Trends are constantly developing and changing, ensuring that no one can ever feel too comfortable. The top predicted trends for digital marketing and SEO in 2014 include: social media, mobile responsiveness, quality links and content. The combination of these elements is what makes an otherwise mediocre marketing strategy, great.
Social media use has risen at an incredible rate over the past few years, with everyone throwing themselves into the online space. Whether for business or pleasure, using social media seems to be the ‘it’ thing to do – and this is just the beginning. With Facebook approaching its 10th birthday and Google+ beginning to play an integrated role with SEO, these networks are more valuable than ever.
Search engines want to reward sites that are producing quality content. But what determines ‘quality content’? One factor is the amount of shares, likes, re-tweets and +1’s that it is getting. The reasoning here is that content that is interesting, unique or relevant will naturally receive more shares, as people will want their friends to see it. Conversely, low quality content which is aimed purely at selling or isn’t of value will receive less likes and shares, and thus doesn’t deserve to be ranked as highly in the search engine results.
Websites that are not optimized for mobile use are less likely to be ranked highly by search engines, especially since the Hummingbird algorithm update, as many users are searching from their phones. Mobile responsiveness basically means that a website can be accessed with ease from a mobile devise such as a phone or tablet, without the need for excessive scrolling, spanning or zooming on different elements of the page. Trying to use a site that is not compatible with mobile devices can be very frustrating; especially if the site does actually have the information that you are looking for, but is making it impossible for you to access.
Easily accessible information that is unique and relevant is generally sought after by web searchers worldwide. Most people access the Internet at least once a day, either for work or pleasure, which means that they are looking for something, and that ‘something’ might be just what you are offering. Delivering your content in a unique and interesting way ensures that people are receiving value from it, and will thus link to it from their own websites, blogs or social media profiles. Quality links are placed in high regard by search engines, meaning if your content is good enough to be linked to, it’s good enough to be found.
At the end of the day, the trends that affect SEO and online marketing are going to fluctuate, however if you have the basic elements down, along with a sound knowledge of what is going on in the online space, you can use them to your advantage. The key is to interlink all the different factors that are affecting your strategy, thus creating a cohesive and comprehensive plan across all platforms: social media, webpage and mobile.