The more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, at least when it comes to the importance of content for your online marketing needs. As technology becomes faster, and access becomes more prolific due to the increased use of mobile technology, the one thing that has not changed but become more important is the need for excellent, relevant, regular, high- quality content.

A few important trends to look for in 2014 are:

Content Even More Essential

Due to search engine updates, most specifically Hummingbird, creating serious niche focused, quality content is more essential than ever. Hummingbird mans that keywords aren’t the only aspects a website needs to focus on now, now website owners need to also focus on the contents in which the keywords exist. If the content is not focused on the niche, and doesn’t make sense for the niche, then don’t put it up. Use a variety of content such as tutorials, blogs, long articles, as well as using video, audio and text.

Quality of Content Imperative

It’s always been important to write for humans and not search engines but many marketers did not always listen. Now with the changes in search engine results, if you want to compete, you’ll have to focus on high quality content rather than just getting any content up. The higher quality the content, and the more relevant the results, the more you’re going to appear in top results for audience searches.

Personalization Becomes Central

One of the issues that website designers need to pay attention to, as much as marketers is that personalization matters because user intent matters. Ask yourself, is this the content that your audience wants to see? Will they be happy to see it? Will they want to keep reading, watching and viewing your content? As website owners combine social media & SEO techniques, with better content, they’ll produce better results for their users if they get to know who their users are.

More In-depth Content Types

While short blog posts are still an imperative, now longer content types are becoming essential to creating the “sticky” factor your audience needs to keep coming back and to see you as an authority. Longer content that is more in depth will garner more search engine respect, as well as help you build the authority you need to capture the social proof you need to really break through in your niche.

Fresher Content More Often

It’s also going to be essential to update content more often. The 20 blogs a month you do now is a good starting point. Add to that some video, in depth content like white papers, how-to content and tutorials to the mix and you’ll start ranking higher as well as pleasing your audience more than you do now.

Authorities Reputation Important

AuthorRank is becoming more important than ever to help build authority along with social media profiles that are consistent in nature. It’s imperative that online marketers don’t ignore the trend because as AuthorRank becomes commonplace, not participating will be detrimental to ranking and traffic.

Better Market Segmentation

As technology improves, you’ll be able to segment your market further for even more personalized and better results. If you haven’t been segmenting your market, it’s time to get on board. Market segmentation offers better and more personalized marketing opportunities. Your audience wants to feel special, and the more directly you can communicate to each individual person who lands on your website the better.

Mobile Expansion Takes Over

The time is no longer, near, it’s here. If your sites aren’t mobile now, they will be before 2014 is over if you want to be relevant. More people are purchasing mobile technology than ever, and more than who purchase PCs so it’s time to get on board with mobile and build responsive websites as well as ensure that your email communications are responsive.

Social Media Grows Up

It was fun, but now it’s serious business. Without using social media as a way to advance your brand, communicate with your audience, and send traffic to your website you’re missing out on a large segment of your population. Social media is no longer the new game in town. It’s no longer an experiment. It’s time to get serious about social media and take your business to the next level.

Data Gets Serious

With “not provided keywords” causing a ruckus over on Google Analytics, website owners will now have to look into other data, looking deeper into user actions, user intent, and focus on other metrics that bring users to their website and what they do after they get there. Data has always been important, but now it’s serious that you need to dig deeper to get the answers you want.

Local SEO Key Element

Even if you have an international online business, local SEO is very important for search engines. Everyone’s search results are personalized for them, you’re going to have to find ways to work around and use local to your advantage if you want to show up in personalized search results.

Google + Gains in Value

Face it, Google is still the number one search engine, so obviously Google + plays an important role in helping your website get high ranking. Get involved with all that Google + has to offer. There is a lot to learn, and a lot to do with Google + but all of it is designed to help users get more accurate results and as long as you’re on board with giving users a great experience, as well as using all the tools that Google provides you’re going to be able to get value out of the changes you make.

SEO Becomes OAO (Online Audience Optimization)

According to OAO will replace SEO. This means that you’ll need to know your audience more than ever because engagement becomes central to audience action. OAO is encouraged by social media, brand focus, and understanding fully your strategy and your why. If you don’t know who you’re doing it for, and why it’s going to get harder to stay relevant.

Forget Keyword Density

Unless you want your content to look like spam, keyword density is over. Natural use of words in your content is what’s important. You still need to know what keywords to focus on, but you don’t want to add them unnaturally within your content. They’re more important for article titles, link titles, and subheadings.

After all, the search engine’s job is to send their users to the most high quality, relevant results it can. Your job as an online marketer is to attract the right audience to your niche, and then provide your niche with the products and services they need. As the technology improves, marketers will find it easier to attract targeted audiences to their online real estate if their websites are high quality, relevant, and targeted. No tricks required.

SEO & SEM Tools, Trends & Topics for 2014
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