What big SEO changes can you expect in 2014, and how can you start preparing for them today?
As 2014 draws near, we at Infomedia can’t help but think of what the next year holds for our industry – especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization. SEO is an ever-changing, never-sleeping creature that continually evolves. Keeping ahead of the curve – and staying near the top of those vital search engine results – is the name of the game. So what big SEO changes can you expect in 2014, and how can you start preparing for them today?
Social Signals Matter More than Ever
Google uses a lot of indicators in its algorithms that determine how credible and relevant your website is to your audience. Social signals have been gradually incorporated into these algorithms, but 2014 could be the year when they really take off.
To improve your SEO, begin incorporating more social signals into your overall digital strategy. This means increasing the amount of engagement you have with your target audience, including:
Every time someone interacts with your social media network, they are essentially sending a signal that they approve of your content, find it useful, and find it relevant to what they are looking for — which is exactly what search engines will want to see more of in the near future.
One argument you might hear is that Google will avoid using social signals because they’re easily manipulated through spam and other ways of scamming a ranking. While it’s true that scamming is a danger, Google is unlikely to sacrifice such a valuable source of info for its engines. Without a doubt, social signals will play a bigger role. And speaking of social signals …
Google+ Will Play a Bigger Role in SEO
One of the fastest-growing social networks of the past few years is Google+, Google’s attempt at cornering the social market.
While no one will argue that Google+ is anywhere as active or popular as Facebook — there are still plenty of people who still have no idea what Google+ is — what seems obvious is Google’s sometimes-secret commitment to making its own network a key part of search engine algorithms going forward.
In 2014, we can assume that having active and updated Google+ business pages, Google+ individual profiles, Google Authorship, and other elements of the Google+ world incorporated into your digital strategy will be more important than ever before.
Authority Matters More than Ever
Authority is like having a strong reputation that speaks volumes about you without your having to say a word. In the “old” days of SEO, you could tell Google that you were an authority on your topic or subject by focusing on keywords and creating a lot of inbound and outbound links yourself. Now, though, Google wants to rely more on your reputation — what other people think of you and how useful they think your content is.
To build authority moving forward, you will need to focus more on:
- Quality content: Keywords still matter, but what matters more is that people find your content and like it enough to keep coming back. (This might mean you need a blog if you don’t already have one.)
- Quality links: The links within your website will need to be arranged in a smart way to not only be easily navigated, but also to be effective in emphasizing certain pages on your site.
- Quality backlinks: More importance will be placed on the quality of inbound links from other websites to your website, than the quantity. The higher the authority of a partner website, the better your site will look.
Blogging will help immeasurably, but content marketing in general will play more of a role. This can include guest blogging, digital PR, contextual advertising, strategic partnerships with other websites, and a robust social media approach.
Google Authorship will also become a must. Google Authorship ties your personal Google+ account to the content you write. Thus, whenever your content shows up in search engine results, so will your profile. In this way, as your business grows as an authority, so will you.
Now Is the Time to Prepare
New Year’s Day is just around the corner. You want your website to be ready to go as soon as possible to take advantage of the new direction SEO is taking throughout 2014. After all, it’s a competitive world — and in 2014, the competition for clicks, views and clients will only intensify.
If you want to learn more, contact us and pick our brains — we’re happy to help.