If you were to identify the watershed years for SEO, it will be 2013 and 2014 because SEO changed unprecedentedly, forever. From Penguin to Hummingbird to a permanent stop to PageRank update, the Google search engine has slammed down spammers and black-hat SEO practitioners, making publishers and bloggers focus consistently on making the achievement of blog authority a priority. Thus, SEO in 2015 demands a higher learning curve. Read this informative post featuring SEO experts and their take on SEO in 2015.
SEO is forever changing. The basics of on-page SEO remains unchanged such as adding H1, H2…tags, adding ‘alt’ tags to images, following internal linking policy, writing quality content and so on.
We present a short and concise guide to SEO in 2015.
Your Guide to SEO in 2015
Here are some rules to understand and follow.
1) Social Signals are Essential
Social signals are a strong blog ranking factor. This was confirmed by Matt Cutts in 2010. An example of how social signals matter can be experienced when Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging news. The blogging and marketing ecosystem instantly went abuzz, publishers were writing about it and people were sharing it like crazy, and authority blogs were linking to each other.
If you had searched for the news that time, you would have seen that Google favored fresh content and latest content were ranked higher than others. Some reasons why you need to focus on improving social rankings are given below:
- increase in social media followership and interaction
- readers get to know you and increase changes of becoming a blogging authority figure
- frequent publishing helps to get indexed faster
- blog becomes a potential brand
Start being active on these popular social networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ & Pinterest. While automated social media marketing tools like HootSuite and Post Planner work to enhance social signals, try to network personally.
2) Create Content that Converts
This is the right time to focus on content that gives conversion; conversion in terms of affiliate earning, higher organic traffic, email subscribers, product downloads and whatever if offered through a blog.
Stop creating mediocre content. It might rank for some time on Google but later, it is bumped down the ranking pages. It’s true that not every blogger can write but efforts should be given to improvisation. See blogs like Search Engine Land or Mashable; they have a team behind its success. Hire bloggers to contribute exemplary content on your blog/s and let them build their authority. Their authority ranking will surely help your blog/s to rank higher.
Further, the 2013 Google Hummingbird update changes the course of search engine rankings forever. Google is not ranking content based on keywords but based on “understanding concepts, relationships between concepts, and more complex questions”, says Search Engine Watch.
Therefore, create content which is useful for both the audience and search engine alike.
3) Mobile Responsive Blogs
In this Infographic, Microsoft states the distinct possibility that the number of mobile web users will surpass desktop users. In other words, your blog SEO in 2015 should be mobile optimized with responsive theme. A higher risk looms over any blog’s usability if it doesn’t load on mobile frameworks. It could mean loss of readership and earning.
You can start with using mobile responsive blog themes. Elegant Themes, Genesis and Thesis frameworks are mobile responsive. Since the mobile screen space is less, the blog should be aptly optimized to show only relevant tabs and content.
Next, the mobile responsive blog should load faster. Check the speed and improvisation recommendations via Google Pagespeed Insights, Tools.pingdom.com and Gtmetrix.com. Lastly, to view how a blog is rendered on mobile devices, check out these options – to check rendering on iPad, various mobile devices with different screen size, and an overview response.
4) Build Authority
SEO in 2015 will depend a lot on blog authority. The year 2014 focused on getting Google Authorship. It was an interesting year for authority development. The “Authorship” tag was like a vote of approval from Google. If any web page shows Authorship link from a verified author, it got higher distinction and ranking. The moot point was that Google didn’t want bloggers to be anonymous. However, after a couple of months, Google removed the authorship visibility from search results; should you abandon it too? No, you shouldn’t.
Whether yours is a multi-author or single-author blog, get authorship. Encourage your blog authors to add the “rel=author” tag in their bylines to increate the trust factor.
What I am trying to say is your content may have excellent on-page SEO to rank higher and it might even rank, but showing authorship will help to sustain the ranking. Which is better? You decide.
5) Monitor Outbound Links
Be careful while linking to other blogs or websites. While search engines like Google recommend to link to other webpages (like you see in this article), they should be contextually relevant; it is known as “co-citation”. It means you’re contextually using relevant pages to raise the value of your content. You can learn more about co-citation in depth from here.
Outbound linking is good but you should monitor their quality at regular intervals. Making the outbound links do-follow or no-follow is your prerogative; a healthy mix of both is recommended. If you accept guest blogs, design a proper quality control structure to maintain the overall content quality of the blog.
Unlike the naysayers, I believe that SEO is not dead. It changes every moment and the trick to surviving a business online is to adapt to these changes and compete.
Start by creating a 6-month blog SEO strategy. Write down on-page SEO factors and share it with blog contributors. Prepare a promotion and marketing plan. Write down content creation guidelines and ideate ways to reach audiences outside your comfort zone.
SEO in 2015 will be a game changer. Are you up for it?