For many years the landscape of SEO had a sort-of Wild West quality to it, with marketers often playing fast and loose with search engine rules and guidelines. These days, thanks to Google’s updates, SEO is more nuanced, and crafting successful search engine optimization strategies requires more of a deft touch. Of course, finding a knowledgeable SEO company can help a business design a winning onlinestrategy. However, it’s good for all marketers to stay abreast of new SEO trends and secrets. Here are some of the most relevant in 2015.

External Links Rule

As Google, Yahoo! and Bing continue to place a premium on semantic search, it doesn’t take much to see that external link quality will by a cornerstone of solid SEO this year. Local searches yielding valuable content for the user will be the standard, and it is from this regional base that SEO can branch off to the national level. Also, SEOs will want to focus on the quality of the links as opposed to quantity, as antiquated black-hat SEO practices, such as keyword stuffing, have gone the way of the do-do.

Content Quality/Content Promotion

Google’s algorithm updates have made it clear that content is king, and crafting useful, authoritative content for a target audience is the new norm. But content creation isn’t the whole picture; promoting said content is vital as well. Despite Google’s wavering statements on the matter, social media does indeed influence SEO—and the relationship will only strengthen in the foreseeable future. That means SEOs need to target social influencers and maintain heavy seeding on social platforms. Doing so is the safest bet to higher visibility.

Keywords Still Matter

But the principals of keywords are changing. For example, keyword research and picking solid target words to use in titles and meta tags is still crucial. However, long-tail keywords are what will drive searchers to a particular website in 2015. And never forget: keeping an eye on keyword strategies via assiduous monitoring is a must for ensuring those strategies pay dividends.

Media Monitoring

This is just as important as keyword monitoring, because knowing where and when a brand’s name pops up can help achieve a number net SEO positives. Results can help facilitate relationships and generate links and engage a wider audience. And monitoring the competition’s activity is equally important, as seeing their mentions often illuminates the gaps in an otherwise solid SEO strategy.

Mobile Compatibility

Even Google has been stating in no uncertain terms that mobile is the future of search. And if these stats are anything to go by, they back the search giant completely. Any business or SEO that hasn’t optimized their website for mobile in 2015 is all but taking themselves out of the game. So how does one adequately optimize for mobile? There are a number of easy tricks to this, and they including designing page buttons so they are large enough to accommodate fingers on a touch screen, incorporating images with the content and ensuring a concise call to action is visible right when a mobile searcher lands on a particular page.

By paying close attention to the above secrets and trends, marketers should be able to establish a solid SEO beachhead through 2015 and beyond.