We’re moving into 2013 and there are a few changes happening in the business blogging world. These changes will likely have an impact on your business blog. The strategies you use going forward may change some based on these trends, but don’t make any drastic changes without looking into things specifically related to your industry.
Here are 5 big trends to pay attention to as we head into the New Year.
1. The Continuing Google Creep
The Google Creep is the name I’ve given to the way Google continues to increase the space given to paid ads over organic ads. Just last week I did a search for the brand Constant Contact. This is a branded term where you know the person searching is almost 100% likely to be searching for a brand. Google encourages brands to purchase the space for their own branded terms. They also let other companies bid on the branded term on occasion resulting in this type of result:
The Google Creep sees more space given to paid ads. Google is becoming more of a paid directory or Yellow Pages by the day it seems. Google continues to implement changes aimed at increasing its ad revenue, which is obviously in their best interest. There is no reason to pretend it isn’t happening.
Bloggers will continue to lose some of their SEO real estate in the next year and in the coming years. SEO should still be part of the strategy, but to be successful in the future it’s important to look at other sources of traffic. Build that email list as fast as you can and get people to bookmark your page and share you on social media sites.
Even things like search suggestions are aimed at keeping people from using long tail search terms although that is still expanding.
2. The Expanding Long Tail
Most people are surprised by the number of long tail searches performed these days. The trend appears to be that despite Google’s efforts people are still getting longer with their searches. We are becoming better searchers and can dig deeper into the Internet to find exactly what we want.
You can take advantage of this trend by focusing on long tail topics. A good way to do this is by knowing the specific questions your customers ask and answering them with blog posts.
3. The Rise of Google+
Google is really pushing Google+. Just look at this combination of Google Creep and Google+ from a Zappos search:
The entire right side of the page is devoted to a Google+ account. Look for more of this in 2013.
It’s almost required for businesses to have a Google+ page today. In order to get your own search traffic like Zappos you’ll need a page otherwise Google will probably continue to creep with paid ads.
4. The Fall of Facebook
Facebook has been going through some difficult issues once again over the past year. There has been uproar over privacy issues on its own site and recently with its Instagram property. As more people get fed up with the privacy issues on Facebook it seems the social network could lose some of its user base.
The company still does have over a billion users so a fall will likely take time, but Facebook is doing what it can to send people and businesses away by adding paid features for businesses.
If you’re investing your efforts into Facebook for your business it might be time to focus on a property you control like a business blog and email list.
5. More Business Blogging Competition
Business blogging appears to be on the rise. This trend has been happening for a couple years and will continue in the next year. The sooner you start the better off you’ll be in the future. Much of blogging is about building recognition and branding. It’s a top of the sales funnel marketing tactic and if you’re looking to attract the online audience now is the time to start a blog.
These are just a few of the big changes coming in 2013. Some are already under way and have been for years. Things seem to be accelerating in the SEO world and in the social media world. Each of these has a big influence on the success of a business blog. It’s important to diversify your traffic from all referral sources. Build your email list and encourage your customers to share posts with others via email. Those are two channels you can control.
Are you noticing any additional trends in the business blogging world?
Share your insight in the comments.