Are you marveling at how fast 2013 flew by now that it is New Year’s Eve? I certainly am! I won’t be partying like it’s 1999, but still, welcoming a new year is always exciting and filled with anticipation. 2013 proved to be challenging with 15 – 25 Google Updates. If you’ve weathered the storm, there is probably a diligent SEO assigned to your account, dedicated to keeping abreast of the changes and navigating your website through it all.
A natural time of reflection, let’s look ahead to 2014 and make some SEO related resolutions for your Digital Marketing Plan. I put together my top 5 picks for moving forward. Are all of these items included in your plan for the upcoming year?
Mobile Friendly Everything.
The statistics don’t lie! Over at Super Monitoring, they are saying that 91% of all people in the world own a mobile phone. This is a staggering statistic – a statistic that can guide us and logically tells us that if we do not have a responsive design, we are missing out on opportunities – tons of opportunities. One of the most intriguing statistics I’ve seen is that 50% of mobile phone users are using their phone as their primary source for the internet. That means, that if they don’t use their phone, they won’t be using anything at all! It is imperative that your website is up to date in its design.
Likewise, the way people search has been adapted to the mobile device. Hummingbird showed us how the search engines are taking into consideration ‘conversational search’. This means, a keyword that used to read ‘albany attorneys’, now reads ‘ where can I find the best Albany attorney’. We are asking questions into our phones, we are searching the way we speak. Does your marketing answer full questions? It needs to!
Utilize Social Media to the Full Extent.
To effectively use Social Media to your advantage, analyze your business and decide which platforms will benefit you most. The top 5 social media accounts, in order of popularity, that you should consider are:
Facebook – 800,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
Twitter – 250,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
LinkedIn – 200,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
Google Plus – 150,000,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
Pinterest – 140,500,000 estimated unique monthly visitors
*Statistics provided by ebizmba.com
Once you establish which social media accounts you will use, utilize it with gusto. Areas of importance are the Title / Name, Description / About Section, URL, cover photo / header design, post frequency and post topics. Make sure you fill out all fields and complete each portion fully.
Branding is a key element in your Social Media accounts. Keep the business theme, message and logo consistent across each account.
An easy and fun way to show your clients that you are active on these accounts is to utilize your cover photos to your advantage, whenever appropriate. Change your cover photo:
A. When seasons change or holidays arrive
B. To promote a new product
C. To offer a special deal or advertise a sale
D. To celebrate something
E. To acknowledge a news story
F. To have fun and be goofy
G. To feature something or someone
H. To promote a contest
The biggest piece of advice I can give when planning your social media campaign is that these are designed to inspire action. What action do you want and how will you inspire your fans to participate? This is a question to contemplate for your 2014 marketing campaign.
A Google Plus account is so important that we consider it a mandatory element in our seo programs. Mandatory.
A Google Plus personal account is necessary for Authorship mark up. A Google Plus business account is necessary for Publisher mark up. These are both good, beneficial and necessary. No-brainers. But what about this correlation between Google Plus and organic results?
Here are the facts:
A. A Google Plus post is crawled and indexed. This notion of real time search gives Google the opportunity to discover and show results that contain new, fresh content. Since it’s a Google platform, the content is fully accessible and can be indexed quickly.
B. A Google Plus post mimics that of a blog post in that each post has a unique URL, a Title and the ability to accumulate internal links.
C. Google has eluded to the fact that they may eventually utilize the rel=author tag and connect it with ranking. This supports the idea of Google moving to a “richer more annotated web”. Hear it from the source, Matt Cutts.
The more you tell Google, the better. Rich snippets known as structured data are intended to improve the SERP’s. With this being the ultimate goal (more useful results), schema is more important than ever. Adding schema mark ups results in a visual picture to enhance the user experience. Here is an example of what Review Schema results in:
The benefits to the website owner are quite valuable.
A. Stand out from the competition
B. Increase Click Through Rates (by up to 30%!)
C. Draw the attention of the searcher
D. Provide instant, relevant information
Choose the schema that pertains to your website and then make a plan to apply it. It will make a difference.
Accept and Use the Major Changes from 2013 to Propel you into 2014
(Not Provided), Hummingbird, No Pagerank, Link crackdowns, Authorship, Rich Snippets, Quality not Quantity, Branding, Memes, Social Media … oh my! Oh wow! Oh boy! 2013 kept us very busy with the many changes that were rolled out. With all the updates, it is necessary to make changes in your marketing plan. The world of search is ever changing. Accept it. Embrace it. Work hard. Search is more important than ever, but it’s a multi-discipline and a multi-device approach.
Commit to an Editorial Calendar
Blogging is an essential and critical element to growing your website’s content and visibility. Make this a part of your weekly routine! Similar to planning meals, plan your blog topics. Put some thought into what you are going to write about and look at it is as part of your marketing strategy.
Mannix Marketing wishes all of our faithful clients and friends a very Happy New Year! We look forward to serving you in 2014!