2013 is finally over. Some people have said that it was a tough year for both business and personal stuff. I agree, it was a tough year. But, the past is behind us, and what lies ahead can be an excellent year if we stay positive and keep on the forefront of our niches. I’ve made a few predictions about what the year has in store for us in the content marketing atmosphere. One thing is for sure, if you aren’t up to date, you will fall behind. Check it out.
As more and more businesses catch on, the marketplace will begin to grow very competitive. Even more so than it is now. Content marketing has proven itself to be extrememly powerful. And since people don’t seem to be spending less time on the internet, it means that you need to be marketing yourself all the more. People are searching for the things they need. And, if you aren’t the one providing it to them, someone else is.
Takeaway: If you aren’t already knee deep into a content marketing strategy, you should be. Get started today, and take it seriously. If you don’t, you’ll be left on the sidelines trying to figure out what went wrong. Not sure where to start? Click here, here, and here to learn more about it.
Google will likely continue to upgrade their user experience algorithms. This means that you should focus less on keywords and more on quality content and pleasing your readers. This is actually great news–unless you spam people for a living. Your main goal should be helping your potential customers anyway. So, if it isn’t, you may need to take a closer look at what you’re doing.
Takeaway: If you still use the old methods of SEO, you may still be okay. However, you should put a lesser amount of attention on SEO and more on what your people are looking to find. Now, that does not mean that there is no place for SEO. The Google Keyword Planner still remains very valuable. In fact, I use it multiple times each week. But, it should be used only for research to see what your people are searching for. Not for keyword stuffing, or to gain spammy back links. Those methods of SEO are dead.
As more people use the internet from the palms of their hands, those websites that aren’t mobile responsive will begin to lose. Once again, user experience is everything. Why would your potential customer stay on your site, when your competitor’s website actually looks good on their cell phone? They wouldn’t, and neither would you. Your goal is to make sure that people are as comfortable as possible while searching on your site. That means that you need to have a fast, mobile responsive design–or people will leave.
Takeaway: Figure out if your website is set up with HTML 5–the language used for mobile responsive websites. If it is a free WordPress theme, you may be up a creek. Don’t worry though, there are a lot of companies out there willing to offer you a gigantic paddle. The Content Medic site, for example, uses the Genesis framework (That is an affiliate link). Look at it on your cell phone. I dare you. Looks good, huh? That’s what people (and Google) like to see.
Content remains king, and blogging remains the method:
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “content is king”. It’s true. If you deliver solid content to your readers, you’ll have people hanging off your every word. What you may not be aware of is that blogging remains the best method to deliver your content to people. There are several reasons why this is, but the reason I’m going to focus on here, is because Google loves the blogging format. Why? Becuase they are constantly updated (for the most part). If you are serious about your content marketing strategy, you likely post at least once a week. And, if you don’t, you should. There are exceptions, of course. For example, I don’t tend to post over holidays. We just had two major hoidays that didn’t fit into my blogging schedule. So, I let it go.
Takeaway: If you’re not blogging, you should be. You could have the best static website in the world. But, if it never gets updated, people don’t have a reason to come back and visit you. They already know everything about you. But if you blog about your niche, they have a reason to come back, allowing you stay in front of them for longer. When you’re in front of people, they tend to remember you. Ever hear that old saying “outta sight, outta mind?” It’s true. Stay in front of your customers and they will be ready to buy from you when the time is right.
Social media boom:
What kind of list would this be if I didn’t at least mention social media? I’m a bit of a hard ass when it comes to this stuff. You all know that I really dislike Facebook. But, there is something to be said about the power that FB has, as well as all of the other social platforms. In fact, I think the major player on the marketing scene over 2014 will be Google +. I’m going to go out on a limb here and state that if you don’t have an account with them, you’ll regret it by the end of the year. Why? Because Google is on the forefront of being in charge of the entire internet. They have very few competitors, and if you’re not in their good graces, you’re going to fail. It’s that simple.
Start setting up social media accounts for your company. Don’t jsut stop with Facebook and Twitter. They are great, but there are a few other big boys that are starting to take hold of the social craze. In fact, I’d be willing to go as far as to say that if you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google +, you’re not serious about your social marketing strategy.
There you have it folks, my predictions for the upcoming year. It is my sincere prayer that you would be successful in your ventures. Don’t do anything stupid with your website, like using black hat SEO techniques because Google is on to that. They have a lot more brilliants minds working at Google than we can ever begin to imagine. Make sure you follow the advice in this blog post and set up social accounts and optimize them. You’ll be glad that you did. Here’s to a great new year!