What we love about digital marketing is that every year our job changes. Keeping up to date with the latest trends, algorithm changes and user behaviour reports is a full time job in itself, and we're always making sure we're up to date.
However we appreciate you may not have all the time in the world to be Googling what's new with Google (or any other element of digital marketing!) so to help you out, we've compiled a short list of what we think will be worth your attention in 2016.
Video ads in SERPs
We all know video is arguably the most powerful form of content at the moment; we've mentioned it once, twice.. okay a couple of times. So what else could you be utilising video for? Paid advertising of course!
Evidence and a little bit of wishful thinking suggests Google might soon be showing video adverts in normal search engine results pages (SERPs). We think 2016 is the year this will happen, so it might be time to consider creating that perfect video for your business.
Mobile-Friendly Websites & User Experience
No you haven't gone back in time - I am truly suggesting this as a trend for 2016. Yet - most website are now mobile friendly (and rightly so after the April 2015 algorithm change), however, 2015 was the year mobile search overtook desktop for the first time ever.
This means we are in the midst of a major change in user behaviour. Just being mobile-friendly isn't good anymore - 2016 is the year you need to optimise that responsive design to engage and encourage users to convert on your site.
Competitive Social Media Advertising
As more and more businesses begin to appreciate the benefits of social media advertising, the competition for effective ad placements will grow - and with increased competition comes increased cost.
However, we hope this will encourage advertisers to become more creative and dynamic in their approach - creating a medium of advertising which users will want to engage and interact with. We'll certainly be taking this approach ourselves!
App Indexing Will Increase the Number of Apps Out There
Google App Indexing is a system that allows users to click from listings in Google's search results into apps on their Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. This has been around for a while now, however 2015 was the year we really saw it take off, as Google began to support more and more operating systems and browsers.
Therefore, 2016 will be when business owners will start to see the advantage of having an app - an app-iphany if you will (sorry) - and will most likely consider creating one to supplement their website.
It may be quite a few years off yet, but we will see a time when app usage overtakes website usage, so this would be a way to really get ahead of the curve!
Pay to Play
Achieving high ranking for appropriate keywords in Google can be tough for SME's. Hotels are fighting an organic war against booking.com et al and directory websites such as Yell.com are dominating the top positions for many industries too.
As a business with a small but perfectly formed website, it would take a great amount of time, effort and knowledge to work your way up the ranks. Therefore, we're increasingly finding to 'play' in the search results for desirable keywords, paying to advertise is the most effective and efficient way.
Digital Assistants & Voice Search
Siri and Cortana (amongst others) have finally made it out of the awkward stages of puberty and are beginning to blossom into eloquent young adults. Much like grumpy teenagers, they never quite understood what you were saying, often butted in when you were talking and occasionally gave you no response at all.
However, now, we're beginning to turn a corner, and voice search should start to be a consideration when engaging in any SEO activity. This means we need to start to consider optimising our content for queries which are spoken, as opposed to typed.
Want to know more? Why not book onto the next Marketing Leaders Lunch?