With 2016 now upon us what better way to start the year than with some web marketing & SEO predictions on what you need to be focusing on in the new year.
The best way to beat your competition is to stay ahead of the curve so take some time to study this list and see how you can beat your competitors in 2016…
1. Mobile continuing to grow
After Mobilegeddon hit on 21st April 2015 it still amazes me to see the number of sites that haven’t embraced mobile and updated their site accordingly, it’s almost like they want to lose traffic
With Google announcing that more searches are now performed on mobile than desktop there is no doubt that mobile search cannot be ignored in 2015.
You only have to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop to see how mobile phones have become such an addiction for a large part of the population that these devices cannot be ignore by companies any longer.
With this in mind and the fact that mobile use is only going to continue to take more of desktops share of the market, companies need to build a robust mobile strategy into their online efforts.
2. Local search
With the explosion of mobile devices being used to access the internet, it goes without saying that local search will become more important to get right in 2016 especially for bricks and mortar stores.
Making sure your website is optimised for local search will be vital for the success of any search campaign. Ensuring the basics such as names, addresses and phone numbers are accurate and marked up correctly with schema markup will make it much easier for local searchers to find you.
With the recent update to their Search Quality Ratings Guidelines to include local searches and the release of the Google My Business API it certainly looks like Google will be placing more attention on local search in the future.
3. Conversion rate optimisation
If you aren’t running conversion rate optimisation alongside your search engine optimisation then you are losing money, it’s as simple as that!
There is no point driving more traffic to a site that is full of conversion blockers or isn’t converting to it’s full potential.
The importance of CRO as part of a digital marketing strategy is understood by few, yet it can be the final piece of the jigsaw that brings more revenue from a website.
Ensuring that the maximum amount of visitors are turned into customers is surely what all website owners strive to achieve don’t they?
4. Social ads
After a rapid rise in online advertising during 2015, digital ad spend is predicted to surpass TV advertising in 2017.
With a big chunk of digital spend being allocated to social advertising, digital advertisers can’t ignore this year.
By targeting the most suitable social media platforms to invest in companies can easily put their content infront of the right audience.
With ever more sophisticated audience targeting options and generally a lower cost per click than adwords there is no excuse to not use social media advertising to grow your business in 2016.
5. Personalized PPC
A recent study by Adobe saw personalization top the list of capabilities that will be most important to marketing in the future.
PPC has been about targeting the right set of keywords to find people who might be interested in your product or services.
In September 2015 Google introduced Customer Match which is essentially the same as Facebook Custom Audiences and allows you to target PPC and display ads across Gmail and Youtube using email addresses.
This feature will allow digital marketers to target people who are in certain stages of the purchase funnel and serve more personal and targeted ads with messages that cater specifically for them.
If you want to market to millennials then video is a must have marketing tactic and the explosion of Youtube superstars is proof of this.
Videos help businesses to entertain and engage with their audiences in a much more visual manner than static images alone can.
2016 is the perfect time to jump into the video marketing arena and include videos as part of your digital strategy.
Your users are looking to watch content rather than read it, and you need to keep up with them!
7. Social media
Social media in the vast majority of cases isn’t a digital marketing strategy on it’s own, nor will it be suitable for every business and the jury is still out on whether it has any effect on organic traffic rankings.
With that said social media can still be a very effective means of engaging and interacting with followers and putting a more human face on your business enabling you to build relationships with both previous and potential customers.
Putting more emphasis on brand building and customer engagement with social media is what companies need to be doing on social channels in 2016.
At the same time it’s not vital that you should focus on all social media channels but select the ones that will be the most beneficial for your business and do those channels well.
8. User behaviour tracking
Tracking how your visitors interact with your site and collecting this data is now easier than ever and if you aren’t doing this then you need to start, now!
It allows you to make informed decisions about the next site redesign or update, and gives you the data to back up any decisions rather than making changes on gut gut instinct.
Tools such as Crazyegg, Hotjar, Kissmetrics and Formissimo allow you to build up a complete picture of how your users are interacting with your website and more importantly what is stopping them from converting into customers.
Using these tools will allow you to create a better website for your customers that removes any blockers that might be stopping them from increasing your bottom line.
Content is still king in 2016, but if you or your digital marketing agency thinks that adding a few blog posts to a website is creating quality content then you need to consider if your money is actually being well spent.
Content needs to be useful and valuable to users and has to answer their search queries quickly and effectively.
Creating such content allows your brand to become the authority on your subject matter and become the go-to site for information. Once you build up this reputation then you also build trust with your users.
Google states in its webmaster guidelines ‘In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share’
By creating quality content that answers a searchers question accurately and then promoting it through outreach and social media, a website can greatly increase the number of relevant visitors who are more likely to turn into customers or clients.
10. Buy buttons
Buy buttons have slowly been making an appearance on social media sites such as Twitter and Pinterest in 2015, and the ability to buy direct from a social site or search engine is going to explode this year.
If you run an eCommerce store this is something you need to take note of in 2016, because buy buttons are going to grow in popularity in 2016 and why shouldn’t they?
The ability for users to buy direct from social media is surely an appealing prospect for marketers, the theory being that this should improve conversion rate.
So that’s it for my 10 predictions in digital marketing and SEO for 2016. Is there anything you think will be big this year? Let us know in the comments below.
If you need help getting your website or digital marketing mobile friendly then get in touch with the team at The Whole Caboodle and we will be more than happy to discuss your needs