Social media and search engine marketing are the two constantly evolving trends with plenty of changes that prompt shifts in consumer and marketer behavior. In order to succeed, you should adapt to these changes and employ the latest and most effective strategies.
Here are 12 social media and search engine marketing trends taking place so far in 2016 and what you should do to stay ahead of the curve:
1. Mobile optimization is a must!
In 2015, mobile generated more traffic than desktop and laptop search. Typically, everyone used their smartphones or tablets to find information online. Business owners must cater to the needs of their mobile audience to generate leads and increase conversions.
If your website still isn’t optimized for mobile, then you might be at risk of losing potential consumers
Be sure you use responsive web design to provide the best user experience to your visitors regardless of the device they’re using.
2. Voice search introduces huge changes in keyword research.
Digital assistants have become more popular among mobile users over the past couple of years, their success has risen due to their much improved functionality.
Siri, Now and Cortana are making the lives of users so much more convenient. However, this presents a new challenge to marketers as they must now optimize for voice search.
People use different search terms when speaking versus typing. Voice searches lean toward long-tail keywords, so be sure to include these terms to increase your chances of ranking.
3. Local SEO will be crucial.
With the launch of My Business, Google places even more importance to local SEO.
There has been a fair share of significant changes in how Google presents search results for local terms. Different search elements are used to provide immediate information regarding local businesses.
It is imperative to have your business listed on Google to improve search visibility. Google My Business is a great place to get started, it allows you to control multiple accounts from one central location.
4. Social posts receive higher