Brands are developing more robust content marketing strategies in 2013 to keep up with SEO developments.

Marketers know SEO isn’t something they can set and forget. Google is continuously introducing new algorithms to improve internet users’ search experiences, which means marketers need to refine their content for SEO strategists accordingly, if they want to earn top positions in search engine results pages. The 2013 Search Marketer Survey from BrightEdge revealed that marketers are tuned into these updates and are adjusting their SEO plans to follow suit.

Making better use of metrics

Google rolls out around 500 algorithm changes every year in additional to occasional user interface updates. Some noteworthy revisions in 2012 were new placements for Google+ profile pages, the switch to Google Product Listing Ads and the introduction of SERPs with seven, instead of 10, listings. Major changes are still in the pipeline this year, as Google’s Head of WebSpam Matt Cutts has forewarned that marketers face significant Penguin updates in 2013 that will change the SEO content world.

Forty-six percent of companies surveyed by BrightEdge think it will be more important to adapt their SEO metrics to SERP changes in 2013, and 26 percent said this will be a top priority.

Social is spreading, custom graphics are gaining traction

At the same time, marketers are recognizing that SEO success is not contingent on doing one thing well, but rather succeeding with an array of content marketing types. More than 30 percent of brands assert social media content will be much more important to improve search engine rankings from here on out.

Marketers are increasing their social efforts

To achieve their social engagement goals and maximize SEO opportunities, marketers are getting involved with multiple social networks. Facebook remains the most popular, earning the focus of 86 percent of surveyed marketers. Google+ garnered the second most attention – 68 percent of respondents said they will become more bullish about this channel. So far, Google’s social network is the only one that gives brands SEO credit for their updates and user engagement because its search crawlers can index the pages. That’s not to say that other top channels are to be ignored, as marketers also cited LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube as chief social media priorities.

In 2013, brands aren’t just diversifying their social media strategies, they are also investing in new custom content types that improve engagement and reflect their users’ preferences. Social content, blog posts and news articles continue to hold the most value for marketers, but infographics are quickly climbing the rungs in importance. Brafton recently reported that graphics improve lead generation and entice clicks, which is why one-third of B2Cs and 38 percent of B2Cs use images for content marketing, according to data from the Content Marketing Institute.

Marketers that keep their eyes out for algorithm updates and new advice about best practices know when it’s time to revisit the content marketing drawing board. SEO is a moving target that demands marketers embrace new content types and push themselves further to provide internet users with the best possible search experiences.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.