Search Engine Optimization is an effective tool in Internet marketing. It is also a constantly evolving process, and predicting how it will change, and how it will impact e-commerce is almost as tricky as talking about what SEO really is.
“It’s a skill-set that relies on a wide ranging set of sub skills,” wrote Shaun Anderson, on the hobo-web.co.uk website. “The art of SEO, at its heart, is an understanding of how people use search engines.”
Search Engine Optimization, Anderson went on, involves understanding of how search engines take user queries, in the form of keywords, and turn them in to search engine results pages. But Anderson acknowledges that there is no wide agreement of what SEO really is. “There are a lot of opposing definitions of website SEO, and a lot of argument over whether it’s a science, an art or a scam,” he said. “But that aside, for me, in 2014, it’s about getting free traffic from Google, the most popular search engine in the world.”
Those opposing definitions of SEO are not surprising to writers like Javier Colayco. “SEO is constantly evolving and new techniques are created each year,” he wrote on the SEOSiteCheckup website. “While there is no way to predict the changes that will occur, a good business will follow the trends and keep up with the changes as they do occur.”
Colayco is forecasting several trends website owners can anticipate in 2014. One is the growing importance of Google+, Google’s social networking service. “Google + not only strengthens your overall social media marketing position, in 2014 it helps increase your overall SEO ranking,” Colayco says. “For those who thought Facebook was the only important social network, they need to take another look at the importance of Google +.”
Whether it’s an art or science, social media across the board is more important to Internet marketing in 2014 than it ever has been, Colayco believes. “Today, the algorithms in the search engines are geared more towards understanding and appreciating the important of social signals. Having shares, likes, posts, comments and followers will expand your business not only in the branding aspect of your business, but the search engines as well.” Colayco argues that it’s the interaction between a business and its target audience that can be such an effective part of an SEO campaign strategy.
Colayco says there are other things to consider, like optimizing a website for mobile devices, and the ever-increasing importance of website content.
The SEO industry is constantly changing, and Colayco says that 2014 may offer some of the most significant changes yet. But his recommendations are simple. “Stick with solid white hat SEO tactics and pay attention to areas that offer the most change, such as mobile and social platforms,” he says. “If you stay on course, you should have no problems generating visibility for your business in 2014.”
Joe Chierotti is the lead strategist and VP of Search Engine Optimization (S.E.O.) at Denver-based online reputation management company InternetReputation.com. He has been active in the field of online marketing for nearly 10 years and has advanced experience in SEO, social media and reputation marketing. Follow his team’s tweets @InternetRepu for more online reputation and SEO advice.
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