Every time a new year gets underway…at least as of relatively recently…the world’s leading web marketing gurus get well and truly stuck into what’s dubbed that year’s ‘new face of SEO’. Over the past five years in particular, the way in which we look at the world’s leading search engines has shifted quite colossally and frequently to say the least. In fact, such has been the extent of recent fluctuations that a fair few influential parties advised the world to pretty much give up on the idea and walk away from Google and Co. entirely.
Given the fact that search query volumes are still as high as they’ve ever been however, common sense would suggest that doing so isn’t a good idea…at least not for the time being.
Instead, it’s a case of rolling with the punches and being willing to make what this year in particular are shaping up to be some pretty huge changes in SEO practices. There’s little to no room for bending the rules anymore, at least for those not wishing to see their efforts laid to waste by the powers that be, so there’s really never been a better time to take stock of some of the more important best-practice SEO tips for 2015.
…and here they are:
Content – You Know It By Now
By this stage in time it’s almost redundant to keep banging on about the same old ‘content is king’ cliché as if you haven’t already cottoned onto the idea by now, it’s technically a wonder you’re still in business. As far as 2015 goes, it’s not just a case of the content you create or curate being king – it’s literally the be all and end all of your site. For the first time, we’re diving head-first into a period where genuine hard work, commitment and knowledge are being rewarded more than black-hat SEO the likes of which once ruled the roost. So, if you’re not willing to invest the necessary time, effort and cash, you’re on a downward spiral already.
Crucial Social Signals
There’s been very little by way of confirmation of Google’s intent on the subject, but it’s nonetheless become more than a little clear that social signals will continue to play an increasingly important role in results ranking positions. And it’s a bit of a no-brainer too, with social media having become something of a global standard for picking to pieces every brand, product and subject on the face of the Earth, meaning that if you can’t build a good rep for yourself on social media, you’re less likely to be taken seriously by the search engines.
Security Standards Matter
There have been more than enough incidents over recent months to get across the message that the only acceptable level of site security is the highest level of security…period. This of course hasn’t escaped the attention of the world’s leading search engines which are for the most part no longer willing to point web users in the direction of sites and services that could leave them wide open to attack. Or in other words, you cannot expect your SEO strategy to come to a great deal if your site isn’t covered by the highest standards of security from top to bottom. This may mean making an investment in better protection, but it’s an investment that’s never been more necessary.
Mobile Matters…Big Time
To ignore mobile web audiences at this stage in time is to turn your back on at least 50% of the possible hits your site or business could attract. Data suggests that more smartphone and tablet PC users than ever before are using their mobile devices to access the web far more frequently than their desktop or laptop computers – this again is the kind of data Google and Co. don’t overlook or take lightly. As such, even if it’s not the mobile markets you’re most interested in attracting, you need to make sure for the sake of your SEO strategy that mobile users can at least access a full and working responsive version of your website. If not, you’ll be handed down a penalty that’s only likely to grow in severity as 2015 continues.
Brand Mentions and Discussions
Last up for this list at least, the traditional art of link building still has a role to play in the whole thing, but is slowly but surely being overtaken in importance by brand mentions and discussion. As the term suggests, this is where things are taken one step further than a single link being put in place by having the brand either mentioned outright in a positive sense or brought into conversation by a site or source of authority and relevance. More difficult to achieve of course, though ultimately worth the effort many times over.