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Top 10 SEO Predictions For 2015

SEO Predictions For 2015

10 SEO Predictions You Need To Know In 2015

Another year of big changes has passed us by and SEO is still relative traveling into 2015. But what does 2015 have in order for search engine optimization? The SEO platform in 2015 is nothing like it was a few years ago. The landscape has changed and we again find ourselves transitioning to new-age SEO tactics. (My terminology) While some SEO ranking factors have stood the test of time, others have fell off the map. Thanks to trends, case studies and data analysis, it’s possible to forecast SEO moving forward.

After careful consideration, running through loads of data and evaluating multiple case studies, we’re prepared to make our Top 10 SEO predictions for 2015. In this article, we’re going to discuss the trends Google is moving toward and what SEO techniques you should focus on, as well as learning that all these predictions are in relation with one another. We’ll also find that SEO in 2015 is a mixture of tactics, techniques, engagement and marketing.

Social Media Signals Are The New Backlink

How can we not consider social media signals as an important SEO ranking factor going through 2015. How can you discount that 7 of the top 10 SEO ranking factors are related to social media signals. You just can’t. Even if you discard KissMetrics data and analysis by 2-3 of the social ranking factors they included in their report, you still have social media signals at 40-50 percent of the top 10 ranking factors for SEO. We’ve seen in recent years and it’s no secret that social media influence is becoming more of a SEO technique your website can’t go without.

Four social media platforms that count the most toward SEO is Google+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Likes, followers, shares, engagement, all of these are important. We’re not sure what transition Google+ will take, most people thinks that it will die. If so, it won’t be quick, likely not in 2015. You need to make sure you have a platform set up linking back to your website. Make sure you have social sharing buttons on your website. We continue to see social media growth, so don’t be surprised if other social platforms not listed become more relevant in the near future.

Thriving Content Marketing For Search Engine Results

I’m a firm believer that content marketing is going to not only be an influence in SEO, but it will become a mid-level SEO ranking factor in due time. And this SEO prediction is in relation with Google’s march to social media metrics. I’m not referring to press releases, I’m referring to high quality content that you can’t help but share. Press releases are dead for SEO and expect no comeback. Not that it can’t be useful, just not for SEO. But you’ll be able to see increased SEO rankings with SEO and SMM.

Content marketing is going to be huge in 2015, we’re already seeing the growth and shift. Content is far from dead and Google is going to value high quality content that not only stands the test of time, but it also shared via social media. Since Google is focusing on social media more than ever, there’s no question that content marketing is going to play a role in your keyword rankings and search engine visibility.

Websites Have To Be Mobile Friendly

This is another trend that we’ve been seeing grow for years now. The power of mobile! You have to make sure your website is responsive on all devices. We saw the importance of this very fact in 2014. Mobile capabilities are going to be more important in 2015. Google has given everyone plenty of time to adapt. Mobile usability has to be a focus for all webmasters.

We’re already seeing the changes in Google take place. Google Webmaster Tools now has the opportunity to overlook mobile performance. We’ve also noticed mobile icons being shown in Google search results. In Google Analytic, you have the opportunity to track mobile data. Desktop is still important, but mobile will rank equally if not more. All websites that have desktop and mobile scripts need to make sure redirects are set appropriately. In 2014, more people were on mobile compared to watching television, just food for thought.

On-Site SEO More Important Than Ever

One of the main reasons I have always suggested WordPress is for on-site SEO. Not that other content management systems or platforms can’t give you great results, just the fact that WordPress makes SEO easier. With the addition of one SEO plugin from Yoast, you can completely optimize your WordPress website for SEO. On-site SEO has always been important, but will likely be the most valued ever as Google focuses more on users.

There’s a lot of different on-site SEO elements that have to be considered. From the content you create to internal links and site structure, there’s a lot of opportunity for SEO success and failure. SEO always starts on-site and you have to make sure you have everything covered if you want to rank against your competition, especially in the top-tier niches.

All About The User And End Results

Hold on, hasn’t it always been about the end user? Marketing and sales, absolutely. SEO? Not always. But in 2015, user experience is going to be play more of an important role. Google is perfecting the way they show search results. Sure, it has been a slow ride and Google is not close to perfection, but they are getting there. The time a visitor is on your website is important for a number of reasons, and more than ever, it’s going to be important to ranking high in search engines.

