5 Online Marketing Trends to watch in 2018
With the explosion of websites, devices and new forms of online interactions, online marketing can be seen as an ever-changing complex game. To help your business stay ahead of your competition, we have compiled a list of prominent online marketing trends to watch in 2018.
Google Switching to Mobile-First Index
With over half of Google searches now coming from mobile devices (source: Search Engine Land) and 46% of users stating that waiting for slow web pages to load was their main dislike when it came to mobile web browsing (source: ThinkwithGoogle), it is imperative that you adapt to the times. We’re expecting Google to switch to mobile first indexing within the next few years, which will affect searches worldwide and have a significant impact on search results. This means that having a mobile-responsive site today is something you simply cannot afford to skip out on.
Users Want a Fast, Frictionless Browsing Experience
Consumers nowadays are more informed, demanding and impatient than ever before. They expect things instantly and effortlessly. 87% of smartphone users turn to online search engines first in a moment of need (source: ThinkwithGoogle). Whether they want to book a table, find a plumber or buy a gift, they want their phone to fulfill their immediate needs. As a result, the number of searches for “same day shipping”, “open now”, “travel next day” has increased substantially.
Brands need to be prepared for this new consumer behaviour by improving the performances of their website or app in order to provide a fast, frictionless online customer experience. Long load times, shopping cart problems, or content that’s hard to find is the online shopping equivalent of waiting in a long store line or spending ages browsing through shelves looking for what you need. Every second added between a customer landing on your site and finding what they want leads to a 20% reduction in conversion and unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores, online shoppers can effortlessly click off your site and onto a competitor’s.
Structured data or markup refers to formatting HTML code on your site using a specific vocabulary which in turn lets search engines know how to interpret your site’s content and display it in search engine results pages. Structured data helps search engines and Google in particular, create rich snippets for your pages that will enhance your visibility. Different types of formats are available including reviews, product prices, events, recipes.
Although structured data is not and has never been confirmed by Google to be a search engine ranking signal, implementing structured data may very well increase traffic to your site. Rich snippets alone can increase your site’s CTR by as much as 30% (source: Search Engine Land) . In turn, the more clicks and traffic your site receives, the more important it looks in Google’s eyes and, as a result, your search engine rankings will increase.
With more and more businesses competing against each other for higher search engine rankings, businesses should be seizing opportunities to stand out and implementing structured data on your site is yet another way to gain an edge over your competition.
Welcome to the Age of Assistance
As complexity in everyday life has been increasing, so have technological advancements to assist in everyday tasks.
Search engines and businesses in general are adapting to this increasing complexity by developing technologies to help people perform their daily tasks. Services like voice recognition have started to gain in popularity with services such as Google Assistant, Siri, Samsung Bixby, Amazon Alexa and Cortana to name a few. Artificially intelligent assistants have been embedded into smartphones and even standalone devices to be used throughout the house.
According to Google, 1 in 5 searches already consist of voice queries and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. This means that brands need to focus more on assisting their potential customers than pushing messages onto them. Brands that are helpful are in turn rewarded with more exposure in this new age of assistance.
The Rise of Visual Search
With the rise of blogging and social media, the internet has become more focused on visuals. Blog or Social Media posts featuring relevant images or videos tend to be viewed and shared a lot more than those without.
This means that brands and businesses need to increase their focus on visual media. This can be done by investing in professional quality photos and videos related to your business. In turn, these can be used on your website, Social Media channels, YouTube and even digital Maps to help set you apart from your competition.
On Google Maps alone, listings with photos and virtual tours are twice as likely to generate interest among potential customers than those without. A high quality, 360-degree interactive visual tour showcasing your business can really bring your business to life and create a lasting first impression on your future customers and bring them one step closer to visiting your location. An interactive 360-degree visual tour is perfect for retail shops, restaurants, pubs, gyms, yoga/dance studios, salons, dentists and more.
Being the largest search engine behind its parent company Google, YouTube can offer you an affordable way to visually promote your business. The best video content is that which tells stories that connect with the viewer. The better you express your business through stories, the more likely your viewers will understand your company and what you can do for them.
Now that you’ve gone over our top 5 list of online marketing trends to watch in 2018, you’ll hopefully have gained a better understanding of what you can implement within your own online marketing efforts this year. At the Three Marketers, our online marketing experts are constantly on the lookout for developing trends and are some of the first to pick them out. Contact us today to find out how we can help your business grow and stay ahead of your competition.