You cannot complete SEO. There is no end or finish. The world of SEO is constantly in flux and the best-practices change year on year. As such, every good marketer should always be learning. The tricks and techniques that worked in 2014 may no longer be relevant. In fact, in SEO land, they could even harm you. Some of the most popular search engine techniques of old now result in penalties from Google. If that isn’t enough to scare you into action, we don’t know what is! Are your SEO practices out of date? Let’s take stock of what SEO means in 2015.
1. Content and SEO are more closely linked than ever
Google has made it very clear that its focus is on quality of content and user experience. Naturally, Google wants to send its users to the best websites. Those using the search engine are looking for answers, and Google will only bring up the very best. Google spiders are crawling your site looking for powerful and relevant content. They’re looking for authority and information. Take the time to make sure your content is the best it can be.
2. Mobile is taking over
At the end of 2014, mobile internet access surpassed desktops and laptops. That means more people are using smartphones and tablets to get online. If your website doesn’t adapt to mobile access, Google will quickly send you down the rankings. Your website needs to look fantastic on every device, and that means investing in a responsive design. A responsive design is flexible, meaning it will adapt to whichever device is used to access it.
3. Load speed is crucial
Google is looking to provide its users with answers as fast as possible. For that reason, it rewards websites that are snappy and quick to load. The best way to cut your loading time down is to remove any unnecessary jQuery and excessive styling. Speak to your web designer about shaving milliseconds off your load speed. You’re looking for the entire website to load within one second.
4. Link-building and keywords still matter
One of the biggest debates in the world of SEO is the importance of link-building and keywords. Let’s be quite clear; they still matter. Google uses links to determine your authority and popularity. It also uses keywords to establish relevancy. The big takeaway here, however, is to take an organic approach. Build links through networking, guest blogging and because your content is brilliant! Use clear, concise keywords, but don’t overuse them to cheat the system. It won’t work.
5. Local SEO is changing
Last year, Google introduced the ‘Pigeon’ update to its algorithm. It focused heavily on local search results. It’s a tricky update, and local businesses may benefit from speaking to SEO experts like Results First. In a nutshell, Google now look to Yelp! and Tripadvisor to produce relevant search results. Rather than rely on keywords, e.g., New York, in the text, it ranks based on reputation and local directories.
That’s the state of SEO in 2015, folks! Of course, the search engine world will keep turning, and we’ll keep you updated. Until next time!