SEO Predictions in 2015 and what they mean for you
A New Year is a fresh start and if one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to boost your online sales then you should begin with a new and updated SEO strategy.
Whether you’ve never previously considered making a real investment into your website, or if you have in the past but found that your online sales have since slowed down, SEO is the answer for you.
For those who don’t know, “SEO” refers to Search Engine Optimisation, essentially the process through which websites are “optimised” so that they appear very early on Google results pages –quite simply the earlier your website appears, the more people click onto it, and the more online sales you obtain.
Anybody who is familiar with SEO knows that it is a constantly evolving world which needs to be continually monitored for a successful online business. Predicting and preparing for changes is not straightforward but here are our predictions for 2015…
Content will be King
Content may have reigned for a while but it must be more focused on users than ever. It needs a clear structure which is easy to follow and it should provide users with an enjoyable, functional experience.
While SEO once meant simply scattering target keywords across a page, Google is much more sophisticated today and determined to reward websites that provide users with a smooth, enjoyable, and useful experience.
Brand mentions will become just as powerful as links; a link will not be necessary to improve Google’s trust in a website; just the mention (or citation) of your company in content created by other businesses will be enough to improve trust in your website / brand and ultimately rankings and traffic.
Mobile will be major
The IDG Global Mobile Survey 2014 found that 77% of executives use their smartphone to research products or services used for business[i]. As businesses and individuals increasingly substitute laptops for mobile phones, it is inevitably vital for websites to be useable for online consumers.
To survive 2015, all websites should incorporate “responsive design” to detect which type of device users are on and adjust accordingly. Be aware of page loading time – all mobile users expect progress to be as quick as possible so remove any unnecessary videos that can increase loading time.
Maile proved that a 1 second latency for pages loading on Smartphones produces a 9.4% decrease in page views, 9.3% increase in bounce rate and an overall drop in conversions of 3.5% - quite a significant impact.
To address this you should ensure that mobile users who access desktop pages are automatically redirected to mobile versions, and desktop users who come across mobile pages redirected to desktop ones. Therefore if a mobile user shares a link on Twitter, a laptop user can open the link in the appropriate form.
Another important change will be a transition from short keywords to long-tail, more specific ones. This change will bring many advantages including:
- Opportunity to be on Page 1: a user who searches for “furniture” is probably just browsing generally and you’re most probably never going to get near page 1 for such a broad keyword. However, if you specialise in “Victorian-inspired garden furniture” then you have a much better chance of gaining high rankings.
- Traffic that is likely to buy: more specific keywords means a greater chance of successful conversions. Users who search for specific keywords have an exact idea of what they are looking for so by catering for these keyword phrases you may get less traffic but a higher percentage will be paying customers who want to make purchases.
- Better for voice search: people are increasingly using Voice Search instead of typing; searchers speak into their phone loquaciously- i.e. not short, succinct phrases but longer, more natural ones.
Power to followers
While rumours have circulated for many years that Google already rewards websites according to their numbers of Facebook and Twitter followers, in 2015 we predict that Google will finally acknowledge this. It is therefore important to fully integrate your social media and content marketing strategies: the two must complement each other, for example if you have an important piece of content marketing planned for late February, your social media in the 2 weeks before should build up to it by discussing anything relevant in the news; preparing followers for the important content.
We also foresee the eradication of Google+ which has never been as popular as Facebook or Twitter.
ROI over Rankings
Because of the emphasis on user experience, Return on Investment and conversions will take a precedent over rankings. While rankings are a straightforward way of measuring websites in comparison to competitors, traffic and conversions are the best way to measure your website’s success month on month. Sometimes marketers will deliberately target poor keywords –i.e. those that very few users search for- purely so that they can tell a customer that they are on page 1. However, it is far more logical to measure your traffic, where it is coming from, and how many purchases take place.
Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo will take on Google
Browsers such as Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo will become major players and big competition for Google. Up until now, Google has monopolised the world of SEO but Yahoo is now Firefox’s default browser and SEO marketers must adapt to these changes.
Thank you for reading our blog. What do you think the biggest changes will be in 2015? Please share this post on Twitter and Facebook, or if you think that we have missed a few important developments then let us know!