Every year, Google makes approximately 500 adjustments to their search engine algorithm. Since 2011, when they instituted the first Panda update, Google has been updating their algorithm more frequently having more far-reaching impact. The effect of this has been that quality content is being favoured, while shady link building and spam has pushed many websites down. Digital marketers have also started to shy away from relying on keyword usage to rank higher, as Google has reduced the importance. Google has made these changes to improve the quality of search results for their users, and these updates are game-changing for digital marketers around the globe. Digital marketers are struggling to keep up with the changes that Google has made in recent years. Chances are that your website and its search ranking have been effected in the past couple years! So how will SEO be different in the coming years and how can your business adapt? Here are four trends and predictions of what to expect from your SEO strategy in the next couple years.
1) Responsive Web Design
Having a single website for both mobile and desktop users is extremely important in 2014. As the methods of Web searches changes, there is an increased need to have adaptable websites that can be viewed conveniently on smartphones, tablets and computers. Responsive web design can adapt to whatever browser is being used to view the website. This gives the user a cleaner look at your site without them having to manually adjust your website’s size. This in turn can lead to a larger amount of visits, fewer bounce rates, more return visits, a larger amount of social network shares and with Google’s new search algorithms, a higher search engine results ranking.
2) Increased Quality Across the Board
With the new updates to their algorithm, Google has placed a premium on quality and not just with content. The content should consistent of things that people want to read and see, this attracts traffic making your site more important to Google and other search engines. However, with the new algorithm, the quality needs to extend to the technical aspects of your website as well. This means identifying, reducing and getting rid of any duplicate pages of content. It also means that you need to ensure that your content is accessible and optimized for both desktop users and mobile users. Finally, make sure that any in-linking you have in your content should help the users and search engines find their way around your site.
3) Have a Social Network Presence
Having a strong social networking presence is increasingly becoming a reliable way to drive traffic and build brand awareness. With it seeming like new social networks are being released weekly, social networks have the potential to be more important than the traditional SEO in driving traffic towards your site. Social networks gives visitors to your site the ability to share content across social media networks with their friends and followers, especially the popular social networking sites of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. Create great content and more people will be willing to share, bringing more potential leads to your brand in a fraction of the time that organic search results might deliver results.
4) Link Building
In recent years there has been much discussion around the digital marketing community that link building will be increasingly obsolete. However, this is not entirely true. Google’s recent algorithms have filtered sites based on the types of links that they build for a website and the intent behind them. Link building is tough work and is still the best way to improve the visibility of your web page. Building links can increase your brand exposure while creating and propelling new relationships.
At the end of the day, in the previous year we have seen a paradigm shift in the world of digital marketing. In 2014, digital marketing is about creating a responsive web site design, creating fresh and interesting content, developing a strategy to market the content, engage in social network media marketing, creating a clean and technically sound website and going after the right keywords in a responsible way. Do this and you will see increased leads, don’t and the latest changes in Google’s algorithms will leave you and your website behind.
About the Author : Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi
A serial entrepreneur with extensive background in franchising and interests in multiple online business channels, Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi has played an instrumental role in the franchise development and success of an international franchise company. His most recent entrepreneurial interests include launching ClickTecs, a Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as well as Website and Mobile Application development. In 2007 he co-founded Search Result, an online marketing company that supplies services to Internet Marketing Consultants. A sought after public speaker, Jam has been the featured keynote at many franchise conferences and international summits. He regularly trains ‘C’ Level Executives and supports both new and seasoned business owners on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Brand Reputation Management and Conversion & Measurement through web analytics. When he’s not scaling the heights of the Internet world, Jam ‘unwinds’ on extreme thrill-seeking adventures from the jungles of the Amazon to the highest summits. His passions include working with NGOs on humanitarian missions to areas around the world affected by disasters and poverty.