SEO in 2015
2014 was full of changes in the SEO world and businesses are still adapting to those changes, while at the same time anticipating the next series of changes to come. It might seem hard to determine what is going to happen, it is easier to reexamine what is currently trending and adjust business tactics to fit with those trends. Most SEO analysis professionals expect 2015 to be a continuation of evolving trends rather than a series of new changes.
Mobile Devices Are a Reality
If you still think mobile browsing is a passing fad, then your website may well be on its way to extinction. Mobile devices are now more widely used for searching than desktop and laptop computers. In some places, mobile devices are already dominating the search world while in others it is just starting to happen. Having a mobile SEO strategy is no longer an option. Even Google is placing a stronger emphasis on websites to deliver mobile friendly user experiences.
Google has already launched a series of tools and reports specifically geared for websites offering mobile friendly experiences. Other changes made by Google, in regards to the importance of other site elements and a reduction in significance, point to Google’s commitment to expand their focus on websites delivering mobile friendly user experiences. If you have put off revamping your website for mobile users, now is the time to start making changes.
Growth Expected for Technical Aspects of SEO
In the past, the technical aspects to search engine optimization were fairly straight forward. Today, it is not as cut and dry as you might think. Some of the technical aspects for SEO are not something most businesses believe are important for their website visitors. For instance, do you know difference between an HTTP and HTTPS website? Most users do not, yet this technical aspect could be beneficial as part of your business’ search engine optimization strategy.
Content Marketing to Become Independent from SEO
Content marketing has long been incorporated and included into generalized SEO strategies. However, this is going to change in 2015 as content SEO marketing continues to expand and grow. Expect content SEO to become its own separate category and no longer be placed under the same umbrella as other aspects of search engine optimization.
The Harsh Reality of Increased Penalties
No business wants to be penalized for their SEO strategy. However, it is worth mentioning Google and other search engines are going to continue to increase the penalties for following bad SEO practices. Poor SEO methods are nothing new, but instead of a slap on the wrist, those businesses continuing to follow black hat SEO could find themselves being permanently banned from search results.
Permanent banishment from search results would, of course, be in extreme cases. In other cases, Google will give businesses the opportunity to correct their mistakes and submit a disavow file. But, keep in mind, following a “trial and error” methodology has its consequences. Getting Google to review and confirm mistakes were corrected can take up to nine months, or longer to resolve.
During this time, your website is going to experience lower rankings and search traffic. It is better to take a proactive approach, follow white hat SEO strategies and protect your business against negative search engine optimization practices. The long time frames are purposely designed to encourage businesses to not take risks and avoid attempting to circumvent current guidelines and best business practices.
Higher Emphasis on Social Media
While Google’s efforts into social media have not delivered the same results shared by rivals Twitter and Facebook, Google will continue to place a strong emphasis on social media. Expect Google to devote more attention to indexing content and activity on those sites and using it to display relevant search results.
Keyword String Matching No Longer Relevant
Google no longer provides exactly matching keyword strings research in AdWords. Google did this on purpose because they want businesses to focus more on natural keywords used to answer questions. The reason why Google is driving this change to keyword strategies goes back to mobile device users and the ability of these devices to perform voice searches. Businesses should implement SEO strategies focusing on a conversational search approach if they want their rankings to remain visible on Google.
Implement the Right Strategies
SEO is an ever-changing landscape. In order to be successful with SEO strategies during 2015, your business has to implement the right strategies for the best reasons. Just because a competitor is doing something, does not mean your business has to do the same. It is better to focus on what it is you want to do. If you want to write and publish a weekly blog and provide visitors with useful information, then by all means publish a blog. On the other hand, if you do not have anything relevant to write about, do not waste your time or resources on blog postings.
Lastly, and this cannot be stressed enough, avoid black hat SEO practices. These mistakes are costly for your business and involve a large amount of time to recover from, and in extreme cases, there is no recovery.