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It’s that time of the year again. Lots of wrap-up articles are buzzing online with digital marketing trends and predictions, even the things that will change in the coming years.
We’ve seen many developments in online marketing as years went by. We’ve seen how many shifted from link building to content marketing. Many have maximized their capacity to reach audience through social media and a lot of companies even turned their Facebook pages down after realizing it wasn’t effective for them.
With all these improvements, I couldn’t help but be concerned with how uncertain SEO will develop in the near future. As a marketing specialist working in an SEO company I’m starting to worry if our plans will still work in the months to come – whether we need to refrain doing some of our strategies or we just have to sit still and work on what we have now.
Then I thought, maybe this is also a concern of the many.
So, to guide me, and all of you who are wondering how SEO will stand in this coming year, I asked some of the industry’s experts and some teammates of mine about their SEO predictions for 2015.
SEO to be more personalized
In 2015, I see SEO becoming a much more personalized. In which search engines will start showing results based more on what you and your friends are interested in. They will also use more geotargeting to make the results more relevant.
They are currently doing some of this, but I see them using those two tactics to a much greater extent as it makes results more relevant. This also makes SEO harder to game.
User experience as the next big thing
Looking forward to 2015, I think one of the big focus shifts for marketers will be user experience. This is becoming more and more of an important factor towards search rankings. By this, I don’t just mean that your website is attractive, I’m talking about the experience that a user has when they come through from the search engines matching their expectation based on the query they searched for.
It’s been rumoured that Google will be rewarding websites that offer a good mobile experience to users. I think that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Google have a lot more information on websites and user behaviour within them that we realise, so it’s about time that we started to pay attention to them.
So, if I were to recommend one area of focus (outside of the usual suspects like link building, etc.) then user experience would be it.
–Matthew Barby, digital and content strategist at Wyatt International
Greater emphasis on optimizing content
As more of us begin to understand the value and ramifications of content plus SEO, I can see a greater emphasis on optimizing content, not just going forward but also looking backward. Digging into the archives on one’s website to give evergreen content the best chance to shine is one strategy I’m particularly keen to keep an eye on in 2015!
-Kevan Lee, content crafter at Buffer
Search will become more semantic
I think we will see the big trend of 2014 continue, which is that search will become more semantic, and search engines will continue to be focused on indicators of a user’s experience for how they rank sites. So page load speeds and mobile responsiveness will be just as important as the text content on a site, because if a user isn’t willing to wait, or read text on a non-mobile friendly site, then it won’t matter what the content is. Beyond that, finding better ways to adapt content to individual users – again, back to the experience – will be key.
-Jerod Morris, Copyblogger’s VP of marketing
Companies will take time to learn SEO rather than outsourcing it
It’s always so difficult to speculate what changes Google will make, or what trends will emerge to render certain methods less effective. So my general feeling is that in 2015, we’ll see more business owners make a conscious effort to learn more about SEO for themselves, and try to take matters into their own hands rather than allow their visibility to be controlled by circumstances outside their control.
With the continued rise of content marketing and free education, there’s now an abundance of amazing resources online from which anyone can learn the basics of SEO, link building, CRO, and so on. This provides an incredible opportunity for startups and business owners to learn how they can compete online, improve their visibility, and earn that top spot on Google. And of course, if they have trouble, they can always call an expert for help.
-Nicole Kohler, web content strategist of WebpageFX
Optimizing websites for mobile search is a must activity
SEO will still play a huge role in marketing many businesses’ products/services especially those brands that are still building their authority and influence online. With an ethical and strategic approach in search marketing, a company can easily grow its community (brand evangelists and customers) who might potentially help the brand to earn trust from its audience and grow its sales/leads over time.
Mobile search should be given importance by all existing online brands since people today are becoming friendlier with mobile devices and for other reason that this type of gadgets are becoming more accessible to people, which consistently increases mobile searches for tons of keywords every month.
Optimizing websites for mobile search is a must activity in 2015 and for the succeeding years.
-Venchito Tampon, founder of Digital Philippines
Small niche sites will reign
Google’s crusade against low-quality inbound links will take major hits by year’s end when a deafening rallying cry bursts through other rhetoric. Threatened by a perception that its systems widely exclude some of the world’s most relevant information, Google will release a new mechanism that will supplement its insufficient Disavow Tool. Publishers who can’t stop unsolicited inbound links and negative SEO will rejoice.
I’m certain the biggest winners in 2015 will be small niche sites that build and honor their brands with frequent content updates, including blogs teeming with fresh insights. They’ll speak the language of searchers’ question-oriented, long-tail queries that will keep gaining traction in this post-Hummingbird era.
-Mike Murray, president of Online Marketing Coach
More Negative SEO Tactics
We’ve seen very interesting things happen in the world of search this year including the pirate update and the “right to be forgotten” incident in Europe. Needless to say that Google is also being frowned upon and antagonized in that part of the world.
Perhaps since it’s so difficult to do SEO the right way today – even if you’re a white-hat SEO guy, I think we’ll see more new negative SEO tactics next year. It makes sense now that people are going to try negative SEO because doing ‘just SEO’ can sometimes seem like you’re hitting your head against a wall. Especially in tightly competitive markets like real estate, erectile dysfunction drugs, payday loans, and so on and so forth.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging negative SEO. In fact, I strongly discourage it as it would create a downward spiral in our industry. However it just seems that it’s slowly creeping in to be a more sensible approach to ranking.
Content will still be King
As SEO is now widely known not just in SEO circles but also in different type of businesses, numerous business owners are now switching their online marketing strategies to SEO Services. In 2015, the competition in SEO will get tougher, and Google will definitely not allow this kind of inorganic search, so expect a much stringent Google.
As for SEO Strategies, content will still be the king of SEO. The major search engines are focusing on creating the best possible user experience, which means sites that offer relevant information stand to gain the most visibility. Having an original quality content creation is essential to SEO success in the current search climate.
–Robin Salvador, link building specialist at SEO Hacker
Over to you!
Remember, all these are just predictions. We can’t tell who’s right or wrong, but just like the predictions and trends we’ve heard from the past years, you can always take these as guide in your SEO walk.
Do you have any SEO predictions that you’d like to share? Comment them below!