It’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys are being prepped. New Year’s celebrations are being planned. SEO content predictions are being made. We published a 2014 Social Media Guide at the start of the year that talked about new trends, solutions, and predictions. We covered social media and marketing trends to live by in 2014.
Let’s take a moment to see just what panned out before we jump into a sneak peak of what we think 2015 SEO content will look like.
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly of 2014
Predictions can be like the weather, sometimes good, sometimes bad, and every so often, downright ugly! We are happy to report that our 2014 SEO content predictions didn’t mirror the weatherman, whose reports end up wrong or slightly off. In a nutshell, here’s what we predicted for SEO content in 2014:
- Audience engagement and an in-depth understanding of your audience would be vital.
- Social media would grow in leaps and bounds becoming even more crucial to your SEO.
- Mobile optimization would be a must.
- Predictive tools would begin to replace analytical tools.
- Facebook video ads, Twitter ads, and possible G+ ads would start to be incorporated in marketing strategies.
- Video and mobile marketing would skyrocket.
- Offline material would be just as important as online and would need to lead people to your virtual doorstep.
- Easy to understand SEO best practices would be adopted.
- A social media strategy would be vital to lead generation and audience engagement.
- Engagement and inspiration would become the cornerstone on successful online presences.
2014 predictions the Internet over hung on the idea that social media would explode. Consumer engagement would radically determine success. And there would be a migration from best desktop display practices to mobile readership. Check out the growth social media saw in 2014:
Image Source: DigitalInsights.com
There’s no denying that our predictions were spot on. 2014 has been the Year of the User. From algorithm updates to content creation, everything we’ve done has been based on what our target audience wants and needs. Those of us who created and stuck to a strong content plan, coupled with social media, audience engagement, mobile optimization, and SEO best practices have reaped the rewards. Facebook advertising and the takeover of predictive tools phased out, but everything else came true.
Based on what has worked and what has changed, what is in store for 2015? What should we be planning, and what trends should we watch?
What to Expect in 2015
2015 is shaping up to be a great year for SEO content. And there’s awesome news in the air. SEO best practices got a lot simpler in 2014, and they’re looking to get even simpler in 2015. In fact, we dare to say SEO is on its way to becoming as simple as the production of high quality, amazing content. End of story.
Okay, it’s not really the end. It’s never the end. But 2015 is gearing up to be the year of local search, organic ranking, natural writing, great storytelling, and some data and analytics thrown in for good measure. Let’s break down what to expect in the New Year.
Content Will Reign Supreme
Content has rapidly become an all-encompassing term. At its core is expertly crafted copy that speaks to the reader. It incorporates great storytelling, research, backed statements and facts, calls to action, and humanization. It’s neither simple nor impossible to create. And it will reign supreme in 2015.
We predict that content will become the new face of SEO. It will be at the core of everything we do, and it will organically build rankings. It will be the best SEO practice, a timeless optimization tool that will never go out of style.
What’s more, it comes in a variety of forms. There’s no such thing as black and white content. It comes in every form possible. And as we step into the New Year, here are some content ideas to contemplate:
- Create and manage a blog, if you aren’t already.
- Repurpose your content into new mediums like infographics and videos.
- Expand into content types that are friendly for on-the-go audience members, like podcasts and videos.
- Blast newsworthy press about your company to the media via a press release.
Mobile Traffic Will Invade
Epicnewmedia.co.uk predicts that mobile will be king in 2015, and we have to agree. We saw an epic boom in mobile traffic and search in 2014. The predicted migration happened, and you’re the proof. Just stop and think about how many times you use for mobile device—whether phone or tablet—to conduct an Internet search or check out a recommended website.
We use our mobile devices to stream and track content of interest. We’re practically chomping at the bit to check in on our social media. Mobile traffic will invade in 2015, staking a permanent claim to SEO.
In other words, mobile searches are about to overrun desktop. If you’re one of the thousands of businesses still ignoring mobile content, it’s time to change. If you don’t, you’re in for a sobering experience.
Currently, 48 percent of users who land on a business website that doesn’t perform on mobile take it as an indication that the business just doesn’t care. We predict this percentage to grow in 2015. Ignore mobile traffic needs, and you’re setting your business up failure.
Be Social or Die
Here’s the thing; Google uses social media to rank your website. In fact, social media affects your SEO in numerous ways:
- Social sharing equates to link building. Link building has always been crucial to SEO. The more social sharing you receive, the more potential there is for an inbound link.
- Social sharing equates to activity and authority. The more your content is shared over social media, the more activity Google sees. As more people share, comment on, and discuss your content, Google takes note. Before you know it, you’re seen as an authority. Google gauges the activity as something worthwhile, and your SEO grows.
