Entering 2015: Where is SEO heading?

2014 was another big year for advertisers, with new technologies on the rise, new methods of delivering content through those technologies, and plenty of surprises from Google to keep even the most experienced content creators and webmasters on their toes. There’s been a lot to learn, incorporate, and gain from the lessons of this year, but there may be even more to gain from predicting next year’s trends and getting in on them before anyone else does. We all know advertising is a competitive business, and predicting what the world of search engine optimization will look like in 2015 can be a great way to get an edge and make sure your ads capture the eye of your users in ways your rivals won’t even have considered.


Your Customers, On The Move

One of the biggest trends in the past few years has been mobile web usage, and that doesn’t look to change in 2015. More and more, people are incorporating cell phones and tablets into their browsing, choosing the convenience of portability over the stability or size of a desktop. This is a trend that absolutely can’t be ignored by marketers, as search queries for mobile users also tend to be different from queries sent by desktop users.


Additionally, while it’s true that there are plenty of ways to capitalize on this trend, it’s suggested that you first take steps to fix what may be a problematic piece of your campaign: your site. Your website may be a triumph of web design, a testament to the works of masters old and new, but if it looks or functions like garbage on a 5-inch screen, you’re in trouble. Before you can promote your product, consider updating the design of your online hub.


Wearables: A Completely New Space

Wearable tech is a trend many didn’t take seriously a few years ago, but since products like Google Glass, smart watches, and other wearables look set to take on the market, it’s a good idea to start preparing for them now. So far there’s no “conventional wisdom” on how to address this medium, but innovation is the name of the game in this field, so if you can find a way to stand out here you’ll have a big advantage against your field.


You’ll also need to consider the way wearables will affect search queries. Voice search like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s audio search will lead to more organic search queries, which you’ll need to be aware of.


Making Connections

In 2014, advertisers took social media marketing to the next level, and social networks noticed. Now, major social networks are offering many advertising opportunities, both native and non-native, to suit multiple needs and reach multiple demographics. These advertisements have had varying levels of success this year, but as 2015 progresses we’re almost sure to see an increase in things like social pay-per-click ads, native ads, customer interaction, and other benefits unique to social media. Potential customers spend hours daily on these sites, so it just makes sense that we’d try to advertise there.


Content Is (Still) King

There has never been a good substitute for strong content, and it doesn’t look like that’ll change when 2015 rolls around. In the past, low-information, keyword-saturated posts helped boost a site’s SEO, but Google cracked down on that and any other practice that offers little or no value to a user. Later, content evolved to feature value for users, but still host many relevant keywords. Now, some experts believe that Google’s crawlers will advance to a point where keywords are all but irrelevant, making context critical for search engine optimization. This means producing strong, relevant, up-to-date content is more relevant that it ever has been, and is a good way to ensure your site doesn’t end up ignored.


Information And Beyond

If you run an information-sharing site, you’ve probably had a tough year. Google’s decision to add information right through the search engine results page is nothing new, but while this info has previously been limited to things like basic math or small summaries, the site is changing to include definitions, encyclopedia-like summaries, answers to popular questions, and more.


For the advertiser or webmaster of an information site, this is a scary trend, and one that you need to keep your eye on. Direct competition with google is not a place you want to be, but the battle is winnable, and your first and best weapon is strong content. Keep in mind that Google’s information never extends too far down the page, meaning a high pagerank will still raise you on the results page and make you visible early on. You can use that high position to display content with more value than Google’s, which will attract more visitors to your site. This can take the form of increased information, better answers, more sources, or any number of extra options. Just keep in mind the fact that your content needs to offer added value to the user.


2014 is coming to a close, and with 2015 rapidly approaching, we can only hope to predict what the future holds for the advertising industry. New technologies and avenues of entry will give your ads audience with customers you’ve never had the chance to reach, and tools provided by adapting markets will make your ads work like never before. This’ll be a year that brings change, but if we stay innovative, responsive, and relevant, we can do great things for business.