As Google continues to be relentless in pursuing the best search algorithms that filter the grain from the chaff, marketing managers and executives, particularly those employed at web service firms, need to be on their toes. 2015 promises to be another important year for everybody owning, managing or developing a website. Google’s Penguin 3.0 took webmasters by storm in 2014, with several unsuspecting websites getting the brunt of the update. No more are strategies that tend to work around loopholes of Google’s search algorithms going to work.
There are already some strong signals being sent across by Google for webmasters, especially those involved with marketing of websites. As the marketing brain for your web services business, are you sure that your website is riding along the wind, and not against it? With knowledge of these emerging SEO trends, you will be in a better position to undertake course corrections for your business website.
Social signals – an important milestone for any SEO journey
It’s fascinating to observe how web search is becoming more and more intuitive. Integral to ensure that users get the most relevant search results for their search phrases, search algorithms evaluate websites on a number of parameters. Increasingly, parameters that have a direct bearing with the social media marketing prowess of the website have made way in to the algorithms.
The impact – socially acclaimed websites stand a better chance of featuring higher in Google’s search results. The popular Searchmetrics report for 2014, a study and evaluation of important SEO ranking factors, showed how parameters like Google+1s, Facebook shares, Facebook totals, Pinterest pages, Facebook Likes and Comments, and Tweets for a website are among the top 10 SEO success factors. Websites that were optimized on these fronts enjoyed higher rankings in 2014. Here are some takeaways from the study–
- Traditional SEO strategies of keyword stuffing, including keyword in description, title and sub heading tags, etc. have reached saturation, and are no more critical to a website’s SEO success. If you’ve been wasting your budget on these activities, it’s time to fine tune things.
- Whereas number of external links, keyword stuffed internal links, and backlinks from the same country were important SEO factors a few years ago, times have significantly changed now, and these factors have been relegated in the list of top 25 SEO success factors.
- Social media marketing, as a sum of everything ranging from Facebook pages to retweets, is the second most important success factor, next only to the all-time numero uno, valuable content.
The new age SEO is also about secure web browsing
In one way or the other, every sophisticated website intends to make money, whether it is through direct ecommerce sales, or roundabout content based subscription and customer engagement models. The moment you include online payments into the mix, security of the user’s information and safety of the data exchanged between servers becomes of the utmost importance.
Google has verbally indicated that it is going to include security factors for SEO as we move into 2015. So, CMOs of ecommerce businesses, websites with massive following, and domains having substantial user information databases need to quickly conduct a web security audit for their websites. Get secure usage seals from coveted web agencies, move to https instead of http, publish consumer safety content on your website, implement strong and stable customer support measures, move to secure hosting servers, and in general make your website’s user experience 100% secure.
Making your websites mobile friendly is mandatory
Though most serious web businesses have adapted to the mobile browsing wave, the same is going to be as good as mandatory for survival in the times to come. So, shift to a premium mobile responsive theme for your website if you’re still using a static design that gets chaotic when seen on a mobile device. Optimize loading times for mobile users, and create a functionally powerful app to help leverage the power of push notifications for smartphone users. Here are some numbers of interest for CMOs of businesses having websites-
- Studies of users’ mobile interaction behavior show that the average smartphone user engages with his/her mobile devices (smartphones and tablets included) almost 200 times a day; no wonders, CMOs can’t ignore the relevance of mobile marketing.
- By the end of 2015, global smartphone penetration will touch 2bn; this is a huge number of digitally connected audience, something that web marketing experts can get excited about.
- Though reports from prominent marketing research firms such as Forrester Research and Gartner Inc. show different numbers, but it’s established that at least 40% of global web users now use their smartphones and tablets to access web content. Very soon, mobile web browsing will take over desktop web browsing.
Visual SEO – an exciting new success factor
Among the new age SEO factors that have begun being discussed actively in webmaster meetings and marketing strategizing sessions is visual content. Don’t confuse this with the ordinary images and clip art included in web pages. Visual SEO is all about making your content studded with visual aids, which could mean anything from charts and graphs to high quality instructional videos. Getting the descriptions and titles for these multimedia contents is important, to make them contribute to SEO. As a marketing manager, it’s time you fought for a good content development budget.
Get professional video creation and infographics marketing services as these can make your business website stand apart from the competition, apart from increasing the SEO relevance of the same. Include video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo into your content and marketing plans, as these can double up as social media mileage building and SEO enhancing tools for your business website.
So, it’s time to get your content developers, SEO strategists, and web design experts together, to bring them all on the same page, so that your business website can be fine tuned to be in sync with SEO, as we know it in 2015.