- Faster Indexing: Did you know that an extensively tweeted piece of content cuts indexation by up to 50 percent? The speed at which your content is indexed is affected by numerous factors, but social media activity is the key to cutting that time down.
In 2015, SEO and the success of our content will depend heavily on social media. Ready for the best part? We will have almost complete control over this factor of success simply by focusing on high quality, compelling, and relevant content creation. If you can supply excellent customer service and back it with compelling content, social media will skyrocket your SEO even further than it did in 2014.
Email Will Be Marketing Gold
Visual.ly predicts that email will continue to be extremely important. As people are mercilessly bombarded by data on the Internet, it will be marketing emails that make a lasting impression. In fact, they will be what make an impact.
In 2015, focus on your email. Do you have a subscriber list? Is it extensive? It’s time to build those lists and start leveraging targeted email campaigns. The more personalized and precise the email, the greater the results will be. It just may be your biggest conversion generator.
Fast and Friendly Wins
Google doesn’t like slow. Heck, you and I don’t like slow! Do you think our audience does? No!
We live in the age of one-click solutions and instant answers. If your website isn’t fast—on both the desktop and the mobile device—it’s a death sentence. The average user waits less than three-seconds for a page to load before saying, “Forget it.”
On a scale of one to ten, ten being epic, how user-friendly in your website? Keep in mind that friendliness isn’t just a homepage thing. It’s throughout every page on the site. It incorporates the manner in which you display your content, and what you choose to highlight and make stand out.
The average user doesn’t read. They scan. Your presentation and overall user friendliness will determine whether your content is worth a closer look. If it indicates to the user that it’s too complex or hard, they’ll click away. You’ll never get shares. You’ll never send up social signals. You’ll never succeed in SEO.
According to Greg Gifford, Director of Autorevo’s Search and Social and contributor to Search Engine Land, local SEO will be both necessary and easy. SEO is coming down to a very simple staple: What you do, both on and off your site, must work together to make your user experience awesome. Your SEO and local SEO will flourish if you work toward this goal.
Gifford says that mastering local SEO in 2015 will be as simple as being awesome and earning awesome links. So, how do you be awesome?
- Home Page Content Matters: If your home page is a slider or banner and a few sentences, you’re in trouble. Potential customers and search engines need to know all about you. So put some meat on that page!
- Limited Content Means Limited Results: We copywriters cringe at the customer who says, “Less is more.” We get that you don’t want to overwhelm visitors with a research paper, but give your audience more credit. They’re smart, smarter than you think. They don’t want a paragraph of, “We sell X and can do X for you. Call us now!” If you’re stuck in that mentally, get out. Now! As Gifford says, “Today’s shoppers want immediate information.” Pack it in on each page with useful content. Skimp on them, and your “less is more” concept will paint you a fly-by-night scam.
- Keywords Died: They died a long time ago! Yes, we still use them. Yes, we still research them. But we do not, under any circumstances, at any time, stuff or spam our content and website with them! You got that? Stuff your celebratory turkeys this year, not your website. There are still a slew of websites relying on this outdated, dead tactic. It will murder your SEO and rankings in 2015. Google will see to it, personally.
- Title Tags Matter: I once had a client come to me and say, “I want nine keywords in my title tag, so I rank well.” I nearly had a heart attack. Gifford puts it perfectly, “You’ve got about 500 pixels of width for your title tags…if [you stuff] 100 keywords…into your title tag, you just look desperate.” Do you know what Google does with desperate? It eats it for breakfast and drops it to the dark, dismal, lower reaches of that search with a million hits. Do you want to be number 908,456? No! So use those title tags to summarize the page, concisely and accurately. Drop your primary keyword at the beginning. Place your business name at the end. And you are officially an awesome title tag maker. Google (and your copywriter) will thank you.
Outsourcing: It Really Is Okay
In the past year, we’ve seen a trend indicating a lean toward outsourcing. Although we cannot speak for every industry, we can speak for what we know. And the outsourcing of content creation is a growing trend across all businesses that want strong online presences.
At the heart of 2015 SEO is content. Content is rapidly becoming the new face of SEO. Like never before it is crucial to find a content creation team. Longer content is equating to better rankings, better ROI, and all around better everything. Your task in 2015 is to become the content leader in your niche. Recognize that your best chance at doing this is through team effort because you cannot hope to do everything yourself and run your business.
2015 SEO Content: Join the Party
What are you looking forward to in 2015 SEO content? Do you have some predictions of your own? Share them in the comments. Let’s get a discussion rolling!
Featured photo credit: RyanKing999 / iStock