2014: The Top 5 SEO and Online Marketing Trends

With everything that has happened in 2013, we can pretty much tell what to expect in the coming new year, especially in the realm of SEO and online marketing. Identifying these trends is important for a business so that it could prepare itself for possible adjustments and be in the know on what will drive success as a new chapter unfolds.

In an article contributed to Forbes.com, Cheryl Conner, a business communication author and speaker from Salt lake City, shares her foresight on what 5 things will dictate the online marketing world in 2014:

1. The ever-changing Google

Since February 2011, Google has released 25 updates that affect its website content quality algorithm known as Panda. In 2013, the Panda algorithm logic was merged with the main Google algorithm, so updates for the Panda algorithm have ceased. These updates may seem daunting, but they actually level the playing field and give web marketers the opportunity to step in and make their sites more competitive in the context of Google’s new rules.

2. Optimization for multi-screen, smartphone & tablet use

In June 2013, Neilson reported that of mobile phone users in the U.S. 61% of them now use smart phones. That is a 10% increase since early 2012. The study “Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes on Shopping Cart Abandonment,” by Bronto Software and Magento said that 54% of people who buy online daily or weekly own a tablet and 64%  own a smartphone.

3. Local search competition on search engines

20% of searches on Google are related to location. According to comScore, 56% of mobile phone users use their browser for local searches, raising the importance still further for small and local businesses to establish themselves online. As demand for local search results rises, so does supply.

4. There are more users in HTML 5 compatible environments than in Flash

HTML 5 is important as it allows for dynamic and interactive content like FLASH, but is compatible a across multiple devices, browsers, and screens. Soon, the need to have multiple technologies for your company’s ads and creative on content will all merge into HTML 5, saving development cost and time to execution. FLASH will still be compatible with regular desktop browsers, but HTML 5 content will soon be compatible with every browser on every device.

5. Pinterest usage soars

At 27,223,000 unique U.S. visitors in 2011, Pinterest has experienced exponential growth. As of July 2013, Pinterest grew to 70 million subscribers with 50 million of those in the U.S. Twenty one million of these are believed to be “active” users, meaning that the accounts have been used at least once in the month the study was conducted and were not newly registered. The moral of the story is this: Pinterest users are active users. If the growth rate of Pinterest continues on this track, it may ultimately overtake Twitter in total number of user accounts.