It’s that time of the year again – budgets are being set and decisions implemented that will set the stage for business wins and losses in 2015. As if accounting, planning and administration is not enough, brand marketers are also expected to maintain the latest tactics and strategies that will lead to incremental success in organic search where change remains constant. Although, CMO’s have the ability to implement tactics and strategies to adapt to new changes in search engine results by giving focus to macro trends in the industry rather than micro changes in the algorithms.

Image credit: www.reliablesoft.net

Image credit: www.reliablesoft.net

Search Engine Optimization is a dynamic process with many effective tricks and tips that can propel your site or brand to No.1 in one year. It is Google’s and other search engines’ mission to provide the most user-friendly and accurate search experience as possible. For Google, this means the search algorithms that they generate are always in flux and because of this, companies and businesses should be well aware of the trends. SEO may be a long term investment and can be considered a difficult proposition, but don’t forget that SEO can help your business find the right path to a strong online presence. If you’re a startup business, SEO can help you expand your reach. If you’re an already established business with an ongoing SEO campaign, these tips can help you make positive changes in order for your campaign to be more successful.

4 SEO Goals For Your 2015 Campaign

1. Know Where You’re Heading

The first thing you need when you’re setting goals, SEO or otherwise, is to know where you want to go. What top priority goal would you like to accomplish with your inbound marketing? Would you like to have more traffic? More conversions? Wider social media communities or more local responses? Knowing where to put your SEO efforts will help you prioritize your tasks, know which task to choose and the required metrics to gauge how you are doing with your chosen strategies.

2. Stick To The Basics

For your content to be saved by any Google critter, stick to the basics: good content, local optimization and relevant search terms. But you also need to create something your audience, readers or followers find appealing and useful. This will help you survive anything. Google or any other search engine changes may happen in the future. If you do this successfully from the start, you can build a quality community that will eventually convert into clients.

3. Know What You Need And Don’t Need

Knowing the things that you don’t need or don’t want will save you time and let you focus on more important things. You will not get distracted by any irrelevant issues at present or in the future. This will help you stay on course with the tasks you’ve already got and will get you closer to reaching your SEO goals in a shorter amount of time.

4. Learn What You Don’t Know

It can be embarrassing if there are things that you don’t know or aren’t capable of doing. When it comes to SEO, you have to possess a certain skill set that doesn’t often come naturally. The skills needed for this kind of work should be studied, learned and can be time consuming. But knowing what you don’t know and where you need to get help can push you forward. Your SEO tasks will be more effective and productive as a result. You will have a concrete idea of what you want to do with your campaign.

5 SEO Tactics To Drop in 2015

Now we have laid out some key SEO goals, let’s discuss the tactics that you can forget about this year.

1. Stop Stressing About The Backlink Volume

Getting as many links as you can that point to your content is no longer the norm. Yes, links are critical to the ranking of your site, but more doesn’t exactly mean more. If your soliciting links are questionable or not relevant to your campaign, business or industry, your page rankings could suffer greatly. Being relevant is the key – quality, not quantity of backlinks.

2. Change The Way You Monitor Your Rankings

Years ago, traditional rank tracking was the way to check how healthy your SEO campaigns were. At present, long-tail keyword tracking is the norm. Many successful websites have stated that up to 90% of their traffic is due to long-tail KWs. This is because users and searchers are becoming more specific and exact with their searches.

web analytics

Image credit: Madebybetter

3. Don’t Publish Content Just For The Sake Of Publishing

This is the same concept as with backlinks; you don’t need so many content pages to boost your SEO. These pages will just tag as clutter and Google are now more keen than ever to offer good sites with valuable and relevant content. Content should be of high quality and needs to be informative to elevate ranking. This is how Google’s Panda algorithm works. Panda encodes the actual quality of content across the world wide web. If Panda deems that your content is just junk, low quality, spam or irrelevant, your site will be in big trouble. Google will penalize you and your site and your rankings will suffer. Stop publishing everything and anything just for the sake of publishing. It’s not worth the effort. Instead, focus on reliable, high quality content.

4. Keyword Density Is Already Passé

A few years ago, having X amount of keywords in your content was the standard practice to get a significant ranking. More often than not, the result is spam content – with the required percentage of keyword density – flooding the internet. This scheme is already old news. At present, Google is using LSI or latent semantic indexing that goes through all content on the world wide web and checks if the keyword density is still present. LSI helps our search engines speak our language and not the language of typical search engine bots.

 5. Lengthy Content Is Out

Just like KW density, lengthy content and articles used to be valuable sources of information, however, Google now values quality over long, wordy content. This simply goes back to quality over quantity. Content today comes in all forms – articles, videos, audio and images. Searchers and web users appreciates multiple content types that are informative, useful and entertaining. Try using a mixture of these forms and keep the word count down.

5 SEO Trends To Watch Out For in 2015

Some of these trends may already be in effect and some will take some time to catch on. You might even be using some of these already. Whatever the case, these are the trends to keep an eye out for this year.

1. Increased Value Of Inbound Links

Inbound links will remain the primary indicator of authority, value and trust to search engines. Any relevant links or citations from an authoritative publisher can directly affect online sales, brand awareness, SEO, site traffic, audience growth and other very important marketing metrics.

2. Increasing Importance Of Mobile

The mobile search algorithm requires a different set of best practices as compared to desktop search algorithms, thus it is essential to understand the ever increasing mobile landscape in order to formulate the right strategy for your SEO campaign. The ability of a business or a brand to effectively and quickly deliver high quality, mobile experiences for their audience will surely produce a competitive advantage this year.

Image credit: blog.designjuice.in

Image credit: blog.designjuice.in

3. Social Engagement And Thought Leadership Merger

Thought leadership has been a buzz word in recent years since many brands have pursued content any marketing strategies with the goal of positioning themselves as the experts in their specific online communities. Leadership without any social engagement from a relevant audience is not enough to get success in search. Social engagement and thought leadership should go hand-in-hand.

4. Display Changes Of Search Results

We can expect to see more in-stream answers to any queries from retailers, to sports, health or weather information. Google’s Carousel and Knowledge Graph features are changing the way web users interact and view search results. Businesses must be conscious of how their brands show or appear online in the search pages of Google because the primary search engine is transforming from an information engine to a knowledge-based engine.

5. Need For Increased Personalization

Web visitors, customers and purchasers will be exposed to high levels of personalization because search functions are becoming more sophisticated. Each search visitor will see different results for the same query depending on their location, demographic data and psycographic data gathered from previous visits. All conversions will go to businesses that are prepared to provide a higher level of personalized content and experience to customers across all search engines and platforms.

Image credit: http://dilbert.com/

Image credit: http://dilbert.com/

Good luck to your 2015 SEO campaign!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.