SEO trends 2015

Organic SEO is still a leading strategy for digital marketing in 2015. Many of the SEO techniques we’ve been using for years are still worthy of our marketing dollars — blogging, social media, and inbound marketing — for example. Yet, the way we look at these old methods may be a little different.

  • – Effective blogging requires more than just paraphrasing the news of the day, throwing in a few keywords, and linking to another site; you’ll need to become a proven “thought leader” and answer people’s most pressing questions.
  • – Social media will not just be a dumping grounds for blog posts, but a place where you look for prospects who are talking about your products or services and connect with them in real-time.
  • – Linking will focus on seeking quality, branded citations, rather than just throwing your URL down in the comments section of a blog.

Today, we discuss 8 SEO trends to look out for as you build your marketing plan for 2015.

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1. Mobile takes center stage.

Mobile internet use officially surpassed PC use last year, so it’s not surprising that SEO professionals are focused on building the most user-friendly mobile websites possible. Is your website “mobile-friendly” by Google standards? Find out with this test! Make sure your website is free from any issues that may annoy mobile customers and hurt your ranking:

  • Blocked JavaScript, CSS and image files
  • Unplayable content
  • Faulty redirects
  • Mobile-only 404s
  • App download windows that need to be X’ed out
  • Irrelevant cross-links
  • Slow loading pages

2. Earn links, rather than build them.

Don’t worry about posting links on as many high-ranking, high-traffic websites as possible. It’s much more valuable to spend your time soliciting one link on a quality — but relevant — website. Linking will become more challenging, but you’ll want to dig up websites that contain a solid amount of informative content — not just websites of large, known brands. It will take some relationship-building with other content producers and you’ll have to produce worthwhile content to gain those mentions, too. We still recommend that you continue building your digital empire with content such as new blogs, videos, white papers, press releases and other forms of content. Inbound marketing is always an important factor when building a solid SEO strategy.

Need some quality “link earning” inspiration?

Tip 1: Use to see what your competitors are doing for link building and inbound marketing. Discover their top backlinks, anchor text phrases, and more.

Tip 2: Use to find quality blogs in your industry where you can reach out to blog owners and earn a link.

3. Google will not be the end-all, be-all of SEO.

No doubt, Google ranking will continue to be important in 2015. But Matt Cutts isn’t the only one leaving the Giant of Search. Rumor has it, Apple is considering dropping Google from its Safari browsers on the iPhone and iPad, which could significantly diminish Google’s importance. More SEO pros will be leveraging their rankings in Amazon, Wikipedia, Yelp, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and DuckDuckGo.

4. Place less importance on keyword ranking and more importance on ROI.

So what if you are on page 1 for the term “black jellybeans” if people aren’t clicking to buy your black jellybeans? Adjusting analytics to follow a website visitor’s path to purchase will be essential for any search engine marketers looking to improve the effectiveness of their digital marketing dollars this year. Keep in mind that search is not only getting more “long-tail,” but also more conversational. For instance, people are more likely to find content by asking Siri a question, so add a few relevant questions to your keyword list. A study from 2012 found that 16-20% of searches are totally unique, which means people are getting more specific in their search engine queries to find more precise information.

5. Aim for better social engagement.

Instead of worrying about finding all the latest and greatest avenues for social media engagement, set your sights on two or three different sites and use software to see what people are talking about and connect with them in real time. (We like Sprout Social and Hootsuite!) Customers expect you to hear them when they mention your brand directly or post questions on your social pages. People hit social media sites not just looking for their friends’ opinions, but for solutions to their problems offered by brands they follow, too.

6. SEO will include video.

As we’ve discussed in the past, 2014 was a huge year for video. With YouTube brand engagement surpassing that of Facebook, and 44% of customers saying that videos encouraged them to buy, now is the time to set your sights on video marketing if you haven’t already. You’ll need to optimize your YouTube channel, include actionable links in your videos, and produce videos that sell.

7. Go back and refine your website structure.

Instead of obsessing over new blog and web page content, many marketers will be going back and improving snags in their websites’ structure. Shorten URLs into punchy titles. Clean out broken links and 404 errors. Remove an overabundance of outbound links and keywords per post. Simplify your web design and re-write your webpage content to better meet visitor expectations.

8. Don’t overlook quality.

As Moz founder Rand Fishkin said, the huge investment in content marketing is exciting, but “the pendulum has swung too far to quantity over quality.” Rather than focusing on cranking out a new blog every day, marketers should think “slow and steady wins the race.” They should look for the right content at the right time and consider how to attract the type of customer that buys their products. All this takes time, of course, and may be more difficult to measure, but it can all be done.

content in 2015 infographic

– Image from:

Bonus Hint: Hiring an SEO consultant to conduct market research and assist in refining your strategy is a big help, too!