Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you had a relaxing break and are ready for a great start.
2014 was a turbulent year in terms of Google Algorithm updates. Even the best white hat SEOs aren’t always safe from ranking or traffic drops after Google updates. Here at Serps we’re continuously looking to improve our strategies for each of our clients, in order to avoid any negative impact a Google update could cause. I believe that Google will continue to clean up its search engine results and we have therefore taken a look at what we think the digital marketing trends will look like in 2015.
Focus on multi-channel marketing
It’s difficult to predict what algorithm or UI changes Google is planning for 2015, therefore don’t only focus your online marketing efforts on SEO alone but also think about a wider cross-channel marketing strategy that encompasses paid search, display advertising, community management, social media advertising, content strategies, email marketing, PR etc. Multiple touch points with your target audience will ensure that you get in front of them as often as possible, which will keep your brand in the forefront of their mind when they are ready to buy.
Encourage brand ambassadors
Leverage your loyal customer base and encourage them to become brand ambassadors. They will be able to inspire others to engage with your brand and represent the best and most low cost advertising you will ever get, since they know your brand and already use your services or products. Look for ways in which you could deepen your relationship with them and ask them why they love your product or service. Make them feel special and they will be more than happy to spread the word and encourage others to engage with your brand.
Mobile Marketing on the rise
I know, we’ve been saying this for a couple of years now but as payment features become more secure this channel will certainly become more favourable for customer purchases. Additionally it’s likely that Google will start looking at improving mobile organic results in throughout 2015, which will encourage more online sales via mobile devices.
Structured data will be more important
As Google continues to change its search results, having your content structured correctly will be even more important, so that your brand can benefit from any new SERPs data roll out. Ensure that any products, events, or any other listed content is marked up correctly. We already see these for cinema times, flight information and reviews but Google may roll these out into additional verticals over time and you wouldn’t want to lose out on having a prominent Google result.
Focus on high quality content
This is certainly not new as such but owning good quality content will be increasingly important and play a bigger role for brands. Your effort should be around one piece of outstanding content, rather than 10 lower quality infographics per month. Users are becoming more picky in relation to what they spend their time on reading and sharing. Therefore truly informative and comprehensively outlined content will always win. Content will also have to become more sophisticated in the way it is being delivered i.e. in the form of an interactive infographics for example. Another important factor will be to invest time in content planning and strategy. Taking the time to devise a content strategy will ensure that companies don’t waste time in producing content just for the sake of creating content and can utilise their resources more effectively.
Invest in Conversion Rate Optimisation
As Google’s algorithm is becoming more and more personalised and user centric, sites that allow for a great customer experience will be the clear winners. Just as the latest Google algorithm now puts sites that have a SSL certificate above the rest, after security, Google’s aim will be to encourage fantastic user experience. All marketers should review the user journeys taken by each of their target audiences and analyse whether they receive the information that is relevant to them easily. Ensuring that visitors are having a good experience when interacting with your site is crucial, in order to encourage return visits. Therefore focus some of your time in conversion rate optimisation, which should be an ongoing part of your marketing activities.
Global Opportunities should not be overlooked
In some industries it will be tougher for smaller companies to compete with the big brand’s marketing budgets. It therefore makes sense to gauge whether there might be opportunities overseas. Don’t forget to do your research first though or you could be spending a lot of money on setting up a foreign language site without the clear promise of results. But if your selling virtual or downloadable products, consider whether your product could find an audience abroad.