2013 is coming to a close, and SEO professionals are starting to think about what the coming year will bring to the SEO and digital marketing industry. 2013 was a busy year for SEO, with a lot of best practices and guidelines changing to keep up with the latest algorithms and the search engine users’ behavior.
The new strategies and approaches that have been effective this year will be useful as SEOs, online marketers, and business owners gear up for 2014. Here are some of the most important search optimization lessons from 2013.
More people have been accessing the internet with their smartphones and tablets, and even the search engines are doing what they can to keep up with an increasingly mobile audience. Companies need to invest in mobile performance, optimization, and design to make their websites more visible, accessible, and user-friendly to users.
Content Marketing is More Important than Ever
Content marketing is more than just a buzzword now. With Google constantly focusing on quality and usefulness, developing a good content strategy is a must for every business. Some of the important steps to take when it comes to content marketing include:
- Creating content that is relevant, informative, and unique (the old methods of simply inserting keywords into content will no longer do)
- Publishing fresh content regularly
- Encouraging social sharing and engage audiences on social networks
- Earning links and citations from authority websites
- Diversifying the content strategy to include different types of content (blog posts, infographics, videos, webinars, white papers, and so on)
Social Signals are Playing Bigger Roles
Social media now goes hand in hand with content marketing and SEO. Having a good social media strategy in place allows any company to drive content discovery, increase website traffic, or even improve sales.
Social isn’t just about Facebook or Twitter anymore. Other networks businesses should tap into include Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, and several other niche networks. A recent study by Content Marketing Institute shows that the most successful B2B marketers are active on an average of seven social networks.
Businesses need to determine which social networks their target market uses often, and develop a content and engagement strategy for each network.
Guest Blogging Should be Done Correctly
Guest blogging is an effective way to build inbound links and improve a brand’s exposure, but only when done correctly. With so many low-quality paid guest posts published online, it’s easy for Google and readers to dismiss a guest blog as spam. Google’s Matt Cutts offered some great tips on how to avoid making genuine guest blogs look like spam in this Webmaster Help video:
They key takeaways from Cutts’ advice include:
- The guest post must be relevant to the blog it’s published in
- The guest post should be authoritative well-researched
- Guest blogging should be done in moderation
Looking at these trends and best practices in 2013 can help you plan for the year ahead. Contact Creativo Media for SEO strategies that can help future-proof your website’s rankings.