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5 SEM Booty Predictions for 2015

January 5, 2015

2015-sembooty-predictions

Even though hoverboards, flying cars and power laces may not see the light of day this year, Back to the Future II made some pretty good predictions about 2015 including 3D experiences, video chat and wearable glass technology.

So in honour of all things DeLorean, here are my search and social marketing predictions for the year ahead:

1. In Facebook, it will be the paid way or the highway

Gone are the days when companies could post a message on their Facebook page and have every page liker see it in their news feed.

With more and more content flooding people’s feeds, organic posts on Facebook will become a waste of time and the only way for businesses to effectively reach their audiences through Facebook marketing will be through paid ads.

2. More companies will recognize that SEO, Content and Social Media are not mutually exclusive

In 2014, everyone and their grandmothers jumped onto the content bandwagon. For consumers there was so much content noise that information gems became harder to find, and many companies who had developed great content were struggling to reap the rewards.

In 2015, businesses will work harder to cut through the noise and get their content found through more thoughtful social strategies and end-to-end search engine optimization. Those businesses who apply SEO – not just as an afterthought but throughout the entire content development process (from subject identification to how and where content is served) – will be the ones who see most success in 2015.

3. Reporting on social media ROI will become a requirement, not a nicety

With companies allocating more budget towards social media, further fueled by the shift from organic to paid methods, questions around the measurable return on social media spend (and how this compares to other marketing channels), will become ripe. CMOs and finance departments will be demanding answers.

2015 will see the introduction of more tools (from both networks and developers) that help businesses to better track and understand, not just simple engagement measures, but the monetary ROI on social media spend.

4. The “year of wearable technologies” will replace the “year of mobile”

Ever since the release of the iPhone in 2007, search marketers raved about the year of mobile. Each year, it became as painful to hear as the “SEO is dead” mantra. But in 2014, desktop search declined by $1.4 billion as people shifted to mobile (eMarketer, 2014) and for the first time ever, mobile usage overtook desktop. After seven years, the “year of mobile” had finally arrived. So what next?

The “year of wearable technologies” of course! With Apple’s release of the Apple Watch this year, wearable technologies will become available not just to the Scoble’s of the world, but to everyone. And while the mass adoption of wearable search will come much, much later, 2015 will see the start of glanceable content, a further evolution of mobile ranking factors, and more advanced map optimization (including super-specific location and distance factors). Suddenly, local search will become a whole lot more important to all businesses – local and global. With this, expect more pigeon updates in our not-so-distant future.

5. Search marketing becomes a necessary skill across all departments

In order for search to become truly effective, it can no longer operate within a siloed department. Search marketing knowledge will become more of a sought after skill across all marketing functions. And as savvy search marketers work to educate and incorporate search practices, SEO will start to become much more integrated across marketing, web and IT departments.

With this, kneejerk reactionary tactics (in a “Quick! Let’s update all of our sites to https!” fashion) will decline as marketers focus more upon creating fundamentally good content built primarily around user (not just engine) experience.

What are your predictions for 2015?

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