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SEO and SEM predictions and tips for 2015

James A. Martin | Jan. 29, 2015
The coming year promises to be an eventful, and potentially challenging, one for search marketers. These SEO and SEM experts share predictions on the big search trends and offer tips on how to prepare for and take advantage of them.

Test Your Website's Speed
Search-result rankings factor in Website load speeds, according to many digital marketing experts. After using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test Tool, HighQ's Khan recommends testing your site's mobile and desktop speeds with Google's PageSpeed Insights tool. Most of the time, the issues it discovers are easy for developers to fix, and those tweaks "can have a positive impact on mobile website and SEO performance," Khan says.

Tailor Your Online Ads to Mobile Devices
Ads designed for mobile have "less text and a richer image," according to Leo Polanowski, head of client services, Yahoo! "Put your main points and calls to action in headlines or at the front of descriptions. Use images that will emotionally resonate with consumers. Provide searchers with the easy answers they're looking for. An effective way to do this is with enhanced site link extensions. This format lets you add two lines of descriptive text in bigger, bolder type to your site links. We've seen enhanced site links boost click-through rates by 22 percent compared to traditional site links."

Take Your Time and Build Great Content
"Instead of rushing a bunch of articles out, seriously slow down and spend another hour or two on each of them," says Myers. "Do more research. Have you looked at other related niche articles out there? What's missing in those articles? Is there a gap you can fill? Give your users the best, unique content they've ever seen on your topic. Make sure it's so good and different that they can't help to share it with others. Then, get in your users' heads and think about what they might need next [after reading your article]."

Spread Your Stories Across Platforms
In 2015, storytelling across various media platforms, including social networks, blogs and video, will be more important. "It's essential to create a diversified marketing strategy and a variety of media for consumers to interact with your brand," according to Kathryn Bisson, marketing master, Technology Seed. "The brand's mission and story needs to begin on a strong website and then share that story on other media, including Google AdWords and Bing Ads, to direct people to a story about your services. Use social media to display the corporate culture, or YouTube and Vine to tell your story via video. Every piece will work together to encompass all aspects of an organization and all people to relate to the brand as a personality."

Know Your Target Audience
"Persona definition is a mandatory prerequisite to optimizing for search," says Ashley Paris, research analyst, demand creation strategies, SiriusDecisions. "As part of that exercise, pay attention to the lexicon of your buyer. What are the words they use to describe their initiatives, challenges and questions? How do those words and phrases vary by industry, geography and stage in the buying process? When those questions are answered, you can originate content and a digital footprint that's truly relevant to the type of searches your buyers are performing."

 

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