SEO doesn’t just happen. It’s a bugaboo for many B2B marketers. Get Search Engine Optimization right, and you’ll improve online visibility. As more prospects find you on the web, your traffic and sales will increase.

You can benefit from SEO by embracing five emerging trends. Include these in your overall marketing strategy, and you’ll stay ahead of the competition.

Trend #1: SEO’s Movement Towards High Quality Content

SEO is much different today from its beginnings. And SEO continues to evolve further refining its search for quality. In February 2011, Google imposed Panda, a new search algorithm.

Panda increases the emphasis on quality content. Upon implementation, Panda had a huge impact, dropping the rankings of almost 12% of all websites.

Now, Google rolls out Panda updates every month over 10 days. This reduces the huge impact of the first Panda release. More importantly, it signals Google’s intent to continue ranking higher quality websites at the top of its search results.

Panda is an enduring trend, continuing its focus on quality with a gradual and more tempered impact.

Trend #2: SEO’s Drive Towards Quality Link Strategies

In April 2012, Google also sought to identify high-quality sites by focusing on link strategies. Many websites employed Black-hat strategies (which violate Google’s SEO guidelines) to increase their traffic artificially through suspect practices.

Penguin’s intent was to penalize these black-hat tactics. Because quality links are harder to achieve, their numbers are fewer, and they have less impact.

Like Panda, Google rolls out continuing updates. Link-building as a strategy may decline as Google places less emphasis on link building due to its reduced impact.

Nonetheless, you can launch an effective SEO link strategy. Do this by increasing the number of high-authority inbound links with a coordinated social media campaign.

Trend #3: SEO and the Expansion of Social Media

Before social media’s effectiveness advances, B2B businesses might want to re-examine whether to employ social media.

The move from push messaging to inbound marketing favors social media as a marketing tool. Blogging is an effective social tool enabling content sharing across many social networks.

As you engage more prospects on your blog, LinkedIn or Google+, social signals help improve your rankings. Social media also helps you build your brand, and trusted brands attract more customers.

Jay Baer, author of Youtility, says, “content is fire and social media is the gasoline”.

Due to social media’s viral nature, it may surpass the effectiveness of link-building.

Trend #4: SEO and the Rise of Multimedia Content

Content marketing represents a goldmine for B2B marketers. A Forrester study shows that relevant content delivered across multichannels helps increase visibility, clicks, conversions and sales.

Podcasts, videos, and presentations lend themselves to optimization. Videos are especially effective in driving traffic to your site.

According to a 2011 Video SEO study by aimClear, video thumbnails average 41% more clicks than text-based search results. Video is also great link bait and represents an opportunity ripe for exploitation.

The trend towards multimedia content delivered across multichannel platforms will further develop and mature.