Digital marketing went through some important changes in 2012. Most notably SEO with two major changes to the Google search algorithm. These changes have meant that old school SEO techniques are now a lot less effective. If you want to win traffic, this year you must generate good content! It has become a lot more difficult to predict the success of an SEO campaign, further impacting on the ability of traditional SEO companies to provide ROI forecasts for their customers. Google’s message however remains clear, content is king!
There has been phenomenal growth in mobile search statistics. The continuing increase in the number of smartphones and other web enabled devices have lead to as much of a third of Google searches globally being traced back to a mobile. This means that is is massively important that your content is mobile friendly. Nothing is more friendly than responsive design!
If your website does not support mobile browsers, Google will penalise you, your ranking will be affected and your website will not appear in search results from mobile devices. in 2013, you really must focus on mobile as a matter of urgency. Drop the flash content, I really shouldn’t be saying this in 2013 but there is still too much of it out there. Go for responsive, it provides a far superior, faster and more effective user experience than a mobile site. Google also prefers it.
Now I know how you all feel about Google+. Another annoying social network, there is little that Google+ can bring socially that cant be achieved with Twitter or Facebook. However, it does have a big impact on search! Google has invested a great deal of money in G+ and they will persist in making is an ever more integrated part of your Google experience. Aside for adding a few cute new features to rival Facebook and also a much lower idiot/spambot content, Google + is insidiously affecting search results so embrace it in 2013 and who knows, you may like it.
Backlink Farms are Dead!
The Google link disavow tool has been used for collecting the data on the backlink structure of websites. Moving forward, we can expect them to use this tool further to filter new links and those that have previously been submitted to Google. This process is detecting spam websites and poor quality backlinks that were the mainstay of the naughty school of SEO. This will also put an end to multiple blog creation and domain farming to increase the backlinks.
Social Media Profile
This is arguable the most significant change after mobile. In 2013, social media presence will have a much bigger impact on your search rankings than ever before. Website owners and bloggers need to focus on generation some viral spread and sharing activity of their website content on the social sphere. If Google can track a lot of social media activity from your URLs they will improve your ranking.
This is complicated and kind of a big deal. Link builders need to keep this in mind for the future. Its a bit complicated to explain adequately in this article but this explanation does a rather good job.
One of the major advances in search in recent years is personalised results. Since Google introduced accounts, it has been heading in this direction. Expect more return visits as past clicks will be an indicator of personal approval. +1 are important here too. It is uncertain how a high bounce rate will effect this but it should be monitored closely.
Those currently engaged in PPC campaigns will be aware of the way that Google quality scores ad campaigns vs delivered content. Equivalency Score will work in the same way. Keywords will be assigned points and your content will be crawled for these keywords but also relevance across the site and specifically the old SEO favourites such as domains and inbound links.
This year, my advice to marketers, is to get on top of their content creation and social media, that’s the route to growth in 2013. BUT don’t overlook the importance of mobile!