It’s a word that every marketing-minded person knows but a concept that can be difficult to master given the ever-changing landscape of technology. 2014 was a huge year for SEO and it will be again in 2015. So what do you need to know as we dive deeper into 2015? Dave Lane of Verve offers a number of trends (17, to be exact) for us to be mindful of as we make our way further into the New Year:
• Increasing need for personalization – the world of searching is evolving to a more personalized experience for each individual user – expect to see altered results for the same query depending on the demographics of the user.
• The Evolution of Search Results – the results pages we used to know and love from the past are becoming just that – the past. Gone are the days when your search results were just a wall of text that you were left to sift through. We continue to trend toward a world where images and statistics and graphics and videos are the first things to greet our eye upon clicking “search.”
• The Rise of Infinite Scrolling – With Facebook as a primary example, infinite scrolling has silently become a standard in browsing online. The challenge becomes figuring out how one can optimize content for a results page that never ends.
• Brand Mentions Continue to Become More Important – A standard for SEO has been to generate content, but Verve mentions in their article that simple mentions to your brand can provide value whether it contains a backlink to your site or not (I’m sure Verve will appreciate the many mentions I’ve given them in this article, for one).
• Sites That Are Not Mobile-Optimized WILL Fail – In fact, this isn’t news. This article from 2010 has targeting this year that mobile will become the undisputed king of the web.
• Negative SEO is Perhaps a Bigger Threat than Ever Before – Negative SEO, as defined by this 2014 article continues to rise in occurrence and marketers should be ever-vigilant of other companies’ spineless attempts to manipulate search data in their favor. I agree with Verve in hoping that Google will find ways to identify when companies are using negative SEO to de-rank competitors’ sites and punish the perpetrators, not the victims.
• Eradicate Website Errors – While more of a precaution than a trend, website errors are horrible for your attempts at SEO. Make sure your webmaster(s) ensures you have no broken links or errors as reported by Google Webmasters.
• HTTPS websites will gain a ranking advantage over regular HTTP sites as announced by Google – The data doesn’t yet reflect a massive jump to HTTPS sites, but keen marketers may well capitalize on this trend in 2015 and it won’t be too long thereafter before the mainstream marketers catch on.
But don’t just take my word for it – take a look at the article for yourself and ask yourself not only how you want to be perceived, but how you will be discovered in 2015.