Digital marketing trends are constantly changing. This is mainly informed by the ever changing web behavior and expectations of online users, based on their online experience. On the other hand, Google is constantly updating their algorithms, to match up with the changing online user behaviors.
The days of keyword stuffing and link buying are long gone. Such practices have been made obsolete by the changing Google algorithms. Currently, more than 90% of online users attempt to find products or services with a simple search. Therefore, it is important for every website owner to adopt the best practices in digital marketing and SEO, in order to succeed. In 2018, the following changes are expected.
Most people are now familiar with multiple marketing channels and strategies. However, this should not be confused with cross-channel marketing. In multi-channel marketing, campaigns are usually conducted simultaneously in different channels.
On the other hand, cross-channel marketing involves campaign integration across multiple channels. It is more difficult to combine campaigns, than running them individually. However, come 2018, marketers will need to develop or come up with strategies on how to run these hybrid campaigns.
The days of running email marketing, a PPC campaign and a social media campaign separately are long gone. Instead, you need to learn how to engage your users across every device or channel. You also need to ensure that you provide them with the same user experience, regardless of the channel they choose to access your site.
Many website owners are already using schema markups, to increase their rankings and expand their reach. If you are not already using this strategy, then you are losing a lot of ground which might be very hard to cover in future. This is one of the top SEO trends that will take prevalence in 2018.
When you use Schema markups, web browsers are able to understand your web content easily. Additionally, schema provides Google with the information it requires in order to display quick answers or rich snippets.
You might have already encountered rich snippets from sites based on recipes, movie information, television shows and videos. However, if this is not the type of content on your site, you can still create schema for your website. Once you do that, Google will be able to show your business’ panel page when someone conducts a search on the web.
Google SERP Changes
Every years, Google makes some SERP changes, and 2018 will not be exempted. When you conduct a search, you will realize that the results are not the usual simple pages with links that we have gotten used to. You will now find knowledge panels, rich snippets social posts as well as various ads. This has been intentionally done be Google in an attempt to provide the best user experience and maximise profits.
Google has previously experimented with longer left-container width which resulted to longer page titles. Google has also eliminated right-hand column of ads. These have then been shifted to the bottom of the page. These changes mean that companies or business will need to be very competitive in the digital space, in order to increase their rankings.
Decreased Organic Social Media ROI
You have probably invested heavily in social media, to increase your traffic and rankings. However, you should start cutting reducing expenditure on this strategy, and focus elsewhere. Recently, Facebook announced that it was undertaking a major algorithm change. The move was aimed at reducing the organic reach of publishers and businesses.
This trend will also continue into 2018 and it will greatly affect publishers and marketers who have been receiving up to 40% of their traffic from Facebook. Since Facebook is one of the leaders in the social media industry, other platforms will soon follow. This move is aimed at enhancing individual user experience while cutting down on business and publisher content. It is also forcing businesses to advertise rather than receive large amounts of traffic for free.
Mobile, Speed, and AMP
Using the Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) will definitely be a top trend in 2018. The AMPs are meant to accelerate load time, by removing or reducing the miscellaneous items or extras on a site. This move was done to coincide with the ever increasing mobile use.
Although Google has stated categorically that these articles will not affect a site’s rankings in any way, they normally precede all organic listings on a mobile search. Early adopters have actually found a reduction in CTR on AMP pages, which may or may not be attributed to people not knowing what these listing are. Expect Google to adjust the SERPs based on feedback data in the near future to attempt to rectify this if it continues even as knowledge of AMP becomes more widespread.
The Bottom Line
Users are increasingly becoming fed up with poor web experiences. As you make your SEO and digital marketing plans for 2018, you should pay attention to these trends. Do that and give yourself a head-start towards a successful and prosperous 2018.