A Digital Marketing Guide for 2014

seo-in-2014-300x200A lot has changed in the world of digital marketing this year, especially when it comes to SEO. We saw a great marketing guide from seoreseller.com for 2014, and we wanted to share some of the highlights along with our recommendations.

Here are the trends to be on the lookout for in 2014.

Predictive Search
It’s all about context. From content to platform choice and brand voice and timing of brand messages, context is crucial. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm is its smartest yet, and you can expect that Google and other search engines will understand context more accurately. This development is a huge opportunity for marketers looking to create smarter content that reaches the right audience.

Here are the predictions for predictive search in 2014:

  • Exact match keyword optimization will become less popular and influential. Partial-math keywords, topic selection, and market segmentation will rise in prominence.
  • Google will continue to get smarter at understanding content. It’ll be able to better spot blogs, articles, and other content shared online. It’s crucial to create original, high quality, shareable content.
  • Market research and testing will be even more important, as you’ll need to craft your message to your different audience segments in order to be successful.

Alternative Sources for Keyword Information
NSA spying continues to rule the airwaves, and people are more concerned than ever about online privacy. Search engines are listening, and they’ve responded by making it harder to access information about consumers’ online habits. No change has been more devastating to marketers than Google’s change to keyword search encryption. As of earlier this fall, you can no longer view the keywords that sent traffic to your website within Google Analytics. Yahoo! Followed suit, as did Bing.

Here are the predictions for keyword information sources in 2014:

  • Google has moved toward 100% secure search, which means marketers can’t see keyword info. This information is still available in Adwords, however, so it makes even more sense to advertise with Google.
  • Converting to a site search optimization and/or page-centric search optimization strategy could become the new norm. With a lack of keyword information, new SEO strategies will become absolutely necessary for success.

Mobile Growth
2/3 of Americans own a mobile device, and 1/3 own a smartphone. We (and everyone else) say it all the time, but it’s true: mobile is the future. As more and more consumers access the internet from a mobile device, companies will have to create mobile optimized content. Mobile optimized content isn’t going to be a “nice to have” anymore. It will become critical for marketing success.

Here are the predictions for mobile in 2014:

  • Companies will invest in mobile websites, despite the cost and headache. They really won’t have a choice.
  • Voice search functionality will get better. That means marketers have to create and share content that’s high-quality and optimized on a per platform basis.

Increasing Power of Social Signals
Social media isn’t a fad. It’s clear that it’s here to stay, and that it has an extraordinary reach. Social platforms are improving their technology and user experience, as well as their advertising platforms.

Search engines know that social media is highly influential, and they’ll start reading social signals better.

Here are the predictions for social in 2014:

  • Social media and mobile marketing campaigns will become more integrated as more people access social sites on their smartphones.
  • Social media conversations will be all about branding and customer service. Scheduling posts months in advance will be so 2010. Next year, real time marketing and human interaction is the name of the game.
  • Paid ad campaigns will incorporate social. Think Facebook and Twitter sponsored content.

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