When Google first rolled out the Penguin and Panda algorithm updates, there was an innate sense of panic triggered among brands and webmasters. This has diminished somewhat over the course of the last 18 months or so, primarily because marketers have developed more refined link building and SEO techniques.
Those who have already been impacted by an algorithmic penalty are struggling at present, however, thanks to Google’s failure to automatically update either Panda or Penguin. Neither has been refreshed for a relatively long period of time, meaning that penalised brands cannot begin to recover or compare their SEO practices against current compliancy measures.
3 of the Most Important Web Optimisation Trends in 2015
This is one of the most important web optimisation trends for marketers to consider in 2015, although it primarily impacts on sites that have previously fallen foul of Google’s algorithms. For websites that have managed to maintain compliance and develop a strong campaign, however, there are alternative trends and challenges to be aware of. These include: -
App Store Optimisation Will Revolutionise Search Marketing
The mobile app market is growing at an incredible rate, with an estimated 1.55 billion tools currently listed in the Android store alone. With an even larger range of diverse apps being developed across both Google and Apple platforms, the value of this market will continue to soar in the next five years.
With eMarketer reporting that the number of global smartphone users will surpass two billion by 2016, this market offers a clear opportunity to reach consumers and market real-time products, services and promotions. By creating a seamless integration between branded applications and websites, companies have also developed an innovative method of driving traffic to specific landing pages.
This leads to one of our most popular trends for 2015, with App Store Optimisation (ASO) enabling brands to provide their application with higher levels of coverage and an improved search engine ranking according to relevant keywords. This translates into more downloads, creating an additional and motivated flow of traffic to your website.
So, as long as you combine this with more traditional SEO techniques that enhance the organic ranking and visibility of your standalone website, you can create an integrated campaign that optimises traffic flow.
The Rise of Negative SEO Will Demand an Aggressive Link Profile Detox
The world of web optimisation is evolutionary in its nature, meaning that the boundaries of best practice continue to shift on a regular basis. This can be difficult for webmasters to cope with, especially when market changes trigger unexpected challenges and the need for significant, strategic changes.
While Google’s relentless drive to penalise poor quality and vapid content has proved largely effective in terms of enhancing the online consumer experience, for example, it has also created an opportunity for brands to de-rank their competitors and improve their own visibility by default. This is referred to as negative SEO, and it can have a debilitating impact on even reputable companies that strive hard to publish informative, insightful and engaging content.
Although being aware of this issue is crucial if you are to combat it, you will also need to adopt an aggressive strategy that takes a retrospective and proactive look at all external links associated with your website. The first stage of this is a link profile detox, which identifies links and content that may be considered as spam according to the most recent Google algorithms. This applies to both inbound and outbound links, so pay attention to both a double-pronged evaluation of your website and previous SEO output.
As Google also becomes increasingly strict about rank devaluation and the sanction of offending websites, you will also need to refine your SEO and web optimisation techniques going forward. This may include reducing the number of external links and investing in a higher quality of content, although do not make the mistake of eliminating links entirely as they remain integral to the ranking process (for better or for worse).
Visual Content Will Continue to Become More Prominent and Refined
The popularity of visual content is no secret to experienced marketers, and this continued to gather momentum as a marketing tool in 2014. This trend is set to continue in the year ahead, as both infographics, engaging images and audiovisual media become even more prevalent across both social and nonsocial channels.
The result of this is that image analytics continue to rise, while the viewing statistics for video on demand (VOD) is also beginning to compete aggressively with traditional television advertising. These trends not only highlight how consumers are increasingly reliant on the integration of rich media to create more compelling content but also that the increased accessibility of visual media resources are enabling marketers and brands to reduce the cost of their campaigns.
With Google itself also giving priority in its SERPs to content that is rich in visual and graphic elements, now is the time to cultivate refined and optimised visual copy. One of the key elements to focus on is the quality of your visual output, especially when it comes to creating videos on demand. The trend for zany, viral content is no longer as prevalent as it once was, as consumers have developed more refined tastes, and require insightful and informative pieces.
You should also be precise when creating an integrated optimisation strategy across multiple platforms, as individual sites such as Instagram and YouTube all offer unique features and benefits. By integrating carefully chosen platforms, you can optimise the impact of your campaigns and drive genuine growth.
These trends will shape best practice in SEO and web optimisation during 2015, so it is crucial that business owners, marketers and webmasters take steps to understand them. They must also be proactive and adapt their existing strategies to ensure that they optimise their web presence while remaining compliant with Google.