When it comes to selling online, there's a whole checklist of important To-Dos before you scale to success. From design to check out to product delivery, online store owners must make sure each and every customer interaction with their brand is as convenient and seamless as possible.
Of course, before any experience can be had, that customer has to be able to find your store first - and this is where SEO comes in.
In the past, websites optimized for keywords first and quality later. However, as Google's algorithms continue to change, sites have begun optimizing for quality and social shares. SEO is an ever-changing beast that way, and 2015 will be no different. In fact, 2015 may see SEO's biggest best practices upheaval yet, as mobile search takes precedence over that of desktop.
What does this mean for your online store? That's a great question, and one we fielded over to SEO expert Simon Serrano, SEO manager at Bigcommerce. According to Simon, SEO in 2015 will be focused on two big trends currently disrupting the small business SEO ecosystem. And online small businesses better get ready now.
What do you anticipate will be the biggest SEO trends in 2015, particularly in relation to businesses with 500 or fewer employees?
The biggest SEO trends in 2015 for small businesses are going to be 1) mobile SEO and 2) local SEO.
Google is focused on optimizing for mobile search and expects search queries from mobile devices to outpace those coming from desktops in 2015. Therefore, every business should make sure they have an amazing mobile version of their site that is fully SEO optimized and provides a great user experience. Sites who continue to use a desktop version of their site for mobile users are going to start seeing their mobile rankings drop.
Local SEO has already gained one update in 2014 via Pigeon and as mobile searches increase, local searches are going to increase as well. Making sure that your site is listed and optimized to show in Google's local results will be key to maximizing visibility on mobile-local searches.
Do you believe SEO best practices will change as a result of these trends?
Because of the smaller screen sizes on mobile devices, we may see SEO best practices change in regards to title tag lengths, descriptions and on-page content.
What's your best advice for small businesses that want to maintain or improve their search engine rankings in 2015?
Claim your Google Business listing. This will help ensure you show up on local searches. Also make sure you understand the changes that took place with the Pigeon update.
Make sure your site is ready for mobile by modifying your site's design so that it is responsive and mobile-friendly. Some website builder and ecommerce platforms already offer mobile-friendly, responsive designs and templates, making setup a breeze.
For more SEO advice for 2015, drop your questions in the comment thread below.
Photo: Flickr, Robert Scoble