The beginning of a new year isn’t complete without new trends – especially in the world of digital marketing. While some of the same trends from 2013 will continue (especially the strong focus on content), we’ve identified four key areas to watch in 2014.
1. Content Is (Still) King
Content will remain king in 2014. In case you missed it, in September 2013 Google started employing the use of the “hummingbird algorithm” that mimics the way that people talk. This type of “conversational search” goes beyond just keywords. What this means for writers and marketers is an added importance for high quality and original content.
You can read more about Google Hummingbird here.
2. Social Media’s Importance in SEO
While we have already seen the increase in use and importance of social media, it will start to have even more value in 2014. Search engines are striving to return the most relevant content. Therefore, social media content and shares will weigh more heavily into rankings. This means that it is more important than ever to increase your activity on social media – more followers, more shares and more conversation!
Google+ is great example of how closely social media and SEO are intertwined. In your Google+ profile, you are able to embed links directly into your bio, and good quality links are important factors in SEO. Google + also allows you to add unlimited links into your posts, garnering a higher likelihood that your posts will be shared and linked, contributing to higher SEO. Google + also indexes content quickly, making it more likely to be found on searches.
For more ways that you can take advantage of your Google + profile for SEO, check out these simple steps.
3. Images/Video Continue to Grow in Importance
Well-placed images on websites and blogs will be essential for helping your content stand out among the crowd. The rise in image based content and social shares, such as on Pinterest and Instagram, can attest to this. Incorporating clear and appropriate images into your online content takes advantage of the visual nature of the Internet. A picture is much more likely to draw someone in than just text alone. And remember; don’t forget to label your images with appropriate keywords in the alt text to best assist with SEO.
In “6 Powerful Reasons Why you Should Include Images in your Marketing,” the author Jeff Bullas explores the importance of visual content in marketing and shares some helpful takeaways for businesses. For example, an article with an image gets 94% more page views. When a consumer is searching for a business and an image shows up in their local search results, they are 60% more likely to consider or contact the business. And on Facebook, engagement on photos is 37% higher than text. The power of visual content is paramount.
4. Mobile Marketing Explodes
According to Forbes, by the year 2017, 87% of connected device sales will be smartphones and tablets. The competition in digital marketing will soon take place not on the familiar front of desktop and laptop computers; rather, mobile devices will now be the foreground for the newest developments in digital marketing.
Already showing success from mobile marketing in the New Year is Pizza Hut, setting two digital sales records from these past two Fridays in January. In a statement, Pizza hut said, “roughly 40% of all transactions occurred digitally from Jan. 1-10.” Pizza hut offers mobile ordering applications for Android, iPhone, Windows, iPad and Xbox 360, in addition to pizzahut.com. As mobile devices are playing a larger role in the lives of consumers, there is a wealth of opportunity in marketing to target this growing demographic.
As we quickly move into this New Year, these key areas are sure to be influential in the world of digital marketing. How can your business take advantage of these trends to make your marketing even more successful? We are excited to see how it all plays out in 2014!