New Year is the perfect time for developing new plans and making fresh resolutions. Individuals and companies conduct strategic planning exercises at that time. Looking at 2012, I found few interesting trends that will continue to make difference in 2013. You can take them as predictions for the New Year alongside a set of strategic advices.
#1: Constant Developments in Search Business:
Over the past 3 years, we (SEM professionals) are facing a new challenge in the shape of algorithmic change by search engines. Google Panda and Penguin have definitely impacted the practices and trends of e-business and SEM campaigns management. In 2013, search engines will remain hostile towards spam, poor content and excessive link building. As SEO/SEM professional, you need to adopt a balanced approach. Develop quality content and earn strong links while avoiding spamming.
#2: Greater Social Media and SEO Integration:
Social media is integral to SEO as it helps in spreading word of mouth, developing brand and gaining backlinks to your website. Five big names: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, G+ are integral to any search engine optimization campaign. However, all of them have reached their maturity level and little growth is expected in Facebook and LinkedIn. Unlike that, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest and StubmleUpon will continue to grow fast.
For Google focused SEO, G+ is vital element particularly if you are running a B2B campaign. Yesterday, Facebook has also announced Graph Search tool, which will innovate Page management and will also work as social search engine. Therefore, new emerging social platforms like Pinterest, Reddit etc. will continue to grow and make difference.
#3: Content Marketing:
After Panda and Penguin, old practices of robot written contents and spun contents are dead. However, Google will always love quality content and peace of information. Guest Blogging has emerged as the most dynamic and useful tactic to earn links. Content marketing will continue to grow in 2013 and there are probabilities of related and unrelated diversification in it. You will see greater integration of videos, podcasts and other viral marketing tools with content. It means, the more content you will publish, the more prospects of higher page rank.
#4: On-page of the Website:
No matter, how strong your backlinks are or how much content you publish; if your website’s on-page is not up-to-dated, you will soon lose your #1 position. A fellow at SocialDesignGuru told me that web designing has become much sophisticated than ever before. Today, simple 5 page static websites don’t work as they used to do 2 years ago. Looking at the Google’s latest SEO guidelines, we can find that search giant will increase stress on having a more compatible website. A compatible website is the one, which provides easy navigation to user and follows SEO requirements (like load time) of search engine. Rich Meta description and social plug-in on the page are 2 highly recommended options.
#5: Greater Need for Strategic Planning:
With increasing complexities of the business, the need of strategic thinking in SEO has increased. This requires attention to details, planning and adoption of relevant tools. Almost every company; big or small will be compelled to make new plans for every SEO campaign looking at the changing dynamics of the market. Similar to goal setting in Analytics, formal business practice like goal setting has become vital to succeed in search business.
#6: Adoption of Dedicated Platforms and Tools:
Technological innovation will continue to drive businesses and SEM/SMM practices in 2013. We can see that adoption of SEO platforms and social media dashboards has increased. Companies will increase their budgets for SEO tools and will leap ahead from free tools to gain greater results. Searchenabler, TweetDeck, BuzzStream and similar platforms have great prospects to grow in the days to come.
In order to survive in the stiff competition, SEO/SEM/SMM professionals will have to rethink their approach, adopt latest tools and follow fresh guidelines by search engines.