• Some SEO Predictions for 2014

    Lorna McNamara, Marketing Director

    During 2013, we saw a number of key updates to search engine optimisation (SEO) from Google, such as Hummingbird. Many of these changes and updates to algorithms will only  become apparent during 2014. These changes include some of the impacts discussed in this blog back in October 2013 – Google’s latest algorithim – “Hummingbird” – These impacts include semantic search and the increased relevance of content marketing.

    Reviewing some of the many predictions released in early January from online marketing companies and SEO specialists from around the world, we have provided a summary of what we feel will be key influencing factors for the coming months.

    • Content Marketing – compelling, quality content that is relevant and encourages the visitor to engage.
    • Semantic Search  –  search engines have become more intelligent. Searches based on a better understanding of the searcher’s intent increases the importance of relevant content, with less emphasis on individual keywords.
    • Mobile  – With almost half of all emails viewed on a mobile device and mobile search continuing to grow, it is more important to ensure that your mobile site is well optimised. What we mean by ‘well optimised’ is ensuring you have researched and implemented efficiency with regard to loading time, general speed and overall user experience.
    • Social Media – having a strong social presence continues to grow as an influencing factor. Social Media should be completely integrated into a cohesive online marketing strategy to work hand-in-hand with more traditional SEO activities and content marketing.
    • Relationship based Link Building – to be effective and avoid penalties, link building should be based on strategic relationships. This is a much slower way of creating a link strategy, but will certainly prove much more effective.
    • Long-Tail Keywords – As with the growth of semantic search and natural language queries, searches now better handle long-term keywords which are often less competitive and more relevant for particular searches. Although they have been around for a while, they have often been overlooked as a way of delivering more visitors.
    • Well structured websites, with relevant on-page SEO  – Although social media and content have grown in relevance, it is still important to ensure that a website is well structured with good navigation and on-page SEO, that is drawn from sound keyword and market research.
    • Google + – Predictions have been made for a while now as to how relevant Google + will be to search engine rankings. While at the moment the jury is still out, there is no denying that it continues to grow as a social platform, and has been further integrated across other platforms (and Google products) to ensure that it is a player in Google world! Elements such as Google + posts appearing in search result pages will continue to grow.

    The above are only a selection of factors which we believe will impact SEO for the coming year and whilst some will be more important that others, factoring them into SEO strategies for 2014 will enhance their prospect for success.

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014