SEO Trends in 2014

SEO is an ever adapting art and to be successful can never be put down to one methodology that your business can stay with forever. As Google changes its algorithms, website design and content, SEO trends change to reflect this.

To address these trends effectively, businesses will need to set aside an appropriate budget. Amy Harris, Community Manager for Expert Market, outlines five SEO trends that will require a budget in 2014.

Content is King

Content became a very important SEO trend in 2013 and there is no sign of this abating as we move in to 2014. The Panda update from Google merely emphasized how important high quality content is.

It’s therefore key for your SEO strategy to include some type of content marketing, though it can be difficult for marketing departments to create enough content for your firm.

For this reason, many firms now choose to outsource their SEO writing, yet it’s important to remember you get what you pay for and SEO copywriting costs from between 15 and 50 cents a word with the highest quality writers charging even more. It is, however, worth making the investment for, if your website falls down the rankings, traffic to your site can fall between 30 and 50%.

Variety of Content

Often we think of great content as being well researched blog posts or interesting articles. However, this is no longer enough for Google as its aim is now to reflect what users want to do on the web.

This means Google’s definition of rich content includes;

  • high quality videos
  • tutorials or ‘how to’ pieces
  • graphics
  • diagrams
  • very well written articles

It’s often worth carrying out an SEO audit on your site and this costs anywhere between 500 and 7,000 dollars to establish the quality of your content. Again, you will need to pay higher rates to create this rich content.

Quality Not Quantity with Links

With the release of Panda 2.0, Google made it very clear that links from poor quality sites no longer hold any value. So, for 2014, link building strategies require serious planning, brainstorming and outreach.

The days of paying 100 dollars for 1,000 links and bulk building your links are well and truly over. It is still possible to purchase these sorts of links but they no longer have much impact and what little they still have is decreasing daily.

Shortcuts are no longer viable and it is all about building links to quality content. SEO firms will charge between 100 and 300 dollars an hour for link building consultancy and strategy, however as SEO has the highest ROI of all marketing strategies, it is money well spent.

Google Plus & Authorship

As Google want to offer their users a quality web browsing experience, they are looking to moderate content and give greater weight to any sources that are seen as particularly authoritative.

Google Plus allows users to create a digital signature that links quality content to your name allowing you to become a recognized authority in your particular niche.

Once the digital signature is created, it will add credibility to your content and your site which makes it even easier for you to be cited as an authority and will therefore increase your SEO rankings.

As SEO is not something that can be achieved overnight, rather than paying consultancy fees for these services, many firms pay a retainer which covers all SEO activity and usually costs between 750 and 5,000 dollars per month.

Mobile Users

Increasingly, cell phone users are moving to Smartphones so site owners must respond and having a mobile based site is a minimum requirement for any firm looking for a successful online presence.

However, the firms that are flourishing online maximize their sites to also cater for tablets, small laptops and the latest tablet hybrids. Effective use of SEO for Smartphones includes optimizing local search results. This service will often be included within an SEO firm’s monthly retainer.

SEO Costs

When looking for an SEO provider, be wary of any firms that offer guarantees as these are almost impossible to realize due to the changing nature of the industry. Also beware of any firms offering SEO for much less than 700 dollars per month as you are ultimately seeking the best service as opposed to the lowest price.