In the midst of 2015 forecasts and trends for search engine optimization, there’s one question most experts are afraid to ask: will there be a future with NO SEO? It sounds crazy; but the digital marketing landscape is changing fast. Whether or not it will still have a place for SEO remains to be seen.
By now you’re probably already familiar with news regarding growth in mobile, responsive web design, the death of keywords, as well as other predictions for 2015. How will all these affect SEO? If search engine optimization survives, we all know it will never be the same again. So in which direction are all these changes leading us?
Richer Words, Deeper Context
Although images and videos will play an important role in 2015 searches, words will remain the backbone of the Web. Unlike the previously mentioned content, words can be elaborated. It shall – and always will – carry the weight or substance of any story, article, post, and information. While there’s an argument over thin vs. rich content, the bottom line is VALUE. If your words are filled with meaning, spark curiosity, inspire interest, and generate engagement, then search engines like Google will know it’s for keeps.
Next question here is: how do we make words ‘richer in meaning’? We use the tools already available to us: which is Google and the users’ own search terms. A future of ‘instinctive algorithms’ is not far behind. Already, Google’s developers are on the verge of perfecting a system that can automatically create sensible descriptions for images. So write words for people, NOT search engines.
Use synonyms, do away with jargon, and utilize Google’s own related searches to identify words that will bring more value into your copy.
Relationships Will Matter Most
In the past, SEO was viewed as the technical aspect of digital marketing. Not anymore. 2015 will give SEO a whole new face: one that is friendly, approachable, and honest. If SEO agencies before relied on backlinks to get them the rankings they need, they would have to craft new techniques for the year ahead if they want to survive. Because aside from algorithm updates, user engagement will be a huge ranking factor to achieve online success.
Although Google has continuously denied counting social signals into ranking websites, plenty of case studies have shown otherwise. And this trend isn’t about to die out soon. In fact, 2015 is the year when various social platforms (such as Youtube and Pinterest) may gain more following. Aside from entertainment purposes, businesses will see them as profitable sources.
Time and again, we have seen the power of loyalty regarding enterprises. The best example of brand loyalty which led to increased income is Apple Inc. Through brand mentions, reviews, social media engagement, and customer support; they have steadily remained as a powerful brand – on and offline.
Becoming a Jack of All Trades
Remember the time when SEO specialists where also well-versed with coding, content, and email marketing? It seems that those days are coming back. Although it’s best to have an expert in a particular field (like a content strategist handling ALL forms of content); it won’t hurt if this individual also did his homework regarding reaching out on social media, how content affects web design, and so on.
2015 will be the year where marketing trends will gather and form one big picture. So expect links, social media, and content to all be closely tied with another. For instance: You could create a profile on About.me, post a link of your business blog, link both, then promote them on your Facebook account. This strategy eventually goes back to point #2, which is building relationships. All this effort would be useless if there’s no one to engage with you.
So build your online credibility with content, while creating lasting partnerships online.
What Do All These Tell Us About 2015 SEO?
One thing IS certain: the technical aspects of SEO are slowly disappearing to make way for newer, lasting methods. When before, you could simply build links without caring; now, that practice will land you a Google penalty. The SEO industry will not disappear, but it’s purpose is changing. More than numbers, data, and ranking, digital marketing will now be pulled into a future where connections are felt.
The online world is gearing towards a more human change. If SEO wants to stay, it needs to have a human face. This means strategies that are genuine, have long-term real effects, and constant communication between people involved. It shouldn’t feel forced, cold, or distant. In 2015, the basics of SEO as we know it will die – only to be reborn into an online process that connects AND benefits us all.