20 SEO Tips, Trends and Predictions for 2014

Google made big changes to its search engine algorithm in 2013. What will those updates mean for search engine optimization in 2014? SEO experts offer their advice for the new year.

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19. Look for the best long-tail keywords. Kelly Boyer Sagert, content services manager for The Search Guru, says long-tail keywords are expected to become more important Hummingbird era of Google. Long-tail keywords typically contain more words, and are therefore usually less competitive. They are also more laser-targeted. (Examples include bedroom closet organization tips and kitchen pantry organization tips.) When you find one that perfectly fits your intended audience, it's a terrific find, Sagert says.

20. Schema markup will grow in importance. "Since the beginning of the Web, the most important Web coding language has been HTML. As the Web has evolved, so has HTML," Sagert says. The latest version, HTML 5, incorporates sets of HTML tags that help search engines understand structured data. (These tags are cataloged and referenced from Schema.org.) "Structured data helps the search engines quickly and easily understand the different elements of a page, such as articles, events and local address information," she says.

Ultimately, SEO Will Be What It Should've Always Been

"In 2013, the SEO of the last 10 years died — and thank goodness it did," says John Lincoln, co-owner and president of SEO and social at Ignite Visibility. In 2014, he says, SEO will be all about what it always should've been about: "Create a responsive design site, develop a content marketing strategy, engage in social advertising, make sure your website is technically sound and go after as many long-tail keywords as you can, in a responsible way."

James A. Martin is an SEO and social media consultant and writes the CIO.com Martin on Mobile Apps blog. Follow him on Twitter @james_a_martin and on Google+. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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