The 4Ps team have been thinking about their 8 top tips for SEO in 2015, and how brands can think about their search strategy to help increase their visibility online:
8 Top Tips for SEO in 2015
A greater focus on multimedia content – onsite video engagement, creative image content and optimisation – potentially even the relevance and quality of images and videos as machine image reading and recognition continues to progress. Will sites that use stock photography not do as well as sites that use their own unique images for a better user experience (UX)?
Visual content is going to be even more important, mainly videos and creative images, but also eBooks and white papers.
Certainly with more international growth it isn’t a Google-only town any more, as SEMs have to consider visibility factors across a wider range of search engines (Baidu, Yandex, Bing, etc). As an industry, we should also be paying attention to alternative search platforms and apps that are capturing users – Amazon and eBay for shopping, for example, or Trip Advisor or Booking.com for travel. Brands should be thinking more than ever about where they need to be seen because their users are looking there, rather than the primitive search engine-only mind-set of “how can I get to the top of Google.”
3. The Future of the Search Landscape
2015 might also be the year we see a bit of a search landscape shakeup – with Yahoo’s market share already starting to ramp up thanks to the default search Firefox deal, and Google’s default Safari search provider deal with Apple expiring too, we may finally reach a stage where marketers can’t ignore other search providers.
4. Death of Keywords
The Hummingbird Algorithm will come more into effect with semantic search and the death of keywords. Search will no longer be primarily keyword based. Technology like Cortana and Google Now is already changing how we find things. A proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to content planning will be needed for this. Ultimately, this will lead to far more integration between the marketing channels, especially to offline consumer intelligence and behaviour analysis. We expect to see topical search development pushing more and more towards conversational and query answering, even further divorcing from keywords. We wouldn’t be surprised if beasts like Panda start to implement additional, more subtle, over-optimisation penalties to combat keyword-chasing as Google tries to encourage sites away from this angle.
5. User Experience
User experience needs to be a higher priority for brands. Taking technology and using it to create a better and more joined up user experience as they go along their purchase journey, ensures that they are not lost, confused or irritated by the process. Putting customers back into the heart of strategies for brands means that they need to think about delivering a killer UX (particularly on sites that are technically decent).
It is important to ensure the tracking of the buyer’s journey, ensuring it is hyper-targeted, personalised and part of a fully integrated marketing campaign.
Mobile will be ever prominent and is fast continuing its growth in the device space. We think search engines will be paying more attention to this area, and will potentially start penalising those websites that aren’t optimised for mobile users.
7. Data Insight
Data insight is an obvious and continuous development – but always worth mentioning – with an increasing number of clients implementing tools like Google Tag Manager, the importance of turning information and data into insight increases. Clients will surely value more insight across data from Content, SEO and PPC as this trend continues. I am wondering what kind of tech, accessible to “beginners” can help us get ahead.
Technology is changing business models. Search is the sharp end of that – because it is enabling the change of consumer habits. Adapting to real-time changes in the consumer market, and therefore the search market, is a really effective way to test and learn.
Wearable tech will come to the forefront of consumer activity, meaning that brands will need to adapt their search strategies to be ahead of the game and reach them in the most effective way.
Some of the 4Ps team’s top tips were featured in Econsultancy’s roundup of 2014, with predicted trends for SEO in 2015 here:
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