4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

The end of 2017 is in sight, and as we celebrate the New Year, it’s time to consider both personal and professional aspirations. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a longstanding business professional, it is time to consider what 2018 will bring with regards to digital marketing. After all, digital marketing is a fast-paced world; one that can adapt, and chop and change in the matter of a month or even a day.

Of course, there are a few digital marketing changes that have already come into effect; however, these new industry trends are in their infancy and will come into greater significance as we transition into 2018. If you’re a business owner or a digital marketing executive, here are 4 digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2018.

Increase in Visual Searching

The search engine giants Google, Bing and even Pinterest, have already implemented visual searching, however, the rest of the world is yet to follow. Visual searching is exactly what it says on the box – a search engine designed to search for information over the web, through the input of an image. How can businesses prepare themselves for visual search engine searching, though?

As visual search will compare either the metadata keywords or the look, color, shape and even texture of an image, businesses will need to improve their image quality and photography skills for their website. Nowadays, websites should have high-quality images, as images are becoming more popular and useful than blocks of text; online shoppers want to see the products rather than read about them. Optimizing your visual content through clear and relevant images will, therefore, greatly improve your search engine rankings when searched for visually.

Image content you should include on your website are as follows:

  1. High-quality images of products and services (which can be easily found/described through visual searching)
  2. Videos
  3. Infographics

Voice Search Rather Than Manual Typing

According to Google, 1 in 5 searches come from voice queries; this means the way we search has adapted from manually typing in our questions into a search bar, to speaking, out loud, to our phones with the help of Siri and S Voice. This means the world of SEO is on course to change over the next few months, as keywords, which used to be short and sweet, will now prove more fruitful when they are long-tail.

Natural phrasing is to become more prominent, meaning many businesses may have to adjust their SEO strategies for both on-site and off-site content. If such change is unnerving, then hiring an SEO consultant from companies such as Structured SEO can help small to mid-size businesses to harness these new SEO realms. As millennials are more descriptive in their Google searches, your company will need to follow suit, otherwise, your Google ranking is sure to plummet.

Digital Assistants Offer Support (and Valuable Data)

The age of digital assistants and conversational search is upon us. Home hubs such as Amazon’s Alexa (AKA, Amazon Echo) and the growth of voice searching means businesses may be able to process data and, therefore, curate more accurate results. By collecting data through home hubs, your company can offer more personalized outcomes for each user, improving their online experience; with the increase in voice searching and building smart homes, the new data accumulated by these devices are expected to be of high value.

There is, however, an added pressure for businesses, as with digital assistants there is no screen for users to search through. Rather than provide you with the top ten or so results, the digital assistant will provide you with the answer and then reference the source at the end. Companies need to ensure that they are number one, otherwise, they will be overshadowed by competitors more easily.

If you’re a local business, you should optimize these areas if you want to encourage digital assistants to select and recommend you:

  1. Location data
  2. Fill out all relevant business categories for Google My Business
  3. Have a large pool of reviews
  4. Target long-tail keywords and conversational search

User-Friendly Websites

After the release of Fred, Google has made it very clear that the user’s experience is of utmost importance. Rather than focus on turning a profit, your website has to rid itself of ‘spammy’ material, unfriendly navigations and black-hat SEO techniques. If you want to improve your click-through and conversion rates, you should implement the following:

  1. Quick loading times
  2. Safe and secure payments
  3. Responsive design
  4. Smooth navigation
  5. On-site SEO
  6. Content marketing (e.g. blog)
  7. Mobile-friendly

For the best results, you’ll want to hire a professional website designer and have regular content uploaded to your website’s blog. On-site SEO should be natural for organic traffic and results; black-hat SEO such as keyword stuffing and invisible text will be picked up by Google, putting your business at risk of being penalized.

2018, however, is more than likely going to solidify the importance of mobile-friendly websites, as brands realize the potential of putting mobile first, rather than catering for the desktop. With Google ranking mobile-friendliness as the third most important factor of a website, businesses will need to make the transition from desktop to handheld devices; if Google sees that your site is hostile to mobile users, then your organization is going to lose rank and continue to slip as 2018 arrives.

Digital marketing is an ever-evolving industry. SEO, social media and website design can alter in a matter of a few days, therefore, it’s easy to speculate what 2018 may bring, but impossible to know for certain. While traditional digital marketing techniques will continue to be successful and effective, those in the industry should keep watch, and brace themselves for changes, both big and small. To counter any unexpected changes, maintain a cohesive digital marketing strategy for the year ahead and prepare to blend any new practices that may arise. Like digital marketing as a whole, anything new 2018 brings will need to be to trialed and learned through error or successes.


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