2014 has been a year of landmark changes in terms of search and online marketing techniques. So, what are five of the most pronounced trends that have served to shape the path for the New Year? Let’s take a closer look.
Google Algorithm Updates
2014 saw much awaited Google algorithmic updates, with Panda 4.0 & 4.1 and the mcuch anticipated Penguin 3.0. Although we had to wait over a year for the update, it turned out to be smaller than expected. Is Google calming down in the 16th year? Updates saw both the quality of the content and the relevance of the links within a site. This served to stress the organic nature of searches while helping to cut down on spurious links. As a result, users can now expect more targeted search results.
Social Media Prominence
As fully expected in 2013, the importance of social media in terms of SERP rankings, PR and client engagement continued to take centre stage in 2014. This resulted in a more proactive awareness of how a marketing campaign was performing. By integrating social media into an existing page (including PBN networks and other similar feedback loops), a greater sense of clarity was able to be adopted in countless marketing strategies.
The Abandonment of Authorship Tags
Authorship tags were also dropped from search results. This served multiple reasons. It cleaned up cluttered search results pages, increased the click rate of PPC listings (less distractions) and decreased the chances of a result being ranked by author reputation as opposed to user reviews or brand quality.
The Importance of Mobile-Responsive Websites
As a greater number of users began to access sites through mobile devices, platforms needed to modify their landing pages to make certain that they would be displayed correctly on smartphones and other such remote units. Also, widgets and mobile apps took centre stage in terms of m-commerce solutions. This trend first took hold in 2014 and is expected to dominate this year as well. Indeed, a brave new world has already been entered.
Email Marketing Advancements
Automated email marketing campaigns and more thorough analytics were also pronounced trends in 2014. This enabled users to more efficiently target their demographic and perhaps more importantly, the customer was able to feel as if her or her needs were being discreetly catered to. 2014 saw a massively increased integration of these strategies into CRM software packages.
So what will 2015 have in store for the ever-changing face of marketing?