As the years fly by the search marketing industry continues to evolve and grow at a rapid pace. While it can be a challenge to keep up with everything, at search engine marketing agency, Anvil Media, we like to not only know what’s going on here and now, but project ahead about what we think the next big things will be. Each year the Anvil team takes out our crystal ball and stares into the future of digital marketing.  Without further ado,

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Prediction for 2013:

AuthorRank:  As Google pushes harder in the direction of Google+ and focuses on quality content, AuthorRank will begin to have a large impact on search engine rankings.  The impact of full algorithm incorporation will benefit companies who have already begun to push internal employees to build their personal brand and have properly integrated “rel=author” markup on company blogs.

Big Data Integration: More and more companies will leverage Big Data Applications that interpret and use enormous amounts of data to deliver intelligent results providing a way to make scalable, data driven adaptations to their websites. With the roll out of products like Google Analytics Cost Data Import and Universal Analytics, even small businesses will be able to take a holistic approach to data collection and analysis. The need for smart marketing and analytics specialists will continue to grow as more and more businesses struggle to interpret the amount of data being collected.

Interactive Content: As content marketing picked up more traction amongst search marketers in 2012, we’re predicting that clients will begin to put resources behind those initiatives. In particular, interactive content designed to increase engagement as these factors begin to play into search engine algorithms. Taking advantage of tools like Stat Silk and Tableau, more and more marketers will be looking to develop content with metrics like time spent on site/page in mind.

Less Value Placed on Keyword Targeted External Links: Since Google’s Penguin update keyword targeted anchor text in external links are more of a warning sign to Google than a benefit to search rankings.  As Google continues to place more value in social signals and authorship, look for the value of external links to continue their decline in 2013.

Volatile Search Engine Rankings: As social media continues to become a more prominent ranking factor, search rankings will fluctuate more on a week to week, or even day to day basis. Social signals are heavily tied into real time data and search, and will increase in impact as users are seeking the most current data.

Pay-per-Click (PPC): Google & adCenter will continue to roll out new capabilities and modifications to enable more people to spend more money more easily and effectively. Much of the focus will be on mobile, local and shopping.

Mobile Marketing: Increasing adoption and usage will mean increasingly more marketing opportunities and continued growth for mobile. Not only will brands invest in mobile optimized websites and email, but also place a greater emphasis on mobile integrating with marketing campaigns. By the end of the year, mobile will become a more strategic and must-have channel for many brands.

Conversion Optimization: Marketers will focus more on conversion optimization than ever before. Rather than investing large budgets in driving more traffic to websites, money is better spent maximizing the value of existing visitors through conversion optimization. Tools, once again, come to the rescue, enabling businesses of all sizes to easily create, implement and manage landing page and conversion optimization programs.

Social Media Marketing Predictions for 2013:

The Rise of Social Search: Facebook has been gathering data from its users and their interests for quite some time, and with the growing implementation of OpenGraph markup combined with the pressure to build ad revenue, 2013 could be the year we see a true competitor to Google emerge. OpenGraph markup will move from a nice thing to do to control your brand if you have enough time, to an on-site optimization industry standard.

Visual Marketing: 2012 saw the meteoric rise of image sharing sites Pinterest and Instagram while Facebook and LinkedIn both underwent profile designs placing larger emphasis on images.  Look for the visual trend to continue into 2013 as pictures gain popularity as a short form way of communicating lots of information quickly.  Brands must learn to show, not tell their stories.

Facebook Growing Pains: As Facebook continues to do everything they can to further monetize the site to appease stockholders, users and brands will become more fed up. The ads platform has been through such extreme, rapid expansion, that their ad offering will need to make progress towards the maturity and stability of AdWords to be successful.

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Predictions 2013:

Google+ Local Gets A Paid Option: This may be more of a dream than a prediction, but Google will finally listen to the cries of local businesses and introduce a paid option for Google+ Local. By paying for an enhanced listing Google will no longer mess with listing information and what the paid user includes in the listing will rule all (following specific guidelines of course). This will be an easy way for Google to make more money while solving the issue of incorrect data.

Apple Will Launch Its Own Local Listings: Apple will move away from relying heavily on Yelp for listings and create their own local listing database that business owners can claim. This will help to rectify the lack of map information that came with the launch of Apple maps.


Let us know what you think; feel free to comment below. Also, feel free to check out our 2012 SEM predictions (part 1 and part 2) and visit the Anvil Media blog in December 2013 to see how we did and read about where we see the world heading in 2014.