Five SEO Trends You Cannot Afford To Ignore In 2013

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SEO trends are forever changing due to Google constantly tweaking their algorithms, but with a head start on what’s hot and what’s not, Hatfish can get you that high Page Ranking you deserve for the New Year.

 

 

Content is King

Nothing’s new here then! In a nut shell, informative, well written content will remain the most powerful SEO weapon for 2013, as Google refines it’s algorithms to identify relevant content.

Obviously keywords will remain important, but will need to be used with an increasingly lighter touch and keyword spamming an article, blog or page will not work anymore. This is why you need the commitment from your SEO Company to be able to write quality content for your site.

No matter how highly optimised your site is in other areas, without well written high quality content, you’ll simply disappear into Google obscurity.

 

SEO Will Outperform PPC

Although marketing online is the correct thing to do, some businesses still are blinded by what they expect from PPC and SEO budgets.

With Google reporting that 75% of the clicks on a search results page going to organic listings and only 25% going through to the PPC adverts, you would think that their focus would be on SEO marketing, but you’d be wrong.

Forrester’s U.S. Interactive Marketing Forecast suggests marketers will spend 88 percent of their budget on PPC through 2013 and 2014, leaving only 12 percent for SEO.

The exact reason for this is still unclear, however experts feel it may be down to the instant results that PPC achieve for businesses regardless of their expense and the fact that SEO takes longer to establish and provide that much needed continuos return or achievement.

 

Social Media Optimisation

Social media is continually becoming more important as a marketing tool. Visual marketing through Pinterest gained traction in 2012 and is likely to increase even more in 2013.

Marketers should keep an eye on Google+. While Google’s social network had a lackluster launch, Google+ has begun to produce significant traffic. This isn’t surprising; it only makes sense for Google to favor its own product in search results.

Expect to see more businesses engaging in video marketing as well. YouTube is, after all, the second most-used search engine. And Google owns YouTube, so a video with good optimization and carefully chosen tags performs well on both platforms. Combine the ability to share videos on social media with the possibility of a video going viral, and YouTube marketing has the potential to generate significant leads.

 

Mobile Searches

Mobile devices continue to pursue their vision of global domination; sometimes it seems the mobile juggernaut won’t rest until we’re handed our first smartphone at birth. Marketers are still adapting to mobile searches, which tend to be local in nature and highly actionable. People can browse a brick-and-mortar store with phone in hand, comparing store prices with regional and online competitors.

Such searches offer significant opportunities for marketers, but we’re still learning how to best leverage those searches into consistent lead generation and sales. A mobile version of your website, optimized for the longer, more regionally oriented keywords used in mobile searches, is essential.

Mobile websites should load quickly; you’re trying to attract the attention of people on the go, so your window of opportunity to grab their attention is smaller than for computer browsers. Google is also recommending webmasters use responsive web design that adapts site content to the viewers’ screens.

Responsive web design (RWD) allows you to use the same website for mobile and fixed devices but does require an experienced JavaScript programmer. RWD has some limitations as well; banner ads and embedded videos do not adapt well to resizing.

 

Voice Searches and SEO

Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, proved very popular in 2012, for both her usefulness as a mobile search tool and her tendency to occasionally produce hilariously wrong answers to questions. Google’s vocal update of its little-used Google Search App indicates the search engine takes Siri, and vocal searches, very seriously.

What can we expect to see in 2013? Keywords remain vital for mobile searches, but we need to remember that people don’t talk the same way they type. As vocal search tools evolve, we’ll see slightly different keywords develop when compared to type-based searches.

Siri doesn’t just hunt Google Search. When asked to find local search results she also checks user reviews on Google Places and Yelp. Localized SEO is going to include a strong presence on these sites. Expect to see a fair bit of black-hat shenanigans in this area. Fake reviews are already rampant online, and searches influenced by user reviews will just increase the temptation to fake reviews.

 

A Pinch of Salt

One last thought on emerging SEO trends — remember these are just predictions. A new social media platform, changes to Google algorithms or advances in virtual assistant searches could disrupt the SEO market and completely reverse some of these trends. Your best strategy heading into the new year is to keep your ear to the ground for changes in the SEO market and be ready to change tactics as needed.

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