It’s a New Year! What Will SEO Look Like In 2015?


Hi and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for January 2015, keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the world of search and how it affects you.

Video Outline:

Hi and welcome to OurChurch.Com’s monthly SEO Update for January 2015, keeping you up to date on what’s happening in the world of search and how it affects you.

I’m Paul Steinbrueck and I want to start by wishing you a belated Happy New Year.  I hope you had a blessed Christmas and your new year is off to a great start.

1) Local Search Get’s Smarter and More Important

If your organization serves a local area, this is particularly important.  In the past, we’ve typically thought of Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) as either optimizing web pages or getting links to your website so that it ranks better in the search results.  But today when someone searches for keywords related to your site, they are likely to see your Google Local, Yelp and listing.  Some organizations are even seeing these local listings rank ahead of their own website.  This means, it’s critically important to make sure you claim and optimize your local listings in addition to your website.

Additionally, Google’s local search is getting smarter.  They are on to some of the shady techniques some people were using to boost their local listings, like using a “virtual address” in the center of a city where they really have no presence.  And their algorithms are getting better at understanding the way distance affects relevance in local search.  These improvements are good for those organizations who claim and optimize their local listings and do it honestly.

2) Google Is Changing Title Tags

Some recent research found that more than ? of the time, the title Google displays in its search results is different than the actual title tag of the web page or blog post.  Google has long stated the maximum length of a title tag is 70 character, but because some characters (like M) take up more space than others (like an i) it’s better to be under 60.  If your title tag is too long, Google will modify it as they see fit.  So, if you want to control what people see in the search engines (and you should), keep your title tags under 60 characters.

Google has also been observed modifying title tags when they’re stuffed with keywords and not readable for humans, so make sure your title tags are readable and relevant.

3) Authoritive Content is More important than SEO

This is not really news, but search engines are continuing to strive to increase the quality of the content they put in their search results.  This means the search rankings for a page are not based just on the relevance of the content on that one particular page, but they factor in the overall authority of the website and the author.  How does one increase their authority?  Focus on quality rather than quantity.  And more specifically, here are 4 tips on how to do that:


  • 1. Be knowledgeable and passionate about your topic. Take the time to conduct thorough research.
  • 2. Be original. Whether it is producing original research or taking a different perspective, make a point of bringing something new to the table.
  • 3. Focus on well-written content. Take the time to make sure you use good grammar, spelling and punctuation and you format your pages for easy reading.
  • 4. Share your content with targeted communities. Remember, social signals are often a vital source for determining authority.


The bottom line is, if you’re just pumping out bland blog posts that are similar to dozens of others and that’s evidenced by the fact that it’s getting very few comments, likes and shares in social media, they are not going to rank highly in the search results.

And speaking of social media…

4) Social Media Gains Greater Influence in Search Results

Kiss Metrics did some research and they found when a website surpasses 100 Google+ followers, it’s search rankings improved by 15%.  Google denies there’s anything magic about 100 followers, but it does confirm that the more followers a page has, the more shares and likes it is likely to get which will affect search results.

Additionally, we are now seeing a trend towards the building of personal relationships. It is no longer good enough for companies to have a website or social media page for people to peruse. Now, increasingly people are looking to build personal relationships, create two-way conversation and be engaged. Consumers increasingly want to do business with people again.

This is something I’ve blogged about in the past specifically concerning blogging and social media.  Blogging and social media are great for marketing and connecting with others. But, there are so many people  blogging and sharing good content in social media, there is just too much great stuff out there for anyone to read and share.  Therefore, we spend the limited amount of time we have reading and watching the content of people we know and trust.  People used to say “content is king” but now “we here at OurChurch.Com say relationships are king.”

This is important to keep in mind when it comes to social media, SEO, and increasing your organization’s impact.


That is all for this month’s update.

We live in this internet age, so it’s important that you stay strong in the search engines so you can achieve your mission online.  We here at OurChurch.Com are here to help you do that, so if you have any questions or there’s anything we can do to help you improve your search marketing and achieve your mission online, please give us a call or send us an email.

Thanks for watching, have a fantastic 2015!

Tell Us What You Think:

  • Have you seen anything new in Google?
  • Do you use the Internet on a mobile device or desktop?
  • How important is it to you that a website is mobile friendly?

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