The Basic Guide to SEO: 5 Latest Trends and Tips for 2015

While Google continues to update its search engine algorithms (sometimes twice in one month), it’s no wonder the field of SEO is littered with speculation and hypothetical practices.

Constantly improving search engine software means many SEO experts are heading towards a more holistic approach more in line with content marketing strategy and traditional marketing techniques. In this article, I’ll share current trends and other tips to use when developing your latest SEO plan for the future.

1. Conversational Keyword Phrases

conversation keyword phrases

Google’s 2013 hummingbird update brought many changes to how keywords are interpreted on the web. The most considerable change from this update improved the way the search algorithm understands “conversational” phrases – questions entered in a search query to make sure the whole phrase is understood rather than each particular words. So, what does this mean for SEO experts?

  • Don’t use your PR company to build links and make sure linkbacks are from trustworthy sites.
  • Try to ensure anchor text linking back to your site is more natural and less “keyword focused.”
  • Make sure your website is useful and entertaining that targets your audience with sharable content and multimedia.
  • Establish a strong social presence across all all major platforms.


2. Traditional links and Brand Mentions

Yes, inbound links are still considered the most important factor in page ranking but the way Google interprets these links has changed. Google caught on to certain old practices that link building campaigns brought on. It used to be that a link was a link, and the more you had, the better you ranked. Now, however, Google takes into account “implied links,” also called “brand mentions” and the ratio of how they are spread around the web. Brand mentions are words on another webpage mentioning or referencing your brand or company without the use of a hyperlink.


A key takeaway from this is to make sure your links appear natural from a wide range of sources with high authority if you are involved with any link-building campaign. Establishing your own brand authority is an important factor that will contribute hugely to ranking. And as explained above, if you are link building using your master keyword list as anchor text and the same URL for the hyperlink, be careful as Google will recognize the correlation as being tied to an SEO campaign and may penalize your site. Mixing URL structure (i.e. vs. and keywords and phrases will allow your link building campaign to appear more natural.


3. Mobile Optimization and User Behavior

mobile optimization

While this isn’t a new trend, the decision for marketers to support mobile environments should not even be an option. When 1 out of every 5 people in the world own a smartphone and 1 out of every 17 people own a tablet, you are only shooting yourself in the foot without mobile support.

In 2014 and 2015, it’s clear SEO campaigns will not only support mobile optimization strategy, but building on this strategy beyond simply having a responsive website. Not only should your site be readable and accessible from every device and multimedia platform, but it should also be optimized accordingly for each. Images and content need to be lighter on smaller devices rather than simply scaling down and re-adjusting to the browser window. Google algorithms now take user behavior like bounce-rate into effect. If you deliver a bad user-experience because your site is not optimized properly, your ranking will be effected.


4. Content Is Still King

Your website has to really deliver if you want to rank for relevant search terms. The days of taking advantages of loopholes and quick fixes are long gone. The web basically breaks down to simple content, and Google search algorithms strive to make sense of this content and to deliver the best most relevant content to the searcher. It only makes sense that content continues to hold the throne.


5. Social Media Integration

Because Google search algorithms are becoming pretty much the closest thing to artificial intelligence, it only makes sense that human signals will play a more important role on the future of SEO. If you don’t have a strong presence and strategy that allows for people to find and share your content, you’re doing it wrong! Social media is clearly not going away. Understanding your target market and delivering quality content is essential.

Every time a major change happens with Google search, the question “is SEO dead?” always arises. In my opinion, it’s the strategy that dies and not SEO itself. As a marketer or web developer, it’s your responsibility to evolve and change your strategy on the fly. Thinking in terms of “optimizing” may be on the way out. Instead, thing of it as SEM (or Search Engine Marketing) as just another branch off the marketing tree.

Feel free to check out my earlier posts on SEO:

The Basic Guide to SEO: 6 Ways to Optimize Your Blog
Use Yoast Before You’re Toast: The Blogger’s Handbook to SEO Friendly Articles
The Basic Guide to SEO: How Search Engines Actually Work
The Basic Guide to SEO: How to Optimize Your URLs

  • Woopdeals

    True said, these tips are very helpful…..very nice post

  • Ravi Kumar

    Google has plan to make search engine spam free. No body could know its hard algorithm.

    Do quality work and be safe from Google penalty.

  • Sukhpreet Kaur

    Great article, do clean SEO religiously and you’ll be on the top of SERPs.

  • Spark Junction

    Good tips there.
    I think LSI will play an even more important role, so focusing on overall context rather than sharp keywords is essential.
    Google is giving up the visible PageRank. I think this will set new trends as well.

    • Dave

      I agree. I’ve recently been learning more about the importance of understanding LSI. I may add a section about this.

  • Renu Bisht

    2015 is going to be very tough year for SEO, rules will be changing, the old metrics will not matter any longer, SEOs will have to be smarter than ever and i think the demand of smart marketers will rise in 2015.

  • Jack Marco

    The seo legends are yet to fly up with colors and catch the google’s path in 2015.

    Good trends.Worthy reading!!!

    Jack-seo analyst


  • Barbra Barry

    Brilliant post, Nice helpful post.Thanks for sharing the Trendy tips for professional seo services.

  • Advertising Agency

    Thanks for the post, Dave. Mobile optimization is huge, my Chicago SEO company will tell you that! And long tail keywords and semantic searching is already so important, I wish it got as big in 2014 as it is expected to in 2015.

  • Harry Ian

    Great piece of information. Thanks for sharing.
    search engine optimization

  • dominique

    Having a good content is indeed a very important thing in SEO. And with a large number of people using smart phones, it almost became a necessity that your website has a mobile version. More and more people are using it to access the Internet that is why there a great demand for it. Learn more on SEO with proper training like clickminded seo training course.

  • Marketing Sweet

    Hi David, I like your views on what will be trending this year. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article where I was able to gain a firm understanding. The ideas that you shared were very useful and I found them to be very helpful and informative. Thank you for the great information David – something to think about and take on board.

  • Guest

    Hi there. Just a tip: you’ve got a typo under #3. I think you mean “your ranking will be affected” not “effected.” Just a friendly thought. I could be wrong though.

    • GUEST

      Establish a strong social presence across all all major platforms

      all all.

  • Parker

    Thanks for the sharing nice information. Ecommerce SEO I agree with the point mobile optimization. Google already announced a few months ago that mobile responsive sites are going to show up than others.

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  • Sanaa Khanam

    a lot for sharing your valuable insights with us. I like the example you’ve used to illustrate
    it.Something you mentioned piqued my interest always great to receive such brilliant information about such an
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  • Basil Baby

    Hi, Can you help me how to improve my online presence. Am serving as Business Development Manager of a small web designing company in Cochin – India named Globosoft Technology Solutions –
    Now as per my instruction, our website developers are redesigning our website in responsive manner and in SEO supportive. So kindly help me to improve our online presence in such keywords.

  • experiencesilk

    Nice posting.
    Thanks for your posting.

  • Nahidul Ehsan

    Google is always three steps forward than we think it to be. What we can do is to make an hypothesis to prepare or SEO plan. However, this post sounds good 🙂

  • meysam r

    thanks to your good tips, I wanna translate this and use in my blog if you let.

    I will link that to your blog too

    • Mark

      Feel free to use this post! Just make sure you link to it and credit the author, David Hanaford.

  • ukseoserviceuk

    Good tips and nice posting

    SEO Services UK

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  • Medialinkers Kennesaw

    This you probably know already, content is the backbone of
    the search engine rankings. Last year, SEO and content marketing were the terms
    that were used interchangeably. For achieving a significant visibility in the
    search engines, high quality content distribution is the most important.

    Thanks and Best Regards

  • Shark Web

    Yes, brand mentions as well as links from relevant sites still work great for SEO!

  • Rajan

    yes these tips are very helpful as google decided to washed out all those spammy sites to make good business for genuine struggler over the internet

  • Medialinkers-info

    I like your perspectives on what will be inclining this year. I altogether delighted in perusing this article

    Medialinkers Web Design

  • John

    We follow the dame and we mainly concentrate on Strong and Quality link building. Thanks for share, Keep it going.