It’s December 2013. Following the tradition that every resident columnist tries to predict what’s new in the coming year, I would also like to talk about the digital marketing trends for 2014.
New marketing hypes come and go. They never stop. However, I see a growing tendency and developing into a trend in 2014: Content-driven SEO (search engine optimization) will become a standard practice.
Nowadays it’s no longer magical or tricky to have a website to get a relevant ranking on search engines. The critical factor: Content.
In fact, the white hat SEO community has been promoting human-centric content development for a very long time. At the same time, search engines keep tweaking their algorithms to simulate human intelligence for semantics. It seems that we’re quietly moving towards Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the web’s year 2000 prediction – the semantic web. Inside the core of the semantic web, it is content that’s relevant to the human need.
Content optimization happens simultaneously
When we create a page of web content today, we put our target audience in the center stage. The semantic logic then flows naturally to hyperlink the texts, pictures, videos, and external and internal citations. The authorship markup will connect us/our organizations with the associated social profiles. The information represented by the content will be properly classified by the rich data schema and then presented in a simple format of row-and-column answers for human queries.
If you follow the above logic closely, you will find that the experience for search is very humane. It also means that content optimization happens when we write the content, not in retrospect.
No more top ranking obsession
Another characteristic of content-driven SEO is that the content on your site will be viewed in a distributed format. When a search engine query is relevant to your site, the engine will retrieve lots of content widely amplified across the web aside from your site, including various social media, blogs, Wikipedia posts, tweets, customers or fans reviews, photo albums, video clips, maps, or even apps. You should not think that your website is the only destination on the web that represents you. What does that imply? It means you don’t need to obsess in top rankings anymore! A search query on the search engine will reveal a full page of search results with rich information all about you.
I’m glad to see the web has changed to be more relevant and diversified. After all, when we convey a marketing message, it should be about relevancy but not imposing priority.
I also believe that 2014 is a year of practice—marketers will leave the hype and put the theories into action.
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