The eternal optimist in me would like to think that 2015 will be a great year for search, content and social media. The pragmatist understands that for this to be realised, we need to know what’s likely to occur across the industry over the coming 12 months. So, without further ado, here are my online marketing predictions for 2015.
Mobile’s grown in importance greatly in the last few years and there’s no doubt that this trend will continue and companies who haven’t sorted the basics yet, need to do so. I’d also expect that Google will continue to create stricter UX criteria for better optimisation, this will sort the men from the boys so to speak.
However, further to this there will be an increasing number of companies taking a mobile first approach to design and SEO. Depending on the vertical, mobile is more important to some businesses than others, so if you’re in an area where 70% plus of your searches are mobile orientated, it only makes sense to take an approach like this.
With half of all teenagers now using the search by voice function on mobile expect there to be a lot more focus on search by voice in the media too.
Increased Visibility by Other Means
Google owns YouTube, videos get more engagement in search, so therefore it’s likely Google will want to make video more prevalent in the search. Because of this we can expect to see a lot more video content in 2015 and a lot more focus on optimisation of video. Additionally, I’d expect Google to give more weight to Schema, structured data and other sorts of mark-up in its results too. We may even see the return of Authorship in some different shape or form.
Google will Remain Dominant
One of the biggest changes in search in 2015 occurred under our noses only a few days ago. Firefox’s move to using Yahoo as its default search engine meant around 29% of search is now performed by it. However, thought there’s been a lot made of this, I’d imagine that the likelihood is this will drop as people alter their settings and return to Google for search. That said it’s a reminder to marketers that nothing is certain and optimising for a wide variety of lead generating areas is a must.
Newsletters will make a Return
Whether Penguin and Panda become less devastating is a matter of debate, however I expect increasing numbers of marketers to return to newsletters and begin to leverage their email subscriber bases again.
The only certainty in life is change and with drops in Facebook Reach, the likelihood of alterations and paid advertising on Twitter and others cutting visibility and constant Google uncertainty, newsletters and email lists remain a pretty solid bet.
Businesses that have large email lists will have plenty to utilise, while those that don’t will create long form content such as Whitepapers and eBooks,. This along with the next point will be partially the cause of a boom in the creation of a lot more longer content pieces.
Semantics and Long Tail
As the power of search engines to understand queries improves, expect the focus on long tail search to do so too. Did you know that around a fifth of all queries in the world have never been seen before? Additionally, it’s worth noting that generally speaking one word and short keyword terms are costly to rank don’t tend to convert very well and offer poorer results than the long tail alternative.
As semantic search improves I’d expect there to be increasingly accurate and better quality results for long tail search queries. These will drive higher conversions and because of this SEO experts will be looking to create longer and more in-depth content to make more of the opportunities provided here.
Search, social and Internet marketing as a whole are very dynamic creatures and we await the changes with excitement and a sense of intrigue.
What do you think will change in 2015?