As 2017 approaches many marketers are wondering what trends can we expect to see dominate in the new year? 2016 brought in some new marketing ideas we had yet to see and we can expect to see these continue as we move forward. Over the last ten years digital marketing has come a long way and every year it changes. So what can we expect from 2017?
It’s pretty obvious mobile was a main focal point of 2016. With the launch of Google’s Amplified Mobile Pages, or AMP, we saw a focus on mobile users over desktop. Google’s focus here is to make more information available to mobile users at a faster rate. The search engine continues to push for sites to implement AMP to their site. It started with a message in Search Console encouraging users to make their pages AMP ready. Next they launched the Google AMP test tool, which makes it easier for developers to make their page AMP applicable.
Earlier in 2016 Google announced it would begin pushing for mobile to be the primary search index. This is being done since each year mobile sees an increase of nearly 58%, pushing it past desktop searches.
In 2015 Google launched Mobilegeddon which was aimed at increasing rankings and traffic to sites that met Google’s mobile requirements. A clear hint that the company wants sites to focus on becoming mobile friendly.
Over the last 2 years video ad spending has increased nearly 85% and that number is expected to increase going into 2017. Marketers are finding video can provides many benefits to its users, everything from increasing time on site to delivering information to users faster.
Currently video ads are dominating social platforms such as Facebook, and Google has taken notice of this. In 2017 we can expect to see more video ads within search results, giving advertisers new ways to reach their audience.
Google continues to fine tune their search algorithm and has continued to penalize sites both manually and algorithmically. The search engine will continue to do this until all spammy sites are excluded and only quality information is provided to users.
Although many sites are not drastically affected by the Google updates, assuming they have participated in digital marketing practices that meet Google’s guidelines. However, if a site has had some spammy practices such as duplicating content, linking from spammy sites, or keyword stuffing then a penalty may be in the site’s future.
Companies should complete an audit of the complete website to ensure they have been practicing white hat tactics. Some SEO tactics that were popular 5 or 10 years ago could end up hurting a site.
Content marketing has changed from building content for search engines to creating it for the users. Users are the ones who are reading, liking, sharing, and back linking to these content pieces. Search engines take this type of data into consideration when it comes to ranking a website.
This goes for designing a site as well. Having a site that is responsive, mobile friendly, and loads fast all dictate how a user browses the site. If a site loads slowly and the user clicks back out of the site, this shows search engines the site is not relevant to the user. Thus resulting in the site losing rankings.
Pokemon Go took the mobile world by storm in 2016. Nintendo saw a huge increase in users, downloads, and revenue, many companies took notice to this. Now businesses are creating ways they can utilize augmented reality to increase app downloads and even in some cases increase foot traffic to brick and mortar stores. The success of Pokemon Go will usher in a rush of new related games and apps that force users into the real world, all while being connected to their devices.
Facebook has launched live streaming and has been pushing it through advertising. Users now have the ability to show followers what is happening in real time. It’s not just limited to users, businesses have begun utilizing this feature as well. Followers can see products being used, the working side of the business and even sneak peeks to new products. News is now shown to users in real time rather than through a video or article that has been uploaded.
Conversion Rate Optimization
With the price of digital advertising increasing, both on the organic and paid side, sites will need to invest more time and money into conversion rate optimization. This will mean more targeted landing pages will be developed and A/B testing on these pages will be necessary. Increasing a conversion rate from 2 to 3% can have dramatic results on a site’s sales and revenue.