll only see more of this in 2014. But don’t limit yourself to the basics! Instead, find social networks that are relevant to your industry and that your potential customers are using. Remodelers, for instance, should be sharing photos on Pinterest and Houzz to maximize their online real estate. We’ve even broken Houzz marketing down for you in a recent blog!
And, of course we can’t forget about Google+. Whether you’re a plumber or a landscape design company, it’s critical that you invest in building out your Google+ presence as recent studies have it playing a bigger role in determining rankings. To get started, you may want to establish Google Authorship of your content and, of course, having as many shares as possible is a major factor as well.
Semantic & Entity Search
As you prepare your marketing campaign for the 2014 SEO trends above, it’s important to be aware of the growing role of semantic and entity search, which will no doubt impact the strategies you use. If you’re unfamiliar with these terms, here’s a short lesson. Essentially, Google is focusing more on understanding the meaning behind a user’s search in order to connect them with the most appropriate content. Previously, Google put a heavy emphasis on matching keywords within a query to a web page, but the search engine will only be moving more and more away from this in the future.
As you develop your campaigns, keep this in mind and focus on providing potential customers with the information they need and the best user experience possible. That means providing quality content, connecting with your customers on social media platforms, and enriching the mobile experience for users.
If you need help developing the best strategies for your company, just call us and we’ll do it for you. And don’t forget to check back with us in 2014 for the latest in SEO trends and changes to Google’s algorithms!
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
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