Google knows about the websites that buy traffic and links. It may take them awhile to catch you, but no one is completely safe. When a visitor is on your website for a long length of time, it tells Google that the user is finding what it needs, finds the website useful and this is a positive signal for your website. Websites that has high bounce rates and low average site times is not going to rank as high. Google is looking for signals that have less opportunity to be manipulated. This is nothing new, but it’s becoming more important.

Brand Mentions Will Be Highly Valued

Brand mentions are going to also play a vital role in SEO for 2015. We know that Google is putting an emphasis on brand mentions more than ever. And again, this is due to the manipulation of links and what is known as “black hat SEO.” Not only will we see branding playing a role in search engine optimization, we are likely seeing the foundation of new-age link building in the same token.

There’s even been talk that no-follow links are going to gain strength in 2015. This has yet to be seen and confirmed on our end, but the noise has already started. Self-branding and company branding can pay dividends like never before. It’s important to note that major brands will see the most benefit from these changes in the early going, but others are sure to follow in the near future.

Building Your Community And Legacy

Most people can’t begin to realize how much SEO is changing and just how difficult it can be to predict the SEO future. However, Google is always giving us signs and you have to rely on your case studies for support. I get a lot of questions for that very reason, always asking how I know so much. I don’t rely on others, I rely on my SEO case studies and the data/results I’ve seen with my own two eyes. Future SEOs, webmasters, business owners, ALWAYS document your data and record your every move. You’ll soon find what works, what doesn’t and you’ll have a map to follow, although my SEO road map is always changing.

Now, what does he mean about building his community? When you add all of Google’s changes up, I strongly feel that engagement, interaction and relationships are going to pave the way of new-age SEO. Future SEO, new-age is my terminology. There’s no way that you can build your legacy alone. Possible, but unlikely. Considering the direction Google is going, connecting with others is the trend we’re seeing. All of this relates to social media.

Social Distribution Impact

We’ve discussed social media a lot in this article, rightfully so, right? It’s here, social media signals are becoming heavy SEO ranking factors. Not quite there, but that is the trend. This makes social distribution that much more important. The key is always the same, reach as much people as you can. Share it and you’re done. Really? Not so much, engagement and relationships are going to be important. We just can’t share content and hope it’s distributed.

You have to put a focus on becoming a leading your niche, become a thought leader. You have to make an effort to connect with your audience. Show your followers and fans that you truly do care, answer any questions that they may have. I always take the time to answer my email questions. Some of them have resulted in hours of free work. Should I mind? Absolutely not. You never know what one relationship can bring by just showing you care. I’ve experienced it first hand.

The more of an effort you make, the better the end results will be. So make sure in 2015 that you’re building the engagement and conversations on your platforms.

Real-Time Software And Tools

There’s nothing like having software that tracks real-time data. It’s a huge benefit, big market and expensive. Sure, you can use Google Analytic for a few real-time metrics, but there’s better tools.  Plus, the rumor mill is spinning that Google will be removing tools and analytics in the future anyway. We’ll see.

Knowing the real-time metrics of your keywords, traffic, links, it gives you a big advantage over the competition. I expect more awesome tools and software to come out in 2015. And real-time isn’t just for SEO anymore, you can optimize your marketing campaigns in real-time also.

Speed, Clean And Functionality

Remember, most of Google’s recent changes are related. We know the direct that the search engine giant is going. Website speed is a clear ranking factor and many websites followed suit last year with redesigns and second looks at site navigation. Not only do you need a mobile friendly website, you also need to make sure it’s fast.

Clean functional websites are the trend as we move away from over-designed websites. There’s a number of tools out there to check your website speed. If you’re going for a theme, test the speed and loading metrics first. Easy-to-use navigation appears to have good solid results and clean layouts often have great speed. 2015 is more about the user than any other previous year.

The Future Of SEO

I learned early in my SEO career that SEO is a solution, but not the answer. Search engine optimization is only one solution of the equation. It takes a specialist that knows it all to reap the benefits of high search engine rankings. Content marketing, social media marketing, engagement, email marketing, branding, everything is coming together and is required to rank in competitive niches. My top 10 SEO predictions for 2015 are based on this very fact, you have to be versatile in your efforts in 2015.

Don’t be surprised if there’s new terminology to define the hybrid services that business owners will need to rank high in search engines. If your only skills are in SEO, you will likely fail. I was fortunate enough to learn early in my SEO career that it takes much more than SEO to be successful online. High keyword rankings are great, but the bottom line is sales and revenue. You have to be equipped with a full arsenal of skills to survive as a search engine optimization expert in the future.




Richard Hale is the Founder of Hale Associations, a company that provides Web Development, SEO and Marketing services globally.