New Year’s Eve is tomorrow, and the Internet is abuzz with search engine optimization (SEO) chatter. The experts have weighed in across the board from Webmasters and engineers to content marketers and copywriters. The real question is which predictions and trends apply to you. How can your brand stake a strong claim in cyberspace in 2015? How can it levitate above the masses and meet goal? For starters, there are five critical SEO elements you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Mobile Optimization is Real
It’s not just real; it’s really important. If you’ve kept up with the latest in SEO over the past year and a half, then you know there’s been an ever-building push to make content mobile-friendly. The push is about to get really real in 2015.
Mobile Internet search and surf is surpassing the desktop by miles. According to Search Engine Land, if you haven’t seen an increase in mobile visitors yet, it will happen and probably sooner rather than later.
Google is emphasizing the importance of the mobile user experience. If you haven’t noticed already, their searches on mobile devices identify mobile-friendly websites with a unique stamp:
It’s obvious mobile is already important, and it’s about to become even more critical to content marketing strategies integrating with SEO. Google Webmaster Tools released an October 2014 update in which mobile usability reports were added. The search engine giant has been gearing up for increased attention on mobile search for the past year. Many SEO gurus mentioned the importance of adapting website content to mobile-friendly versions at the end of 2013.
If you heeded the advice, chances are you’re on the right path for 2015. If not, it’s time to get started. As we gear up for a new year of productivity, here are two important mobile-friendly tips to apply:
- Know Your Grade: Is your website good enough to make Google’s grade for a mobile-friendly stamp? Find out using their Webmaster Mobile-Friendly Test. It will instantly determine your website’s status. If it fails to make the cut, Google will explain the issues holding up a passing grade.
- Create a Mobile SEO Strategy: If you haven’t already, focus on creating a solid mobile SEO strategy for your online presence. It’s not enough for your content to simply look good on mobile devices. You need a sound optimization strategy including natural incorporation of local search terms.
2. Content is Content
A mere two years ago, content marketing was a cutting edge buzz phrase, but it soon became much more. As Bill Gates originally predicted, content became King. Yet, in many organizations, it has lived under the umbrella heading of SEO. You couldn’t have technical SEO without it, and you couldn’t seem to have it without technical SEO.
As we strike into another year of content creation, expect the content industry to continue to mature. We agree with Search Engine Land; be on the watch for “content marketing—or content SEO, as it could be called—to stand out on its own, separate from the more technical elements of SEO.” There’s never been a better time to find and invest in REAL writing talent.
3. Be Cool and Be Natural
The days of keyword stuffing and exact match are dead and gone. Google (and other search engines) want us thinking less about matches and more about answering questions. We should be focusing on our audience, and we should be providing what they want and need.
Over the past year, voice search has grown increasingly popular. We can expect search to take on a more conversational approach, which means the focus needs to be on content.
We’ve also seen an unprecedented social media boom in 2014. As more and more users leverage the power of social platforms, they will grow increasingly vital to your brand, self-promotion, and self-marketing.
4. Technical SEO Still Matters
Search engine optimization may be relying more heavily on quality content today than ever before, but this doesn’t mean the technical elements are being phased out. Technical SEO strategy is just as crucial to search engine visibility as ever, but it’s not as cut-and-dry as previous years.
As a business, you’re about to have need of a legitimate SEO department complimented by a Content department. Gone are the days of grouping it all under one umbrella, as both require specific skill and precision. While they work together, they are each beasts of their own making and should be treated as such.
5. Be True to You
At the end of the day, the best way to slam-dunk SEO in 2015 and beyond is to be true to you. In other words, do the right things for the right reasons based on your brand, your mission, and your values, and this applies across the board to brands, businesses, and freelancers.
In our final blog of 2014, we’ll discuss exactly how to be true to you whether you’re a small business owner, freelance professional, indie author, or recreational blogger. Stay tuned!
Feature Image Credit: Ronalds Strikans via 123RF Stock Photo