As every company begins (if not already finishing) their marketing budgets and strategies for 2014, it is critical to understand some SEO challenges facing marketing staff, planners and financial decision makers going into this next fiscal year.

#1. The market is not static and neither is Google. Unless a company is in shut-down mode, everyone is looking to increase market share, higher web traffic, and quantifiable results in your SEO strategy. Your ranking on Google is dynamic and in constant flux. As technology evolves with new apps and devices, so do Google algorithms, which means defending your ranking is always a challenge. Don’t expect to leave your SEO in its current state and remain on top. Competition is continually evaluating their strategy and so should you.

#2. What you see isn’t always what you are getting. The data in your analytics may seem obvious on the surface, but without digging into the data, you may be missing something very important that can affect your SEO efforts rapidly. It is easy to overlook discrepancies in your data without giving it a full review. You need to create a dashboard in your tools to view organic traffic coming from multiple platforms to ensure you aren’t overlooking critical flaws in your SEO implementation.

#3. SERPSs (Search Engine Results Pages) have changed. Google is placing its products above organic search results, and if your traffic growth is flat as a result, don’t despair. Keeping your current place on the page is a great accomplishment as competition is getting tougher. Keep your expectations in check against an ever changing environment.

#4. Your neighbor yesterday may not be the same today. As SERPs are changing with the continued proliferation of mobile traffic, localized results may surface where you never expected it. Google uses relevant suggestion based on location, and this may place a former unknown competitor right alongside your hard earned SEO result. Compile this with social networking sites offering recommendation’s and localized searches can place you lower than expected.

All in all, keep your SEO planning and strategy in the front of your mind when allocating budget for 2014.