The importance of online content has been growing at a fast pace over the past few years. Since 2011, when the first Panda hit down on bad content, website owners around the world realized that they needed to get well-written content in order to rank their site well, get traffic, and gain favor in the eyes of Google.
The Internet: Today’s Marketplace, and Your Web Content The Goods
The Internet is a means of livelihood, and an activity central for more than 3.03 billion people, and growing daily. Think of the Internet as a huge marketplace, and the goods marketed are the content you offer to your visitors. How good your content is simply equals how many will buy from you. With the growth of online content comes the growth of the Internet as a whole. It’s now a major hub, a world not unlike the air traffic in the Fifth Element. And content realization has grown into yet a bigger reality and focus. Today, content is a fundamental cornerstone of online marketing. It’s how to maintain your site in search engines, as a fundamental; and beyond that, it’s how to grow, flourish, and prosper online. I fully believe that well-written content is (and has been) the stepping-stone to your online success.
Back in 2014, we predicted a few things about content, from 11 content marketing predictions, 6 more marketing geared predictions, and 10 SEO predictions, to a major prediction that 2014 would be the year of the informer. Overall, our stress was on quality content becoming a major factor for growing your online marketing and ranking in the SERPS. And boy, did that happen in a big way! Let’s take a look.
We Said 2014 Will Be The Year Of The Informer.
If your content doesn’t inform, it won’t rank and succeed. We said there would be a huge demand for quality content, and every company would know the importance of it. We stressed that authority of content (through research, expert writing, and fact-sharing), long pieces with evergreen content (how-to guides, useful content), unique content with your own style (standing out from competition), and mobile and social status would become important.
Penguin 3 Hit Late 2014, and We Immediately Started Ranking.
Quality of content tied into better rankings sure did happen this year. Penguin 3 came out late 2014, and it boosted the ranking of good content around the Internet—and we experienced great results. Around November of 2014, we experienced a HUGE increase in rankings: literally, 400 unique visitors on a Saturday, more than double our typical. When we looked into it, we discovered it was directly related to a big surge in rankings right around mid-October right around Penguin’s time.
Major Google Happenings In 2014
Now, here were a few big things about 2014 web content we didn’t see coming (and I bet no one did!)—
- Authorship died. Authorship was officially dead and buried in August 28, after a few back and forth stints where photos got removed, although the ranking factor still existed. Finally, it was entirely removed in August 28. So, we were wrong when we said that being an informer in your content would tie into your Authorship rankings!
- Google Pirate came out. It’s not hard to discern that Google would eventually crack down on illegal torrents, which offered people a way to avoid buying and renting digital movies from those who pay Google high Adwords dollars. Google not only did that in 2014, but they named the algorithm after typical torrent hosts and went to target those very people with the Google Pirate update around November.
- HTTPS (SSL) became a ranking signal. Google officially made that happen in September of 2014. We upgraded our site to an SSL this year as a result. Once again, this ties into quality –your content is secured and safe to viewers, and Google gives you kudos for that.
3 Content Predictions: What’s Ahead for 2015
There’s even bigger things ahead for 2015 web content. We’ve already written a piece on what 2015 content will look like, and what to expect, so we’ll nutshell it here and give you only the most important predictions and thoughts.
- Content Importance & Vitality Will Increase. We said it last year, we said it the year before, and so did numerous others in our industry. I’m saying it again for 2015: content importance and the vitality of your written content will increase. If you don’t have a blog, but you own a website and a business, you better start a blog today. It’s vital. It will bring you more traffic, offer you a platform to continually add effective content to your site, and grow your engagement. If you do have a blog, consider doing an audit and effectively analyze it to catch what’s wrong. Start curating ideas for better topics. Don’t just write blogs; be the best in your industry. Write guides. Think of things that haven’t been covered. That’s how you can succeed with your content. It will be necessary to audit and curate (analyze and create ideas) continually in the new year, since there will be so much content out there and to stand out in the crowd (or rather, flood) you will need to make your own mark. And that’s hard, when almost every idea on the planet has already been written on.
- Content Outlets Will Grow. In 2014, we saw LinkedIN posts and Medium become great content marketing channels. Our own content grew to include top guest blog networks like SearchEngineJournal and SEMRush. In 2015, I suspect more content channels will happen. I can also tell you that these channels are very important, and a low investment for a lot of potential ROI. From being on SiteProNews, we have seen several lucrative content clients come in who found our blogs there very helpful for their own content marketing. We provided value through a written guide, and they became our client. Content outlets will grow, I predict, in 2015; and you’ll be successful in every new outlet if you stick to quality (a quality network/guest blog arena), and providing value (only share what brings real value to your audience and readers). Read our 10 content platforms to post on in 2015.
- There Are 4 Social Media Networks You MUST Be On, & Activity Here Will Grow. Last year, and the year before, we stressed “don’t forget social and mobile.” Now, I’m telling you to make it a major focus. Make your site mobile friendly and stay active on all social networks. Almost half of our traffic comes from mobile users. Yours could be more than that. If they can’t read a few sentences or even see your site on their mobile device, you’re in trouble. As for social networks, stay active on the important ones and be on the lookout for new ones. Ello was kind of a flop, in my opinion. It phased in pretty quick – lots of people were jumping on – and now I hear no more about it. You should focus on these networks:
- Facebook is still essential, if only because of the ginormous amount of people on this social network. Tailor how active you are to how much traffic you get, naturally. This will be a lot more if you’re a local business with a Facebook check-in page, potentially less if you’re a universal company (like us) with a more online-based location.
- Google Plus (G+) is starting to become busier and active. Every time you post a blog to your site, post the link with a blurb to your G+. It will you’re your content get indexed.
- Pinterest has become very popular and is growing. Tailor your activity here to your audience level, again. If you sell cookware, this could be a big place for you, since a lot of cooks use Pinterest.
- Twitter is by far the busiest hub of social activity for our company. Who knew tweets could convey so much? We participated in things like #bufferchat, #semrushchat in 2014. You should have a presence here and follow your industry peers, mention and connect.
- LinkedIn is growing, tied into their content marketing network. Be sure to include content pieces written and focused for that professional network in the New Year.
As the saying goes, “only God knows what the New Year holds.” We have no idea exactly where content will go, besides increasing overall in value—but we know it’s going big places, and we will be waiting & ready when you need us!