Thinking about my digital marketing predictions for 2015:

Content Marketing is becoming saturated

With new content continuing to grow at a rate of 200% according to a recent survey people will naturally be getting a little bit numb to the content that they’re seeing, that means we need to be producing better quality as well as more content in order to compete with what’s out there.

Content will need to be far more targeted than it previously had to be and it will be those businesses that are able to produce and importantly promote really targeted content that will see the benefit.

With content continuing to increase and more businesses getting involved, it will b those businesses that are able to do something special with their content that will ultimately win out – the problem with special is it takes time to plan and produce at a time when businesses will need to produce more content more rapidly so they don’t get left behind.

Forget trying to rank for specific keywords

It will become increasingly harder to rank for specific keywords. Using exact match phrases and synonyms used to be enough however in competitive spheres this is no longer effective, this trend will continue into other less competitive queries as the search engines search for other factors that have more meaning when working out how to increase the rankings of a page or a website more generally.

Content Marketing is SEO

Businesses will start to understand that content marketing is the new seo, sure there will be room for onsite improvement but most new wesbites are search engine friendly and ready, and whilst link building will still be important to some extent without the creation of new content onsite that could justify growth in links you are running a risk in pointing links back to the site.

Ultimately content marketing generates the holy grail of links that seos are always talking about: Organic Links.

I remember when I started in SEO and everyone was saying Content is King, we lost that years ago – but it’s definitely a mantra that’s come back full circle. Live it.

You won’t be able to ignore video

Video content is becoming easier to produce and your business is going to have to do something about that, if you don’t you’ll find your competitors are producing and distributing video content. This is especially important when you consider the way we’re consuming content – there are now around 100 million people watching video online each day, so you’re going to need to use it and remember video provides positive signals for your website in Google’s eyes.

As brands realise that they need to use video we’re going to see them start to pop up everywhere, more explanatory videos, more story-telling videos and more videos embedded in content. Make sure you’re doing it!

You’ll need to increase your budget for promoting content

Unless you’ve already got an amazing social media following it’s time to be realistic, if you’re producing content you need to be getting it out there and the only way you’re going to be able to do that is to pay to promote it. It is only through paying for the promotion of content that you give it a chance to go viral.

If you think about the amount of content that’s being produced increasing by 200%, it’s so competitive it’s only those brands that can afford to muscle their way in who will have a chance of getting their voices heard. Muscle = cash.

Diversify the types content you’re putting out there

Now is the time to produce more content, but we’re not just talking about more written content, we’re talking about more of everything, how can you use videos as mentioned above, how can you create infographics, how can you slideshows, interactive graphics, podcasts etc.

Also it used to be thought that content marketing was about answering the kinds of questions your audience is asking, if you’re business model is all about answering your audiences questions you need to be doing something about it. Businesses that just answer questions will lose out in 2015 as Google will start to answer the questions being asked through search queries without sending the user off-Google.

Keep thinking mobile

Mobile is going to continue to grow across every industry sector, if you’ve not already got your website responsive get it done. But also be thinking more closely about the types of content you can produce that’s useful for someone on the go. Reading is still important, don’t get sucked into the trap of thinking people don’t read on their mobile, if anything trends are suggesting people will spend more time reading content on their mobile than they do on a desktop – what’s more they’ll read that content wherever they are. However as we’ve seen there are a lot of opportunities for other types of content on mobile devices.

Personalisation

A couple of years ago I predicted we’re entering the Personalisation Era, many big brands have continued to benefit from personalising the content, products etc being displayed to visitors and I’ve enjoyed working with businesses to further advance their offering, however I expect more and more small brands will take up the personalisation challenge this year and those businesses that personalise their offering will reap the rewards – because users are starting to expect this level of service from the websites they use.

Expect augmented reality to become more important for search marketing

Marketers need to start thinking about how to assign their content to the physical world, with the advent of devices such as Google Glass and the Apple Watch and their undoubted successors the Internet of Things is going to be far more important to making businesses successful – those businesses that don’t get behind these trends will have a hard time catching up in the future.

HTTPS will become necessary but will deliver little returns

Every seo out there will tell you Google wants you to have an SSL certificate protecting your website, and over the next twelve months we’ll see more and more websites becoming HTTPS protected, however I don’t believe it will deliver that much more traffic to those websites that do chose to become protected (that’s why I’ll be suggesting they choose a cheap certificate for now).

Matt Cutts won’t come back

For years now Matt Cutts has headed up the spam team at Google, this means he’s been the face of Google to the online marketing community, he recently announced that he was going to take an extended period of leave and I have a suspicion that he won’t be coming back for the long term. He’s done his bit, I’m sure he’s made a fortune and maybe that”s enough for him.

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