There's no other way to stay relevant in the dynamic SEO industry than by keeping a close eye on the trends and practices expanding in the field. If you decide to ignore them and go on about SEO as you've done always, you might find yourself battling poor rankings or even receiving penalties. Developing a solid SEO strategy which follows the most recent tendencies in the field is a must – here are 7 emerging trends in SEO for 2015.
1. Optimize for mobile
If you haven't seriously considered mobile optimization yet, this is your last chance. Google recently announced that a lack of mobile optimization will become a factor to hinder web rankings, so make sure to invest in a mobile-responsive website with excellent performance.
This is also the moment to think about other aspects of mobile SEO. You should consider the load time of your website first – a recent study found out that 69% of mobile responsive website designs didn't pass their speed test. (https://marketingland.com/study-load-time-69-mobile-sites-deemed-unacceptable-81126) The speed indicates the performance of your SEO, so treat load optimization as a priority in mobile.
Choosing content for your responsive website is another important aspect – especially to Google, which values fast responses. You should never disrupt it by adding entry barriers to your website like pop-ups or overlays.
Finally, have a close look at your website to check whether there are any pages with unsupported mobile content. The longer you make users (and Google) wade through the page for an answer, the lower will be your rankings.
2. Focus on return-to-investment measures
Precise knowledge about your SEO investments is something you'd probably like to have. Like how much did you make on every dollar you've invested in ranking 'blue jeans'. Whether you're measuring the performance of your own website or reporting to a client, this kind of knowledge is definitely more valuable than the fact that you rank 7th on Google for 'blue jeans'.
Tracking users over a long period of time, you'll be able to learn what query they used to arrive at your website, when they completed the goal leading to revenue and how was their behavior (understood as total lifetime value). This kind of multi-touch attribution is an advanced strategy for SEO pros. Build a tracking tool yourself or use a ready-made one like KISSMetrics.
3. Get your fix about negative SEO monitoring
Getting a Google penalty or falling victim to negative SEO without realizing it is the worst that can happen to you. If you're taking care of a business, this might lead to serious losses. That's why you need to carefully monitor your activity and address any problem as soon as possible. Monitoring negative SEO is something every professional should know how to do in 2015.
4. Concentrate on precise buyer keywords
Yes, long-tail keywords are all the rage right now, but don't forget that Google's update of the Hummingbird algorithm is something to reckon with. Google can now get a contextual understanding of broad content, as well as long-tail keywords. In essence, Google will want to know if a page satisfies both criteria – if you focus exclusively on mid-long or long-tail phrases, you might miss out on broad keywords. Just make sure to use both.
5. Expressed and implied links – learn to differentiate them
Knowing the difference between expressed and implied links is well-worth the trouble. Quoting from a 2012 patent filed by Google, the main distinction between the two is as follows: implied links only mention the source, but never provide an actual link to it – expressed linked provide a link to the mentioned resource. Experts claim that brand signals will grow in importance, and so will implied links. Just something to consider in 2015.
6. Combine content marketing with technical SEO
It goes without saying that your website needs technical SEO. Even though SEO is essential for building your rank in search engines, content marketing offers plenty of valuable opportunities for link building.
When developing your content marketing strategy, SEO is something you should definitely take into account. Create content which is shareable, based on keyword data and of high quality. You should look for cross-linking opportunities and benefit from guest posting ones on industry blogs.
7. Build links with PR
Yes, the traditional art of public relations can take your SEO strategy to the next level in 2015. PR is based on building relationships and SEO on building links – but how can those two productively intersect? Instead of competing with hundred of others business owners sending requests to popular bloggers, you might want to reach out first and build a relationship. Instead of just asking favors from bloggers, you'll gain powerful brand evangelists who will help you in link building.
Take these points to heart and include them in your SEO strategy for 2015. That's how you'll stay relevant in the industry and avoid making mistakes coming from lack of knowledge about current SEO trends.