Digital marketing strategies are constantly changing, which is why it’s so important to stay up-to-date with trends and radical ideas. This is especially true with the development of new technologies and online tools. So to ensure your digital marketing game is on point, let’s take a look at a few trends SEO experts predict will be huge this year.
Voice Search Is Gaining Popularity
When it comes to how people are searching for products, services, and information on the Internet, voice search is becoming more and more popular. With smart devices in almost every home, voice search is going to drastically change the keywords and phrases people use to make searches — which means SEO keywords need to change too.
According to Kent Lewis at Anvil, “Voice Search will make massive strides in 2019 Digital assistants will dramatically affect the way consumers search in 2019… The Android, Windows and Apple device users will speak directly to their devices to conduct searches as well as manage their lives… Voice search is also driving the need to for brands to optimize for Position 0 on Google. Position 0 is a sentence, list or table “answer” to common questions asked by Google users that appear above the organic search results. This coveted position will become increasingly competitive, even as Google heavily moderates results.”
And Blake Akers from Webology agrees, especially with the rapid pace that people are investing in smart speakers at. “There were 58 million smart speaker sales in the US last year. We’ve all been hearing about the rise of voice search and the importance of long-tail keywords for a while now. This year is different though. Over 47 million US adults have access to a smart speaker going into 2019. It’s a new era for voice search.” This is why it’s worth finding a reliable keyword tool to do your keyword research.
Stephanie Wallace at Nebo also sees the importance of optimizing sites for a changing user experiences with voice searches. “As SEOs we’re facing some big questions: How are artificial intelligence and machine learning impacting search? How do we optimize for non-traditional search engines like Pinterest, Amazon, and voice? What does this evolution mean for the future of search marketers? The most effective strategies in 2019 will be the result of changing our approach to think through the lens of optimizing for consumer discovery as opposed to optimizing for traditional search.”
Establishing a Trust-Worthy Brand
While technology continues to evolve and marketing efforts become more competitive, many experts suggest creating a relationship based on trust with customers. Devin Schumacher from Serp.co says marketers need to put a heavy focus on establishing trust.
“Digital marketing, and specifically SEO, has dramatically changed in 2018 and there are VERY important ramifications to the way we market in 2019 and beyond. Now, more than ever before, marketers need to focus on creating TRUST and RELEVANCE with their websites, content strategies, and advertising campaigns.” Explained Schumacher. “Google has changed the rules – and establishing that you are a trusted resource of content is the way to stand out, and convert more. Happy marketing!”
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to show consumers that your company is reputable. An important place to start is with your Google My Business (GMB) profile.
Liz Eisworth at SangFroid Web Design commented on the importance of GMB, saying “Google My Business (GMB) profiles remain a digital marketing secret weapon for local businesses. No matter the size of your business, if you have a local target market, update your Google My Business profile regularly with photos and videos and always respond to reviews. Be sure to take advantage of Google My Business Posts by regularly posting news, offers and products, too.”
Having a GMB profile that is updated and full of great info is an easy way to show consumers your business is legitimate. And going even more basic than that, all businesses should have their accurate name, address, and phone number (NAP) on the web. Lance Moore from Uptick Marketing says that companies should focus on ensuring their information on Google is correct.
“The local SEO landscape is transitioning to Google being a businesses homepage. Citation correctness of NAP has become less important.” Explains Moore. “Ensuring that the ‘Google’ homepage of your website is an accurate representation is a winning strategy going into 2019.”
Using the Right Tools
SEO isn’t all about keywords, links, and content. It’s also about knowing which tools to use to learn more information about web traffic and audience demographics. According to Jesus Meca at Jesus Meca Digital, the right tests are essential to having the right marketing tactics.
“Creating the right tests with the right variables is going to bring companies an edge over the rest. From testing traffic channels to offers to products and more. Testing can be done at a micro-level like the color on a button or in a macro-level like targeting a specific idea, or audience,” said Meca. “And if you have competitors with big budgets, pay attention because they’re probably already doing it.”
And it’s not just tests that can help improve your marketing strategies. Dan Taylor comments on how new tools that break down SEO activities can be helpful too.
Taylor says, “The trend I’m most interested in at the moment is around all the innovation and advancements being made in ‘edge SEO’. This is a new phrase and encompasses all SEO activities being performed through CDN networks. Tools like https://sloth.cloud are appearing to help educate users on what edge SEO is, as well as make it more accessible – and it’s this education and accessibility element that makes me think that the potential SEO uses for serverless technologies will be achieved by a wider user base.”
Back to Basics
When it comes down to it, SEO and marketing strategies have one goal: to attract the attention of consumers. And with today’s technology, it’s easy to learn about target audiences. But actually communicating with consumers never goes out of style.
With today’s advances in Digital Marketing, its never been easier to collect data about buyers,” says John Petronio at Petronio Insight. “However, there is still tremendous value in human-to-human interactions and interviewing to uncover the reasons company’s win and lose business, or why customers churn.”
And Petronio isn’t alone in his opinion about focusing on the basics — Andrei David comments on the importance of establishing a solid marketing base before jumping on new trends. He says, “…if you’re just beginning, make sure that your focus is set on best practices in your market. Only when those are set in place you can go ahead and follow new trends.”
And, of course, it’s still as important as ever to give consumers high-quality content. Although Stuart McHenry from McKremie thinks more detailed content is the way to go.
“I see more and more publishers moving to long-form content these days for both informational articles and service/products landing pages. Google is defiantly favoring more thorough detailed content and many people in the industry finally took notice,” McHenry says.
This year is sure to be a big one for digital marketing — from AI technology to establishing more trust with customers, there are a lot of different tactics for companies to try. What are your digital marketing plans for this year?