Search engine optimisation is an ever evolving industry, some highly regarded industry commentators believe SEO in its traditional sense is on a sharp decline and that integrated marketing (of which SEO is one aspect) is what companies must focus on to achieve online marketing success.
Whilst there is certainly considerable merit in this view, traditional SEO should still play an important role in a company’s online marketing strategy. SEO is still a very specialist area, where successes to most companies mean having someone dedicated to increasing their online rankings.
A specialist will be able to keep up to date with all the changes (such as Google announcing in August 2014 that secure websites would get a ranking boost).
Running a large SEO agency I am regularly asked my view on where the industry is headed and what areas companies should focus on to ensure they stay ahead of the curve.
So what should companies do and plan for in 2015? Is link building still important or content marketing the digital panacea? I will attempt to answer these questions with some SEO predictions and thoughts for 2015!
1. Content Marketing – Whilst content marketing is going to be a crucial aspect of any good SEO strategy in 2014, the proliferation of weak content and the ease which content can be created will stymie the benefit somewhat. The companies that will really benefit from good content strategies will be those that manage to create really engaging and viral content that gets widely distributed (via paid and non-paid methods).
2. Link building – Link building will still be the most important factor of any off-page SEO strategy in 2015. Great link building strategies like interactive infographics, creating real-life ‘blogger events’ and themed outreach are some methods that are likely to succeed in 2015.
3. Natural Language and Voice Search – There has been a move towards natural language in search for a while (such as with Google Hummingbird). The adoption rates of wearable computing will impact on the importance of natural language (conversational) search. If not in 2015, then this will be one to watch.
4. Negative SEO – Google will have to do something about negative SEO. All the algorithm changes have opened up a very real threat to companies whose competitors will stoop to building negative links to their websites. Google have created this industry and it looks like Google will have to solve this prickly problem.
5. Google Knowledge Graph – This will continue to change the landscape of the search engine results pages. Expect Google to continue to develop this area and improve the scope and value of things like structured data.
6. Mobile UI – Designing a website specifically for mobile, rather than having a responsive design will become more popular in 2015. As mobile usage continues to dominate, look for smart SEO agencies exploiting this.
These are just a few of the most important areas that I predict will impact on search in 2015. I’m sure others will have a different view, only time will tell!