It’s only a few weeks old, but 2015 is already shaping up as a year in flux for SEO and content marketing. Google’s been relatively quiet since its localization-focused Pigeon update in October, and the search engine giant’s spam guru Matt Cutts remains on leave into 2015. With less information about Google’s goings-on, content marketing experts have relied on their own insights to predict what 2015 will bring for SEO. Here’s our take on what you need to know about content for the coming year.
Mobile Marketing a Must
More visitors than ever now see the mobile version of your site, read your emails on mobile devices and check their smartphones for Facebook updates. If you aren’t catering to these customers with mobile-friendly responsive design, you’re missing a huge chunk of your audience. The good news is that responsive web and email design has become accessible for everyone. With current technology, your content marketing team can put together mobile-first designs that welcome your whole audience to visit your site, read your emails and click on your landing pages.
Sleek and Streamlined Content
Responsive design is just the start of the mobile revolution, which is also affecting how sites look. High-contrast color combinations, bold yet simple images and text with plenty of white space are direct results of mobile-first marketing design. From your logo to your layout, the content you present should look as good on a smartphone screen at 9:00 at night as it does on a desktop unit at 9:00 in the morning. Because viewers want streamlined sites that work well on any platform, content has to be concentrated. You don’t have room for padded writing or fluff-filled copy. Every word counts, and your content creator must keep that editing pencil sharp.
Marketing Automation Makes a Splash
At first blush, automation sounds like the antithesis of what content’s about – specificity, relevance and authority. In reality, marketing automation software just takes the guess-work and extra steps out of moving content from your creative team’s brains to your audience’s eyes. With it, you can customize landing pages, email and even your home page with content directed straight at the audience you want to reach. Triggered email events, audience segmentation and lead scoring are simpler with a fully automated system too, but the heart of the process is content – and lots of it. If you plan to upgrade to full-service marketing automation software in 2015, be prepared to supply your new system with plenty of content.
LSI Matters More
Latent semantic indexing, or LSI, has been a driver for SEO and content marketing for years, and businesses can expect that trend to continue. The term sounds complex, but in practice, it’s just a way for search engines to recognize high-value sites by seeing beyond keywords. For example, if you’re in the business of restoring classic cars, your site’s content might include car makes and models, automotive terms and synonyms for restoration. Search engines that use LSI – or at least something like it – pick up on these signals in your content and index your page more highly. Think of LSI as search engines’ natural defense against keyword-stuffing and thin content.
Google Pulls Away from Analytics
Google has already started playing their big data analytics closer to the vest by dropping their Google Keyword tool-set, and content marketers predict an increasing tendency to withhold similar information. From the search engine’s standpoint, freely providing access to this information helped not only legitimate white-hat content marketers but also black-hat SEO who could use the knowledge to game the system. For marketers, that means greater reliance on in-house software to analyze performance.