There were a number of key 2013 takeaways based on in-depth data analysis of a number of critical online marketing areas. Here are some key points and thoughts on how to react to them for the future:
Based on an analysis of the data, SERP results have been more unpredictable and volatile in 2013 than in the past. The important question going forward is, will this trend continue into the next year? Considering the data trend, it appears that volatility will continue. The best way to counter this instability is with highly strategic and adaptable digital marketing plans, along with agile, ongoing, and analytical revisions and reactions based on sound data every step of the way.
It appeared that big brands, such Wikipedia and Target, took over the top of most SERPs, and SERPS are less diverse than they were a year ago. According to an analysis of the data, domain diversity has dropped significantly over the past year and a half. Additionally, there had been an increase in SERP dominance by the biggest sites over the same time period. Some of this could be a result of success by Google in limiting poor quality listings. This trend confirms the importance of building a strong brand and supporting it strategically in order to compete in the contracting space at the top.
Keyword-matched domains are declining in influence. The proportion of search engine listings with exact and partial matched domains declined significantly over the past 15 months, based on consideration of data trends. However, domain matches do have relevance in searches, as long as they are supported by your content. If someone searches for “burgers” and “billsburgers” comes up, the consumer will know there is relevance there. So if using a keyword in your domain name helps your target audience know what you do, and your content backs it up, there is no reason not to use one. However, if a domain name isn’t supported by quality content, keyword use won’t help and most likely will hurt your online marketing efforts through incurring Google penalties and creating unhappy site visitors.
Overall, the lessons of 2013 confirm what Zephoria has always focused on – building strategic, comprehensive, and adaptable online marketing plans that are firmly based in sound data and trend analysis.
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