2014 has been a big year for SEO. Google’s algorithm updates this year focused on privacy, on eradicating link spam, on improving content quality, on local search results and on semantic understanding. Their ongoing mission to ‘organise the world’s information’ has focused on making that information as easy to access and use as possible.
Of course, Google’s mission has always been to make information more accessible. As business owners and leaders, we must be aware of the nuances of their updates, so that we can build our own websites in line with their recommendations. Ultimately, our goal is to draw in high quality, relevant organic search traffic to our websites. Here’s where your SEO budget will be best invested in 2015:
1) Mobile marketing
In 2014, Google gave us their mobile playbook, a clear signal from the search engine that it really wants us to focus our efforts on the mobile experience – be it on a phone or a tablet. They invested in their wearable technologies, added mobile to Google Webmaster Tools and updated their search results to exclude poor quality mobile redirects and favour the better mobile experience.
Whilst mobile may have been considered the playground of the ‘pioneers’ in the past, 2015 will be the year that businesses of all shapes and sizes will need to address the mobile market. This means investing in responsive design, creating mobile friendly content and developing a thorough understanding of the mobile user.
2) Content regains the crown
We’ve all heard the saying content is king and 2014 was the year when content marketing as a buzz word really found an audience. As businesses, we’ve had to become much savvier with our content and the team here at Hallam has been working with our clients to develop strong content strategies.
Businesses in 2015 will need to continue to invest in content, from written blog posts and news articles to informative videos, educational graphics and even audio downloads that appeal to the target audience. But even more so, content marketing will become a much stronger discipline in its own right, and businesses that want to succeed online will need to invest in content generation and campaigns to keep up.
3) Keyword (not required)
The world of SEO was up in arms when Google first implemented its keyword (not provided) policy in 2013, and since then we have seen a move away from traditional keyword tracking. Instead, SEOs like us have been focusing on landing page prominence and on conversions – arguably the only metric that really matters (because, after all, if you’re not achieving your goals, what’s the point?).
With the Hummingbird update and Google’s ongoing focus on semantic search, plus the increasing prevalence of voice search and tools such as Siri and Cortana, businesses will need to adopt a much more conversational approach to search. The focus will be on answering questions that are relevant to our audience, and crafting content which meets the requirements of a broad range of search queries.
Where to invest your budget in 2015
Of course, the question of where your business specifically should be investing is one which cannot be answered in a blog post like this. If we’ve learned nothing else from Google this year, we must learn that SEO is no longer a formula where a few well optimised pages can bring in thousands of visitors a month. Rather, SEO must be a strategy, and one which is engrained across the business. It must feed off the overall strategy of the business itself, off the insights of the sales team, and ambitions of the product team, the requirements of the finance team. It must be crafted in accordance with a thorough audience understanding aligned with business KPIs.
If you’d like to speak to us about your SEO strategy for 2015, we’d love to hear from you. We pride ourselves on developing SEO strategies which are tailored to your business needs. You can also leave your comments and questions in the comments box below.
Wishing you all the very best for 2015.