The office holiday parties are over, the gifts have been opened, and the New Year’s ball has dropped! 2015 is officially underway and so it’s time to move you and your clients’ SEO strategy into this year and beyond. If one thing is certain, it’s that big changes to the organic search algorithm are on the way. With that being said, here’s your guide to the big ticket items that will impact your 2015 SEO strategy.
According to the November 2013 Google/Nielsen Mobile Path to Purchase study, search is the most common starting point for mobile research. Mobile organic search and smartphone usage continues to increase and makes information accessible in real-time. This trend undoubtedly will continue in 2015. But it won’t just be about finding your products or services; it will be the entire mobile user experience across multiple devices (tablet and smartphones) and operating systems. Focus on having customers find you, navigate seamlessly, and discover relevant content based on their search terms.
There are “different strokes” for your different audiences, so it’s important to use different content types for search platforms (images, videos, text) as well as considering demographics, interests and a user’s intent. For example, are customers looking for product instructions, directions to a storefront, or comparison shopping? I would recommend that your content represent the brand voice and follow brand guidelines for consistency. Regardless of the different content types, organic search does not exclude branded search terms and your brand can and will appear in different forms. By diversifying your content, you’ll have more opportunities to achieve the goals of your SEO strategy.
Based on a recent eMarketer study, watching videos is on the rise, so have you given thought to communicating with your customers with video content? More than 77% of all tablet users will watch video programming on their devices at least monthly, and that penetration rate will grow to 87% by 2018, totaling 149 million tablet video viewers. My recommendation is to start brainstorming, create relevant content, optimize your videos, and leverage video platforms that connect prospective customers to your brand. Consider transcribing your videos into text to improve visibility and additional link earning as well. And remember, YouTube isn’t the only video platform on the planet! Find the best fit for your brand’s message and pursue it.
In my opinion, brand relationships will be critical to driving SEO strategies in 2015. I use the word “relationships” because it’s about the people and the relevant content that’s associated with them (what brand advocates like vs. what your prospective audience likes). By building relationships, you will increase visibility for your brand, create linking opportunities, and engage with influencers that resonate with you as well as your brand. Think about ways to develop an effective outreach program and reconnect with bloggers, journalist, reporters, etc. to get you started.
Take a look at your mobile organic search traffic, assess your existing mobile design and organic search from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets). Identify opportunities to help customers find you, navigate seamlessly via mobile and get to your most relevant content. Test new ways to diversify your content with customer intent in mind. Find opportunities to build relationships via social media, but don’t be afraid to pick up the telephone (they’re people too)! I would recommend re-evaluating metrics/KPIs, establishing benchmarks associated with your organic search strategy’s past performance, setting targets or milestones, and connecting periodically within internal contributors to gauge progress.