The best practices for SEO change every year, throughout the year. They’re always developing and changing, and SEO practitioners must keep up to make sure they aren’t doing the wrong thing. The changes take place because search engines are continually updating their algorithms. They do this to ensure that people can’t cheat and unfairly get their web page to the top of the search results. Because of these constant changes, SEO best practices can become confusing. There can be rumors and speculation about the best ways to carry out search engine optimization, and it’s hard to figure out what’s real. As we start to move through a new year, it’s time to have a look at which SEO trends are emerging in 2015.
Content is King
In the past, you could get your website to the top of search engine results pages by taking advantage of loopholes and using quick fixes. But recently, it’s proper content that has become the most important thing. Your website needs to have excellent content that aims to engage readers, not just any old text with some keywords crowbarred in. Content marketing is now much more important than it ever was before. It’s still vital to consider in 2015, and the SEO community is moving towards ‘searchable content marketing’ instead. Searchable content marketing (SCM) is an alternative name for SEO. It recognizes the significance of content over fooling the search engines.
Since natural content is so relevant, keywords need to be natural to match. Changes at Google, due to their Hummingbird update in 2013, mean that keyword phrases are now understood as a whole, instead of individual words. So a conversational question, for example, is more easily recognized. You should try to make sure that anchor text linking back to your site is less keyword focused than you might once have made it. Focus on shareable and engaging content too, as well as establishing a strong presence on social media.
The way that Google recognizes links has changed too. It used to be that the more inbound links your site had, the better you appeared to be. But now Google takes into account “implied links”, which is mentions of your brand name, and how they’re spread across the web. Like your content, your links should appear naturally, and from a broad range of authoritative sources.
Optimizing websites for mobile devices has been significant for a while now, but it’s reaching a point where it’s entirely necessary. Many people now access websites more on their smartphone or tablet than they do on a laptop or desktop computer. It’s vital that your SEO campaigns take mobile use into account. Everything needs to be readable on a smaller screen, as well as optimized for images and responsiveness. Because Google now takes user behavior, such as bounce rate, into account, you need to ensure you aren’t driving people away from your website. A higher bounce rate will result in an adverse effect on your position in search results.