We all know the basics of a successful SEO strategy: links, regular blog updates, social media, keywords, and quality content. Between Panda, Penguin, and many other updates, SEO has changed significantly over the past few years. Tactics that worked in years past no longer apply and can even result in site penalties. Google algorithm updates forced SEO strategists and marketing companies to rethink the way they build their SEO strategies.
Digital strategies now and going forward should focus more on the user and less on search engines. While correctly setting up your site technically is still the number one priority, areas such as a responsive mobile version of your site and useful content sharing are key points for a successful SEO strategy going into 2015.
Below we discuss the five essential elements such as strategy:
1. Responsive design (aka a mobile version of your site) is becoming extremely important and will be mandatory for remaining relevant in 2015. With all of the technical devices consumers use today, clear and concise websites across all mobile devices are a must. These devices include the iPad, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and tablet.
Consumers are using these devices to make purchases, book tickets, browse new car selections, and more. A site that doesn’t render on customer mobile devices will lose sales, leads, or potential customers. The day is fast approaching where mobile device traffic will surpass that of laptop and desktop traffic.
2. Streamlined URLs that include user and search engine-friendly keywords and therefore help with ranking are another essential element. Because URLs and links are a website's structural beams, it's important for them to be as short and descriptive as possible. A long string of symbols as your URL makes it hard for both search engines and visitors to recognize what your webpage is about, which means the page loses credibility. Long URLs are also less likely to be shared, as they are confusing and even look spammy. URLs should be descriptive, include keywords, and be easily sharable.
3. Videos, videos, videos are a must for 2015 SEO strategies. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world—plus Google owns it—so it only makes sense that a website should have a strong presence on this channel. There will always be consumers who would rather watch a video than read an article, which is reason enough to have both video and content resources available to customers.
Videos are also easily shared via social media networks and blogs and can even be used to beef up site content. More video shares means more people are clicking on your site, which leads to more traffic and conversions. Videos have countless SEO benefits, making them 2015 strategy must.
4. Social media is key in today’s digital marketing world, and a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is essential for any good SEO strategy. In today’s world, people expect your business to have social media, as it’s a great marketing tool. By having a business Facebook page, you can keep your customers up-to-date, allow customers to share information with friends and family, and potentially enjoy more business and customers.
Keeping your customers up-to-date on latest happenings via social media gives the consumer a connection to your business and can even lead to more fans and likes. Tweeting about promotions and special discounts is a way to gain interest in your brand, while the sharing of Facebook posts and re-tweeting are all free ways to create trails back to your website. How awesome is that? And these are just a few of the benefits reaped from having a healthy social media presence.
5. Content, which is the sole reason search engines such as Google exist: to give people answers and information. Google’s number-one priority is serving people quality, informative content. If a website doesn't have quality content and can't answer people’s questions, then search engine crawlers ignore them. For websites, bad content that doesn't provide useful information results in search engine passovers and subsequent poor traffic and conversions. Serving good, quality content and becoming a reliable resource for consumers keeps them coming back. As the old SEO saying goes, content is king.
Quality content is, and always will be, one of the best ways to attract leads and potential new customers to your website. After all, informative content gives people what they came to your site for in the first place. The need for information will always be there, so start giving people what they want: quality content.
To learn more about SEO and how to build a content strategy for your business, download this complimentary ebook Content Marketing Secrets.
All the best,
Keely McGroarty is an SEO Specialist with Stream Companies, a Philadelphia-area advertising agency.