Content and SEO Tips for 2014

Things change - here are SEO tips for 2014

Don’t fear SEO change! We’ve got some 2014 tips for you.

1. Lay A Foundation

Create your content calendar for the year now. In January, it will just be a skeleton, but the skeleton is what will hold the body of your content plan together as you build it out month by month throughout the year. If you can afford an enterprise tool to handle your content calendar and publication to multiple platforms, that’s fantastic. If you are like most people; however, you’ll need to rely on a spreadsheet.

Your spreadsheet should include:

– Month-by-Month Breakout of Content Goals (I make each month a tab of its own when creating a sheet for one brand. For multiple brands it gets more complex.)

– List of major events, holidays and brand-sponsored events in each month, as well as any speaking gigs at which your brand may be presenting and any events you sponsor or host (these will have content tie-ins and will also affect your publication schedule)

– List of planned topics

– List of planned keywords, keyphrases and other SEO-related data

– A column to track content across social shares, downloads, conversions, etc.

– A column for notes to track suggestions for improvement

– Author and author popularity and shareability rankings

– Type of content (video, audio, blog, tweet, display ad, micro content, image, etc.)

– Share checklist (What happens to each piece of content after it’s uploaded to the site or published to a blog, for example? Where is it shared and when?)

2. Practice Versatility

Gone are the days when “content” meant “blog post”. Often, great content plans include blogging, but now content also includes podcasts, infographics, micro graphics, memes, videos, ebooks, white papers, e-newsletters and much more. Even if you have a team of people working with you, you still need to be able to ramp up and master new formats and new media quickly. I advise constant self-education in new media formats, as well as keeping the names and qualifications of an army of freelancers and subcontractor agencies handy to call on in a pinch.

3. Plan Ahead

Related to Tip 2, use January to get your ducks in a row. After looking at your content plan and event calendar, map your needs now. Think a project might grow? Reach out to your army of freelancers and subcontractors for rate sheets and capabilities now. Don’t wait until the last minute and hope that your favorite copywriter or developer will have some extra time to slot you in.

4. Budget for Content Contingencies

Yes, there is such a thing as a “content emergency”! Life online moves pretty fast. You never know when what I call a perfect “sharable social moment” will arise that might allow your brand to become part of the solution (or, if handled poorly, part of the problem). You want to be able to spot a potentially scalable social moment quickly and be able to act fast. Pad your budget a bit so you can reach out to a visual designer to make a real-time infographic or a video crew to help with a video, for example. This gives you the ability to layer in a little real-time marketing, even if your brand’s pockets aren’t as deep as, say, Oreo.

5. Be Useful

This tip should possibly be Tip 1, but frankly, you have to have your ducks in a row before you can jump in and be useful anytime you see a chance to help online. If you’ve mapped out your content, gotten your team together, planned your SEO and paid media campaigns, budgeted for contingencies and begun generating your solid content for 2014, then “be useful” is your next step.

The Internet has plenty of memes, parodies and “viral” videos. It’s fantastic if you can tap into that energy, but you’re going to convert a lot more people who interact with you into leads or evangelists if you come from a place of helping others first.

One of my favorite companies doing this is Hilton Hotels – empowering employees to be useful. You will often see their employees interacting with customers who aren’t even staying at a Hilton via micro-content and engagement. That sends a powerful message that helps a brand’s bottom line.

See what you can do to add to the Internet’s value in 2014, and your content will find traction that lasts for the long tail.

About the Author

Author Leslie Poston wrote Social Media Metrics for Dummies, co-authored Twitter for Dummies, and has been writing for hire and leading content marketing initiatives as a consultant since the ’90s. She is Senior Social Media Editor for McKinsey & Company and also runs a content marketing consultancy. She’s an avid Twitter user, so be sure to say hello on Twitter: @leslie

Photo thanks to Gilda (Tip jar at Cult Mountain)

11 replies
  1. Dan Stelter says:

    All great tips Leslie! I especially like the one on using diverse forms of content. Do you know of easy ways to create infographics and other forms of content for solopreneurs?

  2. SK Yadav says:

    Well, as per my experience as an educational blogger, I must say eye catcher titles and heading in the content are very useful to make people read your article.
    So, keeping the articles descriptive, informative and interactive will be the best strategy for SEO in 2014.

  3. Glenys says:

    Planning ahead like this is a great idea Leslie. The spreadsheet idea is one that I use all the time, although mine is not as sophisticated or detailed as yours. It really helps me stay focused. I do find the improvements column that you suggested is very, very useful when it comes to updating and improving posts.
    Thanks for the tips.

  4. Stephanie Riggs says:

    Well, with the beginning of 2014, SEO people start focusing on contents of the website for achieving top ranking in search engines. Definitely, after the Google’s recent algorithm Hummingbird consider contents much more than any other thing. Your content and SEO tips for this year are pretty good. I agree with you that people’s must look for quality contents and try to meet the visitors requirements. One more thing which I think more important to discuss here is the marketing of contents at appropriate sources and some people rely upon paid resources, I don’t know about this but it is recommended that resources must be relevant to the contents.

  5. Harish Grover says:

    Yeah after latest Penguin 2.1 update, all SEO is focused on content only. These tips are very useful to write relevant and quality content. Thanks a ton for sharing these wonderful tips.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Content and SEO Tips for 2014 | Leslie Poston via SEO Copywriting. […]

  2. […] Poston gives us Content and SEO Tips for 2014 on SEO […]

  3. […] Content and SEO Tips for 2014, SEO Copywriting […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.