SEO continued to evolve
It’s fair to say that in 2014; the search landscape experienced a major shift. Looking back now, it was necessary in a market sector where smoke and mirrors and manipulation won the day. Google algorithm updates to Panda and Penguin challenged the rules and encouraged the market to concentrate on quality content, branding and “normal” metrics of success. In this new world, it was important to have experts to help navigate the often confusing world of SEO to ensure that your websites didn’t fall foul of the updates and incur penalties; and if you did, to be there to help your website recover.
In 2014, we spoke about how vital quality content was. It still is. However, quality content alone does not necessarily guarantee you the results. A well-written piece of content won’t matter if you haven’t considered these five questions:
- Who is this piece of content aimed at?
- You need to know who your audience are to ensure you have the messaging right
- What will it do to engage our customer base?
- What’s your Call To Action (CTA); is it relevant to your audience and will they respond to it?
- When are you posting it- is it going to be seen?
- If you are posting on Social Media, bear in mind that there are limited lifespans for posts, and timing can be the critical deciding factor between success and failure
- Where are you posting it?
- On your blog? Your website? Twitter? Each of these channels require a different tailored approach that suits both the audience and the medium
- Why are you creating this piece?
- What’s your target? You can’t measure the success or failure of your content unless you have a metric you are measuring. You need to know this before you start creating your content
These questions help to inform the activities required to promote your quality content as much possible. The message here is that quality content alone is not going to win the day, we need to be thinking about how we leverage that content based on basic marketing principles.
Social Media Strategies
Facebook and Twitter are still the most popular social networks, but use of other networks such as Pintrest and LinkedIn are growing massively. However, a recent joint study from the Content Marketing Institute/DMA UK shows that the most popular Social Networks may not always be the most effective for Content Marketing:
Leveraging of the various social networks is important to enhance your online presence and grow both your audience and your authority. Careful consideration of which networks work for your brand and audience is required to maximise the impact of your social marketing efforts.
Optimising for mobile
Use of mobile platforms has grown throughout 2014, and this is predicted to continue. As Google continues to roll out updates, and mobile has become a major consideration for them as well. As recently as October there was an update to Webmaster Tools that was designed to help webmasters better understand any mobile search issues.
Did we get anything wrong in 2014, well yes we did. We spoke about Google Authorship as a key component to a digital marketing strategy; it was a great tool for contributing to personal authority and trust. The good news is that the concept of “Author Rank” is still alive and the premise of expertise, authority and trustworthiness. The bad news is that Google have started to limit the amount of author rich snippets that appear in search, stating that if they do not feel it is valuable for a search, or do not feel that a person is an authority figure in the area, they will decline to show it.
So… what about 2015?
Wearable technology will go mainstream
The popularity of wearable technology continues to grow. Research commissioned by Samsung Electronics and prepared by the Centre for Retail Research (CRR), reveals that 2014 was the year that the wearables sector started to make an impact, with a predicted value of £313.6 million by the end of last year. This growth rate is expected to gather speed as the market matures and items such as the Google Glass and Smartwatches all vie for a place in our daily lives.
Scrolling websites will grow in popularity
As the use of mobile continues to grow, one trend that seems to be emerging is the ability to scroll through sites, rather than clicking on every single page. Whilst multi-page sites will still reign supreme for those looking for SEO value, single page designs are becoming more popular with smartphone and tablet users and will become more commonplace.
Content Marketing will continue to increase in importance
The popularity of Content Marketing will continue to rise. Businesses are continuing to move from traditional forms of marketing towards creating high quality content targeted to their customers’ interests. Interesting content is now one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media, but relevancy is also an important consideration to keep the brand on-message.
Brands will adopt a more Integrated marketing approach
Many brands have become increasingly ‘silo’ led, with different segmented teams within their sales and marketing departments, which led to fractured programs and tactics. We predict that many companies will recognise that an integrated approach is needed and will reintegrate their teams to present a more cohesive approach to their customers.
New innovations will continue to change the market
There are thousands of companies all looking to bring new innovations to the market, only helped by crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and Crowdfunder. Of course the tech giants such as Google are also in the market, with innovations such as Google Cardboard. 2015 will bring even more into this crowded marketplace, changing the relationship our relationship with technology at a greater speed than ever before.
One final prediction…
We’re confident that our final prediction will be right on the nose…
There will be a continuing emphasis on creativity in design and marketing
In a world that seems smaller than ever thanks to the internet, it is imperative that you are able to stand out from your competition. Here at Generate UK, our mix of creativity and expertise ensures that we are able to deliver you the results you need. If you want to get your New Year off to a great start, contact us to find out more…