SEO has changed dramatically, and in 2014, the Panda updates alone created content chaos for many website owners. In 2015, many SEO specialists are concerned about the changes ahead, but there really is no need for concern for those who learn to create a sustainable SEO plan.
The SEO days of stuffing keywords into content are over, there is no doubt about that. In 2014, the Pigeon update improved local search results, the HTTPS/SSL update offered more credibility to sites, and the Panda updates improved the content found on pages everywhere. So, what should you expect for 2015, and how do you create a sustainable SEO campaign to survive the changes?
Google can detect well-written content, and can detect poor quality content, or unoriginal text. If you want to see success in 2015, you need to work on creating high-quality content for your website. Google rewards sites that offer consistent top-notch content, and with those rewards comes more traffic, more business, and more revenue. So, strive for quality over quantity.
Keywords are still a factor in content, but with the Hummingbird update in 2013, the way they are used, viewed, and searched has changed dramatically. A more conversational style search is performed when people use the search engines, so conversational style keywords need to be used in order to obtain the best ranking.
If someone was looking for a way to build a hummingbird feeder, in the past, they may have entered “build hummingbird feeder” into the search engine. But, today, we have moved past the caveman way of searching, and have begun to ask a question instead of utter certain keywords to find the true answer. Now, you would more likely see “how do I build a hummingbird feeder?” entered into the query box.
The last five years have brought about a dramatic change in how links are shared across the Internet, and between sites. Google has devoted a great deal of time preventing people from using links to manipulate its algorithms in order to obtain higher SERPs. Links are still an extremely important element to SEO campaigns, but in 2015, the only way to benefit from links is to obtain them organically. If you are unsure how to obtain organic links, the answer is simple, write engaging, high-quality content that is shared with people who are interested, and they will want to link to your site.
It is extremely important to keep an eye on links in 2015, avoiding any negative links that could potentially harm your ranking, or penalize your site. Monitoring tools are a huge part of ensuring only quality links are connected to your site and give you an easy way to remove any negative or potentially harmful ones.
Google + is becoming a serious player in the social media platform, as well as with the giant search engine results. If you have not created a Google + page yet, it is the time! In 2015, you can expect to get much more attention from Google + than ever before, so start encouraging people to give your page a +1, and to join your circle. The larger your circle, the more likely your business is to be found when someone performs a search.
Title tags have been a factor in SEO for over a decade, and in 2015, they are still a very relevant part of any campaign. Writing a good title tag should read more like a newspaper headline than a bunch of keywords, so keep it descriptive, but of course, still with keywords included. There are many different opinions on the ideal length of the title tag, but most agree that 110 characters should be the minimum. There is no need to repeat keywords within the tag; that only wastes that precious small space.
A large player for SEO in 2015 is brand mentions. Get people talking about your brand, and mentioning it on their website, or any website for that matter. Google experimented with the theory of ranking with the mentioned factor involved several years ago, as things have evolved in the last year, it is safe to say it may be a large factor in 2015. So, start mentioning influential people on your page, in your blogs, and on your social media pages, and encourage them to do the same for you. The higher quality of your content, the more beneficial your shared information, and the better your reputation increases the chances that you will be mentioned throughout a variety of platforms.
SEO-friendly URLs may not be the batter in the SEO cake mix, but they can be the frosting. Having an SEO-friendly URL is easy when using a management system, such as WordPress. If your page contains indoor dog houses, then it should read www.yourbrand.com/indoor-dog-houses. As I said, this is not a huge part of your SEO campaign, and it is not a large signal for the search engines, but it creates a better-organized site, gives users a clear picture of what the site is about, and increases SERPs slightly.
Google has deflected the notion that they factored in sites that people most frequently visited, such as Yelp, Wikipedia, Amazon, and many others, but the evidence is proving these are factors now and could be large ones in 2015. So, get your website noticed, mentioned, and linked to the major players. Just make sure you use organic strategies to obtain your recognition, the days of buying, selling, and trading links for rankings are long gone…and if you try to bring it back, you will be long gone as well.
Google has spent millions of dollars to create faster load times for search results. If they have taken load times so seriously, shouldn’t you? Those millions of dollars were spent to increase the load time for users by only a hundredth of a second, so reducing your load time by several seconds could have a huge impact on your site's popularity with both the search engines and users.
Social media platforms have all but taken over, and when it comes to SEO, they are a huge part of the strategy for any campaign. Search engine algorithms are already including social media signals to factor in rankings, and in 2015, those calculations are planned to skyrocket.
Mobile optimization is nothing new, but with the upcoming year, it is becoming more important to SEO. In order to compete, you must have a mobile marketing plan in place and have your website optimized for mobile use. With so many people using smartphones and tablets for their Internet search, it is imperative that you have a plan ready to compete for their business.
There are 100s of factors for ranking high in the SERPs, but only a choice few really matter in 2015. In order to create a dominant business online, you need to master the most important factors. You can focus on the other signals as well, but not until you master the ones that are on this list.
Your on-page and off-page SEO is extremely important, so you should always know where you stand. You can use a variety of cool tools online to check your website's SEO, including www.seositecheckup.com.
Make a New Year’s resolution to focus on the top 10 signals for ranking, and start now! If you wait until 2015, you are going to be behind several of your competitors who have been practicing and mastering these SEO factors all year.