SEO Trends for 2015
The continued question digital marketers ask year-after-year, algorithm change after algorithm change, is “Is SEO Dead?” Of course not, but it’s continuously changing and here is what you can expect to see in 2015.
1) Mobile Optimization
Having a mobile version or mobile-friendly version of your website is no longer an option. In fact, in September of 2014 the UK set the trend for this advancement, with mobile users surpassing desktop browsers. A big SEO advance of 2014 was Google releasing best practice guidelines for mobile website development. In late November, Google made a change in their search results pages (SERPS), notifying searchers if a website was mobile-friendly of not. Shortly after, Google’s Matt Cutts made an announcement to web developers encouraging them to use responsive design, and warning that there is a site speed penalty for mobile in the works. So in short, don’t fall behind. Make sure your site is fully responsive and has fast load times to avoid any upcoming penalties in 2015.
2) Social Media
Social media is no longer just a place for inbound links for SEO. Active social media profiles drive high-quality website traffic. A user who is engaging with your company on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform signifies a connection or interest. These are the types of users that eventually turn into customers. Social engagement is more than just targeting these types of users for a future business relationship, these types of users will become your own natural link building team. Having your social connections sharing your content, means generating 100% natural links, a.k.a. something Google and other search engines love.
3) Conversational Keywords
Longtail and phrase keyword terms are the up-and-coming MUST. Traditional SEO Keywords are a thing of the past. With Google’s Hummingbird update, Google is now understanding more conversational phrases and putting more emphasis on websites that are written for user intent. If you are still ‘spinning’ articles and the overly keyword stuffing content with random search words like “Marketing Agency Waukesha,” “Marketing Company Pewaukee,” “Advertising Services Brookfield,” etc., don’t be surprised if your rankings don’t hold strong in 2015.
We are probably all tired of hearing “Content is King.” But the truth is, it will probably always be. Users are online more than ever, and not just because of mobile. More than 40% of online adults are multi-device users, so it is harder than ever to keep them engaged. By providing real content that your audience wants to see, wants to read, and even wants to share on social platforms, you can keep them not only engaged but also coming back. Some content ideas for 2015 include:
- Participate in local events including seminars, webinars, etc. and create blog posts, event pages, videos, social posts around each event to generate hype as well as content for SEO
- Create different angels of valuable and insightful content that your target market is seeking;
- Create a wider variety of content, such as infographics, podcasts, and social memes
- Curate content from other industry professionals.
And don’t forget, every piece of content on your website should immediately be shared on all your social media platforms.
As we move into 2015, SEO will continue to move into a more natural effort. Yes, we will still have our best practices for mark-up, coding, placement, naming, etc., but we will continue to see the biggest impact of SEO come from those things that come naturally i.e. real, relevant blog posts, social posts, videos, etc with REAL user-intent. As Google and other search engines continue to evolve, their focus changes on how to better the user experience and get the RIGHT info in front of the searcher. So we, as digital marketers, need to start worrying about that same thing. How do we make the ultimate online experience? What do our potential customers, target markets, and past clients want to see and read? What do they care about? And most of all, what gets them to bite.