2015_seo_strategyWe all know the basics of a successful SEO strategy: links, regular blog updates, social media, keywords, and quality content. Between Panda and Penguin updates and many other updates, SEO has changed significantly over the past few years. Tactics that worked in years past, no longer apply and can even result in site penalties. These Google algorithm updates forced SEO strategists and marketing companies to completely rethink the way they built their SEO strategies.

Digital strategies now and going forward should focus more on the user and less on search engines. While having your site set up correctly is technically still number one, things like a responsive mobile version of your site and useful content sharing are key points to a successful SEO strategy going into 2015.

Let’s discuss the five essential elements of a successful strategy for 2015 in this post.

Responsive design (aka a mobile version of your site) is becoming extremely important and will be mandatory for remaining relevant in 2015. With all the technical devices used by consumers today, clear and concise websites across all mobile devices is a must. These devices include iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, tablet, etc. Consumers are using these devices to make purchases, book tickets browse new car selections, and so on. A site that doesn’t render on customer mobile devices loses a sale because of it, or loses a lead or even a potential customer. The day is fast approaching where mobile device traffic will surpass that of laptop and desktop traffic.

Streamlined URLs that include user and search engine-friendly keywords and therefore help with ranking is another essential element. Because URLS and links are the structural beams of a website, it is extremely important that they be as short and descriptive as possible. A long string of symbols as your URL makes it hard for both search engines and visitors to recognize what your webpage is about therefore the page loses credibility. Long URLS are also less likely to be shared as they are confusing and even look “spammy.” URLs should be descriptive, include keywords, and are easily sharable.

Videos, videos, videos are a must in 2015 strategies. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, as well as being owned by Google, so it only makes sense that a website should have a strong presence on this channel. There will always be consumers that would rather watch a video than read an article, which is reason enough to have both video and content resources available to customers. Videos are also easily shared via social media networks, on blogs, and can even be used to beef up content on sites. The more shares your videos get, the more people are clicking on your site, which leads to more traffic and conversions. Videos have countless SEO benefits, making them 2015 strategy must.

Social media is key in today’s digital marketing world, and a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is essential for any good SEO strategy. In today’s world people expect your business to have social media, as it’s a great marketing tool. By having a business Facebook page, you can keep your customers up-to-date, allow customers to share information with friends and family, and potentially enjoy more business and customers. Keeping your customers up-to-date on latest happenings via social media gives the consumer a connection to your business and can even lead to more fans and likes. Tweeting about promotions and special discounts is a way to gain interest in your brand, while the sharing of Facebook posts and re-tweeting are all FREE ways to create trails back to your website–how awesome is that! And these are just a few of the benefits reaped from having a healthy social media presence….

Finally, there’s content. The sole reason search engines like Google exist is to give people answers and information. Google’s number-one priority is serving people quality, informative content. If a website does not have quality content and is unable to answer people’s questions, then search engine crawlers ignore them. For websites, bad content that does not provide useful information results in search engine pass-overs, and subsequent poor traffic and conversions. Serving good, quality content and becoming a reliable resource for consumers keeps them coming back. As the old SEO saying goes “content is king.” Quality content is and always will be one of the best way to attract leads and potential new customers to your website–after all, informative content gives people what they came to your site for in the first place. The need for information will always be there, so start giving people what they want- quality content!