2012 proved to be a real trip for those involved in the world of digital marketing, which we most certainly are. Between Google’s consistent algorithm updates, the unflinching rise of mobile, the marriage of search + social, and every online marketing expert getting a “content marketing” tattoo on their face, there is a lot to reflect upon. But as we reflect we are also looking forward because the nature of the digital world doesn’t slow down or take a break, it mercilessly and progressively moves forward, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Search – Tomorrow, 1/3/13, marks the 17 year anniversary of the phrase “content is king.” No doubt you are familiar with the phrase, but perhaps not the context in which it was introduced. Bill Gates wrote an article on January 3rd, 1996, titled‘Content is King‘, which touched on his first assumptions of how the web would handle the massive portal of content it made available. I wonder if Bill knew his phrase would ring true almost 20 years later as SEOs and online marketers alike fight for top placement on the almighty Google SERPs…
Anyway, as Google rolled out their Penguin and Panda updates in 2012, a seismic shift in the way we view SEO was introduced. Content really has become king, in terms of your website’s relevance/authority online. Google puts an extremely high value on genuinely interesting content that is shared through social networks, blogs, etc..If you are producing this type of content, you are more than likely experiencing growth online, specifically in terms of search and social metrics. These updates birthed the new idea of link earning rather than link building, a notion that is widely accepted as best practice in the SEM community.
As we welcome 2013 with open arms, we will consider the excitement and opportunities the new year holds for search marketers. There are plenty of articles and posts surrounding what search engine marketing will mean in 2013. As a general summary, see Search Engine Watch’s Critical Components to SEO Success in 2013 and SEOmoz’s 10 Predictions for Inbound Marketing in 2013.
Social – Social media marketing is a blurry term for most. Actually, for many SMBs, it’s not even blurry, its just a blob they can’t quite figure out. The broad nature of the term encompasses any branded social action taken online…how vague. However vague this term appears though, for those who’ve mastered it, there are endless benefits. 2012 brought to our attention the marriage of social media and search marketing. In other words, Google and other search engines started taking notice of the value of a brand’s social media presence in terms of relevancy/authority and rewarded this presence with better rankings. It makes sense if you think about it. A brand who is fostering valuable relationships with their consumers online must have some sort of relevance and authority within their niche, so why shouldn’t they be rewarded for it?
As this marriage blossoms into a beneficial relationship for brands, we should consider what 2013 will bring in terms of social media marketing. Social Media Examiner’s 21 Social Media Predictions for 2013 From the Pros is a great list, as well as this awesome infographic from Twin Engine:
Mobile – If you had any doubts about the rise of mobile strategy for brands, put them to rest. When Google comes out with a “Mobile Playbook“ for companies looking to learn and master mobile marketing, you know its real. Mobile marketing is the central focus for a growing number of marketers, as 87% say they are planning to increase their emphasis on mobile in 2013. Also, mobile local advertising was forecast to reach $24 billion in 2016. Search Engine Watch’s article, The New Mobile SEO Strategy, highlights some interesting points regarding mobile & SEO tactics as the new year rolls in. In terms of the future, The Mobile Marketing Conference website says that Mobile Marketing is projected to exceed all others as the most influential advertising medium of all time in the near future.
Public Relations – It’s been interesting to watch the relationship between PR and SEO grow. As SEO made the inevitable shift into content marketing, PR became increasingly relevant and important. The idea of ‘corporate storytelling’ emerges as a PR must in 2013 in order to create great content. In turn, this content is shared and your SEO efforts are boosted. The synergy between PR and SEO can have fantastic benefits for brands who are fully taking advantage of this. Search Engine Watch’s article, 10 Reasons Why Public Relations is a ‘Must-do’ for SEO in 2013 gives a great description of this relationship.
2013 is here, and it’s bringing a whole slew of online possibilities for brands to grow and connect with their consumers. We are proud and excited to be helping brands grow online, and we look forward to a fantastic year ahead!