Is Search Engine Optimization Still a Thing in 2015?

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SEO 2015

SEO IS ALIVE AND MOBILE IN 2015

Search engine optimization has died a thousand online deaths if you listen to prognosticators. Every year, us digital marketers wonder if  SEO’s time has finally come. And yet, every year, search engine optimization continues to influence, and haunt content marketing like a zombie from The Walking Dead.

Here’s the key thing about SEO, and all that comes with it, from getting your website found to appearing on the first page of Google searches: it’s always evolving.

Keyword optimization used to define SEO, and getting traffic was a matter of hitting the right terms just enough times to get into search engines.

But that’s simply no longer true.

OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE

We’ve previously addressed the importance of mobile when it comes to content sharing (at Nao Media, all of our content, and the content we create for our clients, is optimized for mobile viewing).

But this is the most important reason to pay attention: the biggest trend in search engine optimization in the immediate future is mobile usage. Mobile platforms, including smartphones and tablets, accounted for 60% of time users spent on digital media.

2014 marked the turning point when mobile users outnumbered laptop or desktop users online. So how can you take advantage of this?

First, re-design your website for mobile. This means creating a dynamic page that is accessible from all sorts of tablets and phones, and works on various screen sizes.

PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE USER EXPERIENCE

Google warned website owners that their sites were not “mobile friendly by Google Search, and will therefore be displayed and ranked appropriately for smartphone users”. Two factors in particular relate to user experience on a smartphone.

We discussed the first in the previous paragraph – a dynamic website is a must. And as part of this is images and photographs. They must be scaled to read the same on a iPhone 6+ screen as a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

Second, is the speed of your site. Mobile users used to be much more forgiving in terms of load times on a smartphone or tablet. Not anymore. Do everything you can to speed your site up on this platform. Make it easy to read, and simple to navigate.

In fact, build your website with mobile in mind.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION IS AS DEMANDING AS EVER WITH CONTENT

The other big prediction of 2015 is the differentiating of SEO and digital content. SEO is the technical framework (think h2 tags, etc), and content is what fills it in with words, videos, images, all which creates a brand personality.

This digital content aspect of SEO is still very much alive. Building a community around audience engagement, feedback, reviews, and social media referrals all very much matter, and perhaps even more so, as Google uses those signals to determine authenticity in build its search rankings.

In that sense, very little has changed. Search engine optimization rankings are about creating value. But in an increasingly mobile world, what’s valuable for users has changed.

SEO will never die. It’s a constantly evolving and developing process, responding to the latest technologies that influence behavior. It’ll always be a part of the digital content world. The big question is in what form.