2014 is going to be BIG for Online Marketing. With changes to search trends, device usage and greater competition online, businesses need to be more competitive than ever online if they’re going to grab their share of the audience.
With respect to Search Engine Optimization, 2013 has been a pretty active year. Google shifted its focus from keyword-based search to searches based on natural languages and introduced updates to its Penguin and Panda search algorithms.
Google, as we all are aware, has become synonymous with internet search and in this article, we’re going to prepare you to formulate a search engine optimization strategy for the next year taking Google’s possible algorithmic changes into account. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.
The Mobile Explosion
The use of smartphones and mobile devices have increased exponentially over the last few years. In UK alone, 3 out of 4 people will be using smartphones by 2016, research shows. With such a huge market, organizations must start rethinking their mobile advertising strategy on Google. Ads will need to be designed in a way that they support devices with multiple screen sizes and resolutions ranging from a 4” smartphone to a 40” Smart TV with a web browser, and the websites that these adverts send users to had better be able to cope as well.
This boom in the mobile industry isn’t just about realigning search optimization for your website, it is also about making sure your website is optimized for mobile use.
Knowledge Graph is one of Google’s recent crown jewels. This tool brings related links to a searched query in one page, giving the searcher more options aside from just plain links. Think of it as a pretty advanced version of ‘related articles’ calculated by Google search algorithm. Up until recently, the sources of knowledge graph have been limited but Google is planning to expand its reach, including web sites stored in its index as possible sources. Hence, there’s a high chance that the content you generate, if found relevant to user’s search query, would be included in the knowledge graph results section. It’s high time to focus more on your content and its relevance to a topic it belongs to.
More Power to Social
In search engine optimization, we’re way past the stage where only keywords matter. It’s no longer just what’s being said, but who is saying it.
With the widespread popularity of social networks, Google has been able to change its algorithms to include search results from sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. The coming year will only increase the power of social media networks to make content visible to many people. We’ll also see author authority continue to be a ranking factor as we move to a less anonymous web.
Launched a little over two years ago, Google Plus is Google’s entry into the highly profitable world of social media. Unlike Facebook or any other social network, Google is in a unique position to place its social network in a better way, all thanks to the popularity of Google Search.
Google has been positioning Google Plus results page on top of organic content to give it more visibility and importance. This means that creating and maintaining a Google+ page for your business is more important than ever before. Make sure to update posts on your Google+ page regularly while targeting your market.
As you can see from the screenshot, a lot of the result page’s real estate is dedicated to Google+ page of Tesco. With Google employee bonuses tied to the success of Google+, expect it’s importance and visibility in search results to only increase in the coming year!
Changes to Adwords display
Google needs to constantly change how adverts are displayed in search results in order to overcome habitual ad ‘blindness’ by it’s users. It used to be that ads were always shown in a yellow box, but we’re now seeing Google instead label ads with a small yellow Ad tag. Changes in ad labelling usually lead to an increase in Advert clickthrough rate, benefitting advertisers.
With additional alternative displays (like the Carousel listings at the top of some searches), 2014 will be yet another year of massive change for businesses tapping into the potential of Google for traffic generating.
Let the games begin!