Every marketer knows that the need for relevant, high-quality content is becoming even more important than it was just one year ago. As you go forward in 2015 here are a few important trends you need to pay attention to:
1. Niche content must have the right context
Due to search engine updates, specifically Hummingbird, creating targeted niche focused content is more essential than ever. With the introduction of Hummingbird, keywords aren’t the only thing a website needs to focus on. Online marketers need to also focus on the context in which the keywords exist. If the content is not highly niche focused then don’t post it.
2. Quality is a key differentiator
It’s always been important to write for your audience and not search engines but many marketers have not always listened. Now with the changes in search engine results, if you want to compete, you’ll have to focus on high quality content rather than just quantity. The higher quality the content, and the more relevant the results, the more you’re going to appear in top results for audience searches.
3. Personalization is required
One of the issues that marketers need to focus on is personalization. Ask yourself, if your audience will find value in each post. Will they want to return to continue reading and watching your content? If you combine social media with SEO techniques you’ll get more engaged users. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to make sure you add a few relevant keywords.
4. You need a variety of content types
While short blog posts will always be popular, there has been an increased interest in long-form content. Longer posts help create the “sticky” factor your audience needs to see you as an authority. It will generate more search engine respect and will also help you capture social proof.
5. Content must be updated regularly
It is essential to update content more often. The weekly blog posts you do now are a good start. Add to that some video, white papers, how-to content and tutorials and you’ll both rank higher in search engines and engage your audience.
6. Know your personas
As technology continues to improve, you’ll be able to segment your market further. If you haven’t been segmenting your market, it’s time to do it. Market segmentation offers better marketing opportunities. Your audience wants to feel special and the more directly you can communicate to each individual person who lands on your website the better.
7. Mobile is here now
The time is no longer, near, it’s here. If your sites aren’t mobile-ready, they won’t be relevant. More people are using mobile technology than ever. Build responsive websites and ensure that your email communications are responsive.
8. You can’t ignore social media
Social media is serious business. Without using social media as a way to advance your brand, communicate with your audience, and send traffic to your website you’re missing out on a large segment of the online population. Social media is no longer an experiment. Just ask the billion users on Facebook.
9. Data gets ‘Big’
Content marketers now have access to more data than they could ever analyze. However, you need to look deeper into the user actions, intent and focus that bring users to you website. Data has always been important, but now understanding your data gives you a competitive edge.
10. Pay attention to local SEO
Even if you have an international online business, local SEO is very important for search engines. Everyone’s search results are personalized for them. Find ways to work around and use local SEO to your advantage if you want to show up in personalized search results.
11. Google + matters
Google is still the number one ranked search engine, so obviously Google + should play an important role in helping your website get highly ranked. Google + is designed to help users send information in a very segmented way. The good news is that it’s much easier to use than Facebook. If you use all the tools that Google provides you’re going to get value from participating on this platform.
12. You’ll begin to hear more about Online Audience Optimization (OAO) replacing SEO
SEO has obtained a less than stellar reputation in some quarters. Content marketers are replacing it with what is called OAO. OAO encourages brand focus, customer interaction and a clear understanding of who your audience is and what they want.
Bonus: Keyword density is a thing of the past
Unless you want your content to register as spam, keyword density is verboten. The natural use of keywords in your content is what’s needed. You still need to know what your keywords are, but you don’t want to stuff them into your posts rendering your content unreadable. Your job as a content marketer is to attract the right audience to your niche, and then provide them with the products and services they value.