Google dominates the cyber-ways, and marketing professionals, business owners and anyone with a revenue-generating website should pay attention. Why? How about this: Nearly 90 percent of shoppers in a 2012 Fleishman-Hillard survey indicate they use Internet search engines to make purchase decisions. If a business wants to show up in search results, it has to stay on top of the latest SEO trends. Here’s what a few experts predict we’ll see in the next year.
SEO Trends for 2014
1. Search engines will continue to push for quality content. Algorithms will continue to adapt to penalise duplicate content, over-optimised key words and shallow, meaningless content.
2. Domain authority will continue to overshadow page rank. Google’s Page Rank algorithm rates sites on a 1-10 scale, based on quality of links pointing back to the site. Moz’s domain authority (Opens in a new window) scores sites 0 to 100 based on more than 40 metrics, according to prowpblogger.com, which carries more meaning for online marketers.
3. Social media will continue to grow in importance for brand marketing, as consumers continue to become less brand loyal and more open to trying new ones.
4. Lee Odden, author of “Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media and Content Marketing,” says today’s content marketing evokes strong emotions. Consumers want to connect on personal levels with the companies they buy stuff from.
Odden told the audience of 2,000 content marketing experts at Content Marketing World in Cleveland this year companies and agencies are maturing away from content production and toward storytelling and monetising models that use a convergence of paid, earned, owned and shared media. Consumers are becoming more sophisticated, and when they know they are being advertised to, they disconnect.
Best SEO Resources
DIY SEO-ers should add Odden to their Twitter, Facebook and Google+ circles, and subscribe to his column on Clickz.com. Other resources for up-to-the-minute SEO and content marketing news:
- Follow the iAcquire Pinterest page (Opens in a new window)
- Subscribe to RSS feeds for Content Marketing Institute, Mashable, Jeff Bullas, HubSpot, Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Land and Marketing Land
- Sign up for Google Webmaster Help on YouTube and…
- … Follow everything Matt Cutts says. He’s the Google guru who heads up the search engine’s webspam team.
The SEO Community
Get into the Google+ circles devoted to content marketing, set up Twitter lists of SEO gurus, join SEO and content marketing communities and connect with other small businesses that do their own content strategy. These Google+ communities are active:
- Google Authorship & Author Rank
- SEO+ – Search Engine Optimisation/Website
- Content Marketing & Social Media
Too Much Information?
Look, you don’t have to follow every word all these sources publish. In fact, they tend to repeat what one another says, so if you miss something on Moz.com, chances are good another venue will pick it up. However, the more you follow, the more perspective you get and the more points of view you’ll get to know. The more you make content marketing part of your everyday life, the more second nature it will become.