In spite of what people may tell you about SEO in 2015, search engine optimization isn’t on its way out. It is instead, radically changing. There is the constant push from search engines to supply web users with greater value and this has led to increased pressure for website owners and bloggers to create content of the highest quality and to move away from targeted keywords and other outdated SEO methods. SEO trends in 2015 are focused on using natural methods for finding, connecting with and interacting with targeted consumers. To survive in virtual space in the coming months, company owners will have to stop focusing on search engine robots and learn how to intuit the needs of their markets and meet them.
Content Marketing and Guest Blogging
While content creation and publishing will become more important than ever in the coming months, distribution must be strategic. This is the time for companies to begin building stronger relationships with reputable, branded publications and to become far more discerning of how and where they place their work. Quality content can be severely undermined by low-value publications and thus, where articles and other marketing items are posted will be just as important as what these contain. Among the content marketing trends that will dominate 2015 are the widespread use of content distribution services that supply and adhere to detailed content distribution models. Real value will come from proper distribution. Best of all content marketing by blogging will get far more credit as a viable marketing medium than it has in the recent past.
Social Media Advertising
One major avenue for content marketing is social media. Another popular SEO trend in 2015 will be the increased use of social media for amplifying content along with a rise in paid social media advertising. Ads that appear in social media platforms can be used to gate the content that is being marketed. Moreover, ads will become integrated with content rather than being forthright, blunt messages that do not merit more than a glance.
In the past, content creators were careful to fill their works with express links. These are links that include a full URL that the reader can use to travel to another site. Implied links, however, are simply mentions of a company or brand, without actually supplying the URL. The use of implied links makes a better impression on Google and it is one of those trends that will continue to grow in 2015 as sites continue to receive penalties for bad linking strategies. Implied links require less clean-up as well, given that there is a far lesser likelihood of creating a number of bad or outdated links when using implied links rather than actual URLs.
Building Better Relationships
One of the best SEO trends for businesses in 2015 is a move towards fostering better relationships. This will be done through the creation of personable brands that consumers feel comfortable interacting with on a regular basis. SEO will become a secondary goal to relationship building as this will foster rapid conversions, increased sales, good word of mouth advertising and far more exposure via social media. In this way, as SEO changes, it will begin to take a backseat to other concerted efforts to connect with consumers outside of search results pages.
A Rise In Negative SEO
Unethical entities who do not feel like doing the work themselves will be engaging in negative SEO throughout 2015. They’ll be using numerous links that are pointed at the websites of their competition, in order to get these companies to lose their coveted page ranks. This will be a significant threat to companies but not one that cannot be countered with a strong SEO and reputation management team and webmasters who can disavow these links.
Reputation management will be more important than ever before in 2015. While companies have long been encouraged to take a proactive approach to managing their reputations on social media, the nature of their posts and the frequency of these will dramatically change in the near future. The best and most prevalent companies on these platforms will be almost constantly engaged in dialogue with their customers throughout the day. This ongoing banter is one of the greatest trends in 2015 as there is an increased focus on capitalizing on the near-constant connectivity of the average web-user.
Micro-blogging sites will be increasingly used to announce limited-time promotional offers, new content and to incite buyer urgency. Companies can make themselves more personable by sharing opinions on local news and world events and they can engage in charitable giving and the support of important causes. Taking the wrong stance on a hot topic or making the wrong comments, however, can have an instant and exceedingly negative impact on the image of a business.
Understanding this, good SEO and social media marketing in 2015 will be heavily reliant upon having the top talent, whether in-house or through outsourcing and more importantly, on having reputation management services built into any professional SEO services that are being supplied. Professional reputation management will no longer be optional in 2015 and thus, this will be claiming an increased share of the typical online marketing budget. Companies that have gotten themselves into trouble with their social media posts in the past have not had a solid framework for responding to problems in in place. In the coming year, these accounts and campaigns should be managed by professionals, rather than a slew of different employees at varying levels of the company. Accountability is everything and thus, companies must be prepared to be fully accountable for each and every post and the reactions that these engender throughout the coming months. Thus, in addition to a proactive stance on reputation management, commercial entities must be geared for implementing reactive responses to backlash concerning their ongoing campaigns, that keep public opinions about their businesses positive.