December is for agencies and marketing professionals anything but a quiet time. Besides the usual daily business, a summary of the activities of the closing year needs to be drafted: what worked? What did not work? Which measures brought the best return on advertising? The answers to such questions – or similar ones – do not only end up in the yearly report, but they also influence the planning for 2015. In this context, search engine optimisation should play an important role in the online marketing planning of most companies. In the end, SEO is the most efficient measure among other online marketing instruments.
What are then the most important SEO trends for 2015? On which developments should be kept an eye in order to be part of the search engine elite?
SEO becomes stronger in business processes
Who carries out search engine optimisation seriously and in the long-term has known this for a while: search engine optimisation is a task in which not only IT specialists are involved. SEO needs diverse fields of competences of a company; marketing and PR, sales, technology, business development, management – all of them need to get together in order to make search engine optimisation work in the long-term. Since Google gives increasingly more importance to high quality in content and a clean technological conversion, this tendency of “integrated SEO” will be strengthened further.
“Real” links become more and more valuable.
The times of purchased and/or not relevant links on websites for the purpose of search engine optimisation are gone. Not only links that did not arise naturally are useless, but they are also dangerous. Google penalises fast and toughly those pages that do not follow the rules of the search engine. Painful losses in the search engine ranking are the consequence.
Internet is mobile and will become much stronger. In 2015, the Internet traffic will for the first time be mainly created by smartphones and tablets and no longer through laptops or desktop computers. It follows that also the kind of search queries will change: the share of local search will grow further and the search by voice-input follows other logics than the input via computer keyboard.
Conquer fast and secure websites
In 2015, Google will grant much more importance to fast pages than it does today. A slim, quick page means higher user satisfaction and less use of Google resources.
Google wants to improve further its ability to interpret and bring together the content of pages and search queries. The better the Google semantic gets, the less relevant will become the use of the right keywords.
“Longtail” – Search becomes more and more important
Always more companies understand the meaning of SEO. This also means that it will be more difficult to fill generic keywords and search phrases with maximum two words. Search phrases with three, four and more words become more important and deliver valuable traffic, thus also leads to a better conversion.
The meaning of “social signals” grows further
The further diffusion of contents on social media is already now an important factor to land at the top in the Google search. Good, high quality contents are the pre-requisite to achieve social web relevance. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are important today – the shooting stars Instagram and Pinterest will catch up significantly in 2015.
Careful with online advertising
The pressure of monetisation requires many pages to make more space for advertising available. This tendency, however, is harmful for a good position in the results of search engines. Advertising surfaces, placed directly in the gaze field of visitors, increases the bounce rate and reduces the average dwell time of users. A further disadvantage of many advertising banners: the loading time of the webpage increases – which is also a negative ranking criterium. In addition, Google, through its own algorithm, misses the webpages containing advertising activities, thus those pages lose automatically on their ranking position.
The topic tracking and evaluation of data becomes increasingly important. All online marketing channels are integrated into tools and evaluated, and provide the basis for strategic decisions. In SEO, the ranking of keywords has been the sole indicator for a long time. In 2015, data from the organic index of the search engine will need to be integrated into the bigger picture of data gathered.