As rapidly as the culture of digital marketing changes, there are still some fundamental online marketing trends to pay attention to.
Do you have a vision for an online marketing plan that will boost customer conversion?
Do you need to develop a strategy to improve a business’s online presence?
Have you been tasked with implementing a digital marketing plan?
Pay attention to these online marketing trends. You’ll be glad you did.
Search engine optimization jumped off the desk top and right into your back pocket or purse. Or wherever you keep your Smartphone. It’s going mobile, and to be effective, your website needs to go with it.
Of all the ranking algorithms, Google’s Mobile-First roll out is poised to affect search engine optimization the most. In Google’s own words: “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.”
On their Webmaster Central Blog, they go as far as to say “… this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously.” If Google is taking it seriously, so should you.
The next question is: what should your business or web developer be focusing on right now?
Start with a few easy fixes to get your site going on the right ranking path.
Mobile users have limited attention spans. if a site takes too long to load, they’re on to the next.
An infographic from Kissmetrics is very telling. 47% of consumers want a website that loads in less than 2 seconds. And a whopping 40% abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. that doesn’t give you a lot of “time” for mistakes.
Sometimes responsiveness is mistaken for site speed. But having a responsive site is more about the “language” across devices. If the majority of content and content markup are different from desktop to mobile, changes need to be made.
For a concise explanation of structured data and the language of schema, read this blog post on web design SEO.
No, this is not about a trip to your therapist.
This about the 74% of mobile users who say they will visit the same site multiple times if it is mobile-friendly.
Do you know if you are losing customers?
Google wants you to know. In fact, they encourage you to find out: “If you don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly, take the Mobile Friendly Test now!”
Not convinced they’re serious?
They take it a step further and offer a mobile usability report. The report identifies errors on your website that prevent mobile users from easy access. The errors flagged by the report include:
- Flash usage
- Viewport not configured
- Fixed-width viewport
- Content not sized to viewport
- Small font size
- Touch elements too close
See? You don’t need a shrink! You just need a site that makes your soon-to-be customer’s lives easy.
Online marketing trends that adapt to the user are the ones smart marketers pay attention to.
Optimize for Voice Search
If your company really wants to be on the cusp of online marketing trends, it’s time to start learning a “new” language.
It’s called Natural Language Processing (NLP). And it’s something you’ll need to pay attention to if you want to stay competitive.
Mary Meeker, during her Internet Trends Report, announced that Google’s voice recognition is now 95 percent accurate. She also noted that voice-powered searches are rapidly replacing typed queries.
That’s right. When structuring content, it’s now imperative to keep user intent in mind.
How can we anticipate the exact words someone will use during a search?
With a little help from our friend schema, mentioned above.
Utilizing content markup allows web crawlers to translate your website into a richer, more detailed language. This closely mimics NLP which in turn can boost a website’s visibility when longer phrases are used.
Since the introduction of Facebook Live, streaming video for branding and strategic marketing has taken off.
What can you do to make streaming video a part of your website’s user experience?
Samuel Edwards, a specialist in online marketing trends, shares his expertise and offers these simple starter ideas for a successful live-streaming video campaign:
- A special event
- A key speaker
- An impromptu interview
- A thoughtful monologue
- A Q&A session
- An office tour
- A product or service demo
For details on how these can specifically impact your video marketing endeavors, check out Samuel’s full post “7 Ideas for Live Streaming Content.”
Video is only growing in popularity. Companies looking for the value in online marketing trends should definitely focus here. The sooner you master the trend, the more advantage you’ll have over the competition.”
Content may still be King, but it looks like user-created content is the Prince. And he’s campaigning to take over the throne.
The first place consumers go to get brand information is online. Online marketers who choose to ignore this are missing out.
How so, ask the nay-sayers? well, only a “measly” 88% of consumers surveyed say they trust online reviews as if they were personal recommendations.
Enter consumer-generated, or crowd-sourced, content.
And get ready for it to explode.
The partnering of social media with content marketing is not just one of these online marketing trends; it’s a lifestyle. And it’s going organic.
To build trust and long-lasting customer relationships, digital marketing strategies need to get personal. Smart content is one of the most personal online strategies around.
According to HubSpot, smart content is content that is “intelligently personalized to your customer’s needs.”
Successful companies will use this tool to anticipate and address the needs of an individual. They will provide the right information at the right time.
And how will successful businesses master this?
That leads us to our next “Big” digital marketing trend.
Big Data. It’s the catch-phrase of the day.
With proper analysis, it is an excellent tool for creating buyer-specific marketing campaigns. And we have plenty of it.
In order to personalize the customer experience, marketers must interpret data. Using the right data allows a company to create real-time, relevant customer interactions. And since 70% of consumers expect personalization as a standard feature, data analysis should not be ignored.
The big question: How are companies steering their data analysis in an actionable direction?
Here are five suggestions from Ritika Puri on WordStream on how to use data to drive your marketing efforts:
- Use demographics to plan campaigns
- Capitalize on trends from other marketing channels
- Understand your customers’ purchase paths through individual touchpoints
- Create tailored Facebook campaigns
- Use data to adapt to industry changes
Read the detailed case studies to learn how businesses just like yours are implementing data-driven marketing.
Online Marketing Trends to Kick
Some are good, some bad, and some downright ugly.
Part of an effective online marketing plan is knowing when to ditch particular trends.
Here’s our suggested list of online marketing trends to kick to the curb:
- Pop-ups that appear above the fold or require customers to fill-in information before they can access content
- Keyword stuffing — remember to focus on long-tail keywords and synonyms; you’ll see much better SERP results
- Old pages — remove them, they don’t add to better results
- Broken links — don’t get penalized for having a lot of broken links; it affects search engine rankings
- Old content — add fresh content and new pages to maintain the level of freshness Google desires
- Duplicate content — even somewhat modified content has negative effects on a site’s visibility in query results
- Flash or java script — say goodbye; you want content bots can read
Are you prepared to take on the next online marketing trends?
Did we forget a few that you feel are more important?
Let us know in the comments below.