2015 has arrived! Now that the streamers, party hats, popped corks, and Ryan Seacrest clones have been tossed into the recycle bin it’s time to focus on your New Year’s resolution to get more online business in the year ahead. Before you can dive in, you’ll want to note the following trends and predictions in the world of SEO, social media, and all-around website marketing. Apply what you’ve learned here today to your existing or new strategy and you’ll leave your competition dawdling in 2014 tactics – already a lifetime ago in online marketing.
What Your Business Should Expect in SEO, Social Media, and Website Marketing in 2015
1. The First Full Year of Mobile Traffic Domination
Last year at this time, traffic to websites from mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) exceeded that of desktop. While 2014 saw this trend dip above and below the 50% line, 2015 will stay in mobile’s corner. In fact, we can now officially kiss desktop’s presence as the dominant source of website traffic goodbye. Ship sailed. Is your online business ready for this trend that has now become the norm? Time for a mobile website health check.
2. Facebook Advertising Will Be Essential
2014 saw more Facebook updates to challenge the way businesses conduct themselves on the social network than ever before. Here’s a quick look at some of the key changes:
- Promotional Page Posts in News Feed Reduced
- News Feed Unfollow Options Updated
- Click-Bait Filter Added to Reduce Spammy Posts
- Incentivizing and Buying Likes Banned
However, this has not slowed Facebook’s success one bit. Their user base (your customers) aren’t going anywhere, but the success of your Facebook page will, if you don’t adjust your strategies to accommodate the recent moves. The fact is, businesses will now need to throw a few online marketing bucks (boost posts) at Facebook if they want to better engage consumers on Facebook. The good news, is that this can be accomplished for as little as $5 at a time. In addition, promising updates to Facebook Places, their video marketing platform, and the 2015 arrival of the Buy Button has many brands excited. The integration of organic and paid promotions will be the key to success on Facebook in 2015.
3. Instagram & Pinterest Will Become the New Social Media Giants (Shelving Twitter in the Process?)
I really want to focus on Instagram here. Last month they monumentally surpassed Twitter in monthly active users. In fact, I was tempted to make “Twitter is Dead” an item in this list, but alas such a statement is not quite apt. You should still use Twitter, but primarily as a means to connect your Instagram (and Pinterest) accounts to it for distribution. Instagram will reach the 350 million monthly active user mark in 2015 and because of this you should make it a major part of your social media strategy starting today. Their updates for brand marketing have arrived so adopt these three hashtags to selling your product on Instagram and make your business known on IG.
As far as Pinterest is concerned, they continue to roll on as a social networking giant for retailers. They’ve cornered the market when it comes to the better half of our population’s consumers (draw your conclusion) and as of the first week of 2015 they are rolling out promoted pins for all U.S. advertisers (Canada and UK are next!). Expect Rich Pins to expand to include more explicit categories for businesses to take advantage of and also expect further improvements to their free analytics. Bottom line – retailers should start growing their presence on Pinterest more than ever before as early in the year as possible.
4. Google Penguin (Backlink) Penalties WILL Roll Out More Often
Making mention of more frequent updates to come from the scariest of Google algorithm updates is not sensationalism. Google has indeed stated that Penguin, the algorithm that analyzes the backlink profiles of websites to check for violations (link-schemes), will be updated more often in the year ahead. In the past I may have noted that Google tends to exaggerate when making such statements, but after seeing the most recent Penguin update run for well over a month (when it normally runs for a few short days) it’s clear that they mean business. 2015 will not be kind to any website that enters into any unethical (by Google’s standards) agreement to secure links. Let your content bring backlinks naturally and avoid any and all offers to buy or trade your URL’s way into the anchor text of any other website.
5. Local SEO Will Reign Supreme as Pigeon Gets New Wings
Google’s local business focused algorithm, Pigeon, was a dud when it landed at the end of the summer of 2014. As far as I’m concerned, Google embarrassed themselves with this one. But since then, they’ve been slowly repairing the effect that it had upon local businesses, taking back some of the search engine ranking that was wrongfully handed over to Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Zillow (for real estate), and the like. Google’s pride will not remain bruised in this capacity in 2015. Look for them to perfect Pigeon and then watch as local businesses that optimize their Google My Business page while following this ten item local SEO checklist start claiming their place on the Google Map and other page-one positions. If you own a local business 2015 will be your banner year on search IF you properly manage your online presence or at least secure the services of a professional experienced in the ways of localized search engine marketing.
Here’s to a prosperous 2015 for your online business!
Follow Standard Marketing on Google
Like the featured image of this article? Feel free to copy/paste it into your own article as long as you provide linked attribution to standardmarketing.com