2013 was an eventful year in terms of updates from Google. You would have heard of updates with names such as Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird all affecting how websites rank where websites appear (their position) on Google’s search engine results page.

Also in 2013, if you have been reading your Google Analytics reports you would have noticed the steady increase in Google encrypted data (not provided, not set). The vast majority of keyword and keyword phrases searches, are now no longer shown therefore making our ability to access keyword data for research purposes more difficult than ever before.

These factors alone make Search Engine Optimisation increasingly more challenging in 2014.

So what are two basic things you should be doing to increase your SEO performance results in 2014, and what has Google indicated?

1. Content Marketing in 2014 will be bigger than ever.

From an SEO perspective, Google will be looking closer at websites that have a strong content marketing effort.

Content is basically adding either new visual content, written content or auditory content, such as videos to your website. It includes everything from new articles and information text copy, blog posts, photos, video and more.

Companies that are producing high quality content that’s both engaging and informative on a regular basis, for their target audiences generally tend to perform better in Search Engine Results.

So tip number one is to review your website, and see when you last changed or added to your content. If its been a while, then you need to start considering what you can do that can add value on a regular basis targeted toward your audience.

From a Google perspective it shows signs that your website is alive, well and growing.

If you haven’t started with regular content marketing yet, it’s time to get moving now.

2. The Mobile Responsive Website

Website-Design-LilydaleHave you checked your website on a mobile phone or tablet device recently? Your website’s mobile performance matters to your SEO rankings!

The environment for accessing and viewing websites has changed dramatically in the last few years. Australia has one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world. In fact Australians have adopted smartphones and tablets into their everyday lives faster than consumers in many other developed countries. Smartphone penetration has exploded to an estimated 84% in 2013, and continues to grow. The statistics for tablet computing devices are similar. The tablet has become the fastest selling computing device in history on a global scale with estimates that by the end of 2013, about 75% of Australians will also own a tablet, this up from just 12% 2010.

So nearly everyone is accessing your website on one type of portable device or another!

If you don’t have a mobile-optimised website, this needs to be on your top priority list in terms of SEO and design investments for 2014! 2014 will be the year of mobile SEO.

Of course there will be many other factors, old and new that will affect your website’s performance this year, but ensuring you develop a high quality content marketing strategy and make sure you website is mobile responsive will be a good start.