Every year we attempt to pull out the crystal ball and determine the trends we expect to see in the coming year as far as Search Marketing is concerned. We feel it is helpful to know these trends in order to both plan for the future and for your current marketing. These are the trends that we see unfolding in the year 2015.
1. More original and timely content.
I believe that the focus in 2015 should be heavily on on-site content especially that content that derives from your blog. While always a good indicator of a healthy website, Google will be looking to unique and timely content to fill its search results even more in 2015. This means that site owners should plan several months in advance for stable blog articles to be created for their websites. They should also be ready for unexpected trends and do their best to capitalize on those by adding them into their blog rotation. The more on an authority your site is the more benefit you will gain from such efforts. Upgrading current content on your static web pages once a year is also recommended as well.
2. Less Emphasis on Domain Names
In the last few years Google especially has been throwing “keyword domains” under the bus. They still work in many niche markets but the days of domain names being the definitive “go to” for search success is pretty much over. Google will be looking more at what content is on your site and less about what your site is named. Can you get advantage from having a random keyword in your domain still? Yes. I wouldn’t count on it as a replacement for strong content though and I wouldn’t count on your rankings to hold up based on that long term.
3. Mobile Explosion
The Mobile Search explosion is upon us. Yes people are still making a majority of their online purchases on laptops and desktops but the mobile market for service based businesses is becoming very impactful. The trend towards “responsive” web design has made it easier than even for websites to serve both desktop and mobile users. One should keep in mind for their business the trend of moving towards mobile and make their website as usable as possible for these customers. This also increases the value of Local Search Results and Paid Search for certain clients as these are the main listings that come up first on smaller mobile devices.
4. More Ecommerce Competition
With the boom of e-tail this Christmas and the almost bust of standard retails, the economics of online retail are shifting. One can expect that the competition for the ecommerce dollar is going to become fiercer. With Google preferring big box retailers in many search results it means that smaller retailers will be flooding Google Adwords listings even more to stay relevant. This will drive up the cost of paid traffic. Many e-tailers might take a renewed look at the cost benefits of Organic Search again in the New Year.
5. It’s time to switch to a CMS
If you have continued to buck the trend and maintained your site in a flat HTML or PHP based website this might be the year you finally cave and upgrade to a CMS based site (Content Management system). As mentioned above with the importance of Blogging and brand new content.. CMS’s offer you a much easier and cost effective way to make updates, changes and blog addition consistently without having to rely on a skilled developer. That added with the ease at which Google can crawl your website (standard CMS’s are setup in a way that Search Bots understand) it is almost a no brainer to make this move. Although older HTML and PHP sites still hold some sway in search results because of their sometimes simple text/image ratio, it is likely this will change in the future as Google looks for more sophistication as sees many of these sites as antiquated.
6. Your old website won’t cut it anymore
If your website is currently not setup to easily add Social Media Channels, doesn’t have a blog, or relies on off-site blog software to “add content to the site”, it’s time for a change. Your old website just won’t be able to keep up with the current demands of a dynamic and “living” website that Google desires. Even if you are in a smaller industry a new website will offer you more options that will lead to increased growth of your business.
7. Finally Time to admit Facebook is here to stay
Although for a while there it wasn’t clear if Facebook was a fad in the likes of Myspace and Friendster, it appears that they have successfully woven themselves into people daily lives in a way these other sites were unable to do. Making sure that your site is relevant on Facebook is helpful. It also impacts the trust your customers and Google see in your business. Increasing your efforts on Facebook in 2015 is a smart choice.
Overall the trend in the industry for 2015 looks to be centered on content both on your site and in your Social Media platforms. Keeping your site relevant to search engines in 2015 will be determined by your dedication to your site and its viewers.