It’s not just the holidays that are approaching. It’s also the time of year when budgets are reviewed and redefined, and when marketers and SEO specialists must reevaluate their process to ensure they’re employing the latest tools and tactics.
The thing is, unlike some other aspects of a business that require some type of annual evaluation, the world of search engine optimization is constantly changing.
What works, what’s bad practice, what Google’s going to change next…all of it’s in a perpetual state of motion. That’s why the process requires more than just an annual check up, but this is the time to do a thorough, in-depth analysis.
Think about it like a big winter house cleaning, when you pull out the deep cleaners and actually move some furniture, as opposed to a weekly dusting.
The long tail could turn SEO into a whole new animal.
One trend that’s already begun but is sure to continue its rise in value in 2015 is long-tail search. Considering the popularity of mobile devices and voice search capabilities, long-tail keyword phrases may be the next big thing in SEO.
SEO specialists know that search engines are becoming more and more capable of understanding these kinds of long-form search queries. It falls in line with their overall goal of making search as conversational and convenient as possible.
The other great thing about it is, they’re easier to rank for than the more general, one to two-word phrases. The reason for this is because of their specificity, but that’s also why these types of phrases often convert at high rates.
People are being specific when they know what they want. To put it simply, they’re very close to the point of purchase. That’s why leveraging the influence and power that long-tail search queries present will be more important than ever in the coming year.
Mobility is more of a must than ever.
As the use of mobile devices continues to increase, the ability to adapt to this new environment will increase in value as well. People want things on the go and at any given moment, and their expectations and intentions shift a bit when using mobile devices.
Your website must be able to accommodate these mobile users and ensure their experience goes just as smoothly as any other. Very soon, that kind of adaptability could be the defining tool to gain a competitive advantage for SEO specialists.
For more detailed information about how you can adjust and adapt to the new mobile environment, check out our previous blog, Some Cheap SEO Services to Help You Mobilize to Optimize.
On that note, 2015 will see an increased importance in thinking about multiple devices in general. Keyword value and much of the old school of thought among SEO specialists will change.
The goal will be to be consistently visible across multiple platforms, devices, and applications, and to have some sort of engaging presence on each one. That may mean customizing each experience accordingly.
The tone: Conversational and prophetic.
Google’s Knowledge Graph, which debuted in 2012, may have marked the search engine’s transformation into more of a knowledge engine than a search or information engine.
It’s that display area alongside the regular results that contains popular facts about people, places, and things related to the search in some way.
That’s the thing that made this shift so significant. The knowledge graph shows that Google can recognize a query as a unique entity rather than simply a string of keywords. It’s their attempt to answer questions on the topic that you haven’t yet thought to ask.
What it means for you or your SEO specialists in 2015 is that you should continue to strive to be an expert, a go-to source in your industry. That means consistently providing relevant content and placing structured data markup on your webpages, among other things.
This gives you a fighting chance, depending on your industry and other variables, of finding your way into that display area of the results.
It’s also further proof that Google is moving away from keywords to the idea of entities and their relationships. They’re trying to take more of the workload by becoming better at understanding the actual implications of searches. So, again, a conversational tone is key.
Personalization is no longer just a plus.
Personalization will continue to be a huge factor in 2015. People want to feel like you’re talking directly to them, helping them specifically. Who doesn’t want that kind of attention?
So, there are a few things you or your SEO specialists can do to customize the experience for visitors in some way.
First off, you can focus on location within keywords and content. Don’t be vague, be specific regarding your geographical area. That way, you reach the right people while also connecting with them in a somewhat unique fashion.
You should also make sure to have a variety of content on your site. A target audience is a target audience, not an army of identical robots with the same exact personalities.
You need to think about all kinds of potential visitors, and create content that caters to their individual interests and values. These are just a few tips, but there’s a lot more you can do to further customize the user experience.
Keep an eye on the end game at all times.
As usual, content is still king. At this point, it doesn’t even seem worth mentioning, but we will just in case you or your SEO specialists just emerged from a slumber under a rock for the past few years.
Google and the entire search process is still moving closer and closer towards becoming completely conversational and convenient. They want to connect users with the most appropriate, useful, and effective information pertaining to their search.
That’s why, while all the 2015 trends we mentioned above are important, in terms of tools and tactics and what you need to be thinking about, you still need to keep that ultimate goal in mind. You just need to keep up with the tweaks along the way.
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