Throughout 2013, we saw changes across the board; from Search Engine Optimization to Search and Social Media. We’re now heading into 2014, and for marketing, this is going to be a transitional year. We’re going to see a lot more of those changes come into play this year.
At Focus, we’re all about trends, identifying critical changes, and keeping on top of strategies. We provide marketing and consulting services for a wide range of clients, and have many years of experience in these areas.
What to Focus on in 2014
One of the hottest areas of marketing this new year is Content Marketing. Starting at the beginning of this year, you should focus on creating great content rather than volumes of it. Well-written, quality content that caters to your target audience is going to be more important than ever. Your aim should be for readers to share your content. This has been a common goal for bloggers, but this year, put extra effort into making that happen. Search Engine Optimization is no longer just about optimizing H1, title, or other tags, but now more about the content’s reach and influence. Social actions are taken into account and given much more weight now than ever before.
Great content isn’t necessarily about its length, keywords, or on-page SEO, but more about “the story”, “the hot topic”, “the news”, and such. This means doing research in areas that you blog about, and try to be on top of the “newest thing” in your niche. If you do that, and be consistent about it, you will become a source of information for your niche, not just an echo of others’ content. Your efforts into breaking news will pay off! This is how bloggers gain social actions like sharing, liking, following and such.
Lastly, try to include the most accurate, relevant, high-impact image you can come up – for each of your posts. It will serve you well to do so. As the saying goes, a picture speaks a thousand words… and when you couple that with the power of social networking, that can have a huge impact. One great image can generate thousands of visitors to your post. The network you want to target with your images is Pinterest.
Enabling Social Actions
If you are using WordPress or another popular CMS with a great selection of plugins, be sure to spend some time now to locate, install and configure the best social plugin(s) you can find. We like to use WordPress for our clients, as it is a great system, and has a large community. It also has all the plugins and themes you could want. You can head over to the WordPress Plugin directory to find all the plugins you need. If you created your WordPress site here on Associate Bloggers, you can also visit the Plugin Manager where you can quickly install any of the recommended plugins – a convenient feature!
Your social “should do” list:
- Create the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and necessary accounts if you don’t already have them.
- Create and upload a good image to each account. If the accounts are for your site, use your logo or some other representing image.
- Use the description/about fields to make clear what your site offers in a short and direct manner. Focus on Reader Benefits
- Share your new posts on the networks through your social accounts.
- Find and follow the best sources you can find for your target niche, and see who they follow, too
- Make use of social monitoring tools to research and learn more about your audience.
Your standard social plugins “must do” list:
- Allow visitors to Like and Share your individual posts and pages
- Allow visitors to Friend and Follow you (usually separate site-wide icon links in header, sidebar, footer, or multiple locations)
- Allow visitors to Pin your post’s featured image
- Enable you to easily share your own content
- Enable you to easily share your own social activity
Optimizing your Website & Content
To further improve your ranking, presentation, and useability, be sure to include the following in your plans:
Your Website checklist:
Your content checklist:
- Short and sweet Title and Description
- High-impact Image (featured image, and pin-able)
- Properly written content, formatted and easy to read
- Include your keyword(s) in the URL and these tags: title, description, strong, paragraph, img alt/title, h1, h2, etc.
- Try to get good links pointing to your posts, using the same keywords that you used in the post
If you put the above information to use, you should see a significant increase in visitor traffic over time. We also recommend you make use of some statistics/analytics solution to track, measure and analyze your traffic. That will help you identify your best sources of traffic, and your most popular pages or content so that you can focus your efforts on what is producing the best results.
Hopefully you find the above information to be helpful! Keep an eye out for future posts, as we will continue to contribute here, expanding on to other marketing tips and strategies.
We wish you all a Happy and Successful New Year!