The New Year is here. The world of content marketing saw many changes in 2013 that will continue to influence online marketing strategies. Some changes, seen in the last half of 2013, are going to have a big impact in 2014. Likely the biggest change was Hummingbird, the algorithm update rolled out by Google in September.
What are some trends you should be watching for in content marketing?
Content will become more conversational. The recent Hummingbird update has brought about the age of semantic searching. Before, search engines would look up websites based on each word in a search. The meaning of the phrase meant nothing, only the word. That changed with Hummingbird. The algorithm looks at the entire phrase and tries to match the meaning to the best content possible.
Authorship will become extremely influential in search engine rankings. Google wants to offer authentic content to its users. One way to do that is to link content to a particular person. They are doing this with Google Authorship. With a bit of basic code, any writer can link content they wrote to their Google+ profile. Google Authorship helps to build a person's place as an expert in his or her field, improves the content's search engine ranking, stakes claim to your content and builds trust.
Going social pays off even more. Another way that Google is authenticating quality content is through social media shares. If someone shares content, the assumption is that it is quality and worth something. Getting people to pay attention in social media is going to become even more critical for getting your content found by the search engines and interested visitors.
Focus on the target audience becomes more important. Search engines are trying to give searchers the specific information they want. Focused, high-quality content fits this need. It is important to know your target market/buyer personas and to focus your content very precisely to their needs. This is more than putting a few keywords into place. It requires knowing the language they use, the questions they need answered, and the information they want.
Content marketing is undergoing a transformation that will not stop in 2014. Powerhour search engines, like Google, are focusing more on what people want to see and not what content matches which keywords. The days of black hat SEO tactics are quickly vanishing. That means providing quality, focused content is the way to garner higher search engine rankings, gain trust with your audience, and attract more visitors.
Questions and Final Thoughts?
What trends do you think will influence content marketing the most in 2014?
Want to learn more about buyer personas and insights? Download our free eBook!