There are countless digital trends forecast for this year. We’ve spent hours reading about them all so you don’t have to! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important digital trends for mobile, social and SEO. A key theme to emerge in all areas is the rise of video content.
Being mobile-friendly should be a given in 2016. Google gives preference to websites optimised for mobile, displaying them higher in search results and labelling whether they’re mobile-friendly. Plus, the statistics have now swung in mobile’s favour: 2015 was the first year mobile traffic exceeded that of desktop users.
Customer-centric strategies will continue to grow this year, with the data and analytics from mobile usage providing deeper insights than ever before – thanks to mobile devices being carried with users literally everywhere. This means even more customer, not corporation, focussed decisions. Marketing is to become part of the sales cycle and an extension of customer service, not a separate consideration.
There are predictions apps will start appearing more regularly in search results this year, to better meet user needs when searching on a mobile device. And as search on mobiles increases, changes to the search interface on mobile will start to evolve too. We’ll start to see design that encourages users to tap and flick rather than type and scroll.
Visual platforms such as Periscope and Snapchat will continue to build their user base. They allow users to be in-the-moment and share experiences in real time, so your physical presence doesn’t have to matter, virtually you can be anywhere.
For those not familiar, Snapchat, known as the social hub of millennials, is a photo and video-messaging app for sharing moments. You take a photo or video, add a caption, doodle or lens and send it to selected friends or all your followers, but it only lasts 10 seconds maximum then disappears.
Periscope is an app allowing users to live video stream. It achieves the intimacy millennials crave by allowing followers to communicate with the broadcaster throughout the live stream. It’s a great platform for marketers to experiment with.
Facebook is introducing a “videos” button, allowing users to browse videos in a similar way to YouTube. You’ll be able to view both paid and organic videos, creating a metric based on affinity. In 2016, increasing the number and quality of videos you publish to Facebook will capitalise on this feature and increase the reach of your brand.
Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are all introducing versions of “buy” buttons, making mobile and social commerce a more common and seamless experience for users. As mobile, social and e-commerce become more integrated, conversions (particularly sales) will be possible from almost anywhere.
“Structured data markup” is a standard way to annotate your content so machines/search engines, like Google, can understand it. As well as helping Google index your content better, display it more prominently in search results and surface it in new experiences like voice answers and maps, it helps users find the information they need more quickly and in the most useful format. Structured data has been around for quite a while but Google is planning to make it bigger in 2016.
Social media already plays a part in SEO, as an external channel linking back to your website, and social currency (the number of people sharing or interacting with your brand) is said to influence your rankings indirectly too.
This year, we expect social media to influence SEO even more with search engines like Google working to incorporate social media posts. For example, you’ve probably noticed tweets from Twitter appearing in your search results for news items recently.
Even if it’s not directly correlated to your site’s rankings, posting on social media will become more important in terms of search visibility.
Asking questions of digital assistants, like Siri, affects the types of queries search engines receive, as spoken language queries tend to be different to typed ones. Different long tail keywords reflecting this change should be considered as part of your SEO strategy. It’s suspected this trend could be beneficial for pages containing colloquial and conversational content.
Content remains king, and video is the jewel in the crown. Video content achieves great reach, engagement, effectiveness and ROI. Videos already show in search results and now Google is experimenting with video ads in search results also. Now is the time to get involved and start implementing regular feeds of video.
If you need help getting your digital assets in order, give us a ring or drop us a line, we’d love to make a time to catch up.