"Localization of search is poised to be a big trend for 2015, even for large brands that have previously focused on centralized search marketing campaigns," according to Kevin Souers, CTO, Revenew. "Today's consumers are performing more and more searches for local solutions with an increasing number of those searches on mobile. Search engine algorithms are continually evolving to favor local results, identifying them as more relevant to the searcher. In 2015, national brands will place more emphasis on not only localizing their search but leveraging big data insights to improve local search strategies and launch more targeted, relevant search campaigns that deliver results."
Content (Marketing) Still King
Content marketing emerged as a significant trend in the SEO community during the past few years, and it's becoming essential for marketers. In 2015, quality content will be "more important than ever," according to Samuel Oh, CEO of Smohzie Inc. and founder of Money Journal. "People have become less patient with Web spam and have learned to spot it more quickly, resulting in higher bounce rates and lower time and page sessions for many website owners." To be successful today, content needs to be thorough, as well as engaging and useful, Oh says.
Paid Content Distribution Grows
"The mantra of content as king will not diminish in 2015," says James Rice, head of digital marketing, WikiJob. "Marketers will not only be focusing on how to create great content, but how to distribute it effectively at scale. Paid content distribution, such as promoted posts on Facebook, will become a much more standard practice. As marketing budgets in this area increase, the amplification providers will offer much more detailed analytics to allow marketers to test and justify the effectiveness of their spend." Rice suggests testing paid amplification on Facebook, Outbrain, StumbleUpon and Taboola, using "benchmark analysis to compare the effectiveness of each for different types of content."
Bloggers, Media Increasingly Important to Search Rankings
"Journalists will play a big role in SEO, because Google pays a lot of attention to authoritative, recognized media sites," according to Borja Obeso, CEO of Mind Ahead and an online marketing blogger. "Networking with journalists will be another important strategy for search marketing in 2015."
Structured Data Represents Significant SEO Opportunity
Structured data lets Websites display more information in Google search results than just the basics, such as links and meta descriptions. However, only 0.3 percent of Website domains actually take advantage of structured data, even though sites with structured data rank four positions higher on average in Google search results than those without structured data, according Orun Bhuiyan, marketing specialist, SEOcial. Bhuiyan's comments are based data from a recent Search Metrics report. (See Search Engine Journal's "Structured Data for Dummies" for more information.)
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