4 Fearless Predictions for the Future of SEO and Analytics

If you haven’t had enough with articles and blog posts on the predictions for 2015 and beyond, I thought I would throw my hat into the mix. Change is constant and your ability to adapt is extremely important in a fast-paced ecosystem. Heed these predictions and add them to your agenda for the rest of 2015.

1. Search Results Will Be Different Depending on the Device Being Utilized.

Google is already showing mobile-friendly results and they will eventually turn it into a ranking factor in their results. With mobile traffic overtaking the desktop, they have no choice but to cater their results for mobile users. Once the majority of websites are mobile-friendly, Google will look toward refining the results even further. One of those ways will be to show different results depending on the device being utilized.

Mobile devices come in all types of shapes and sizes. Responsive design should allow a similar experience on different devices. Google is likely learning already that user behavior in their search results can be different depending on the variations of device types. The slightest improvement to usability can have major impacts when you’re dealing with billions of queries. Google will find ways to improve user experience at every turn and mobile devices seems like the next logical step.

2. Google and Facebook Will Battle for Dominance in Cross-Device Tracking.

Cross-device tracking is a pain point with many channels and analytics tools. There isn’t an effective way of knowing if a user that visited your website from a mobile phone is the same user that visited from a desktop computer. There are ways to tie the data together such as having user accounts on your website, but that isn’t a realistic option for many websites.

Google has been touting its ability to provide cross-device tracking with their tremendous reach with Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome. Facebook also has tremendous reach with desktop and mobile users logged into its services. Google and Facebook will eventually realize the importance of achieving close to 100 percent cross-device tracking for their advertising aspirations. This competition will spur acquisitions and major initiatives that will close the gap and end the challenges we now experience with cross-device tracking.

3. Increased Use of Advanced Attribution Will Make SEO More Valuable.

Attribution modeling is becoming increasingly popular and the vendors that provide these services are making their tools more advanced every day. What this will eventually lead to is a major advantage for companies that utilize advanced attribution and its use will exponentially grow.

How does this make SEO more valuable? When you start utilizing attribution tools, you start to see all the assistance channels have in the middle of the attribution model. The middle or assisting channels are very important to the decision of the user. Organic search plays a huge part in answering the questions people have when they are trying to decide on a product or service. If the user didn’t start on organic search or end on organic search, SEO doesn’t get any credit. Clearly, SEO plays a huge part and marketing tactics will shift to provide supporting content to assist users and improve the conversion rates of all channels.

4. Usability Testing for Responsive Websites Will Be Required.

Mobile traffic is becoming very important and companies are quickly redesigning websites with responsive design. In this rush to satisfy mobile users, companies are failing to realize that responsive design isn’t flawless.

Through analytics, companies will begin to see that mobile engagement may not be increasing as much as they thought. This will lead to a focus on increasing those engagement metrics and usability testing will provide those answers. This will become a requirement for user satisfaction and Web design will drastically change to accommodate the mobile user.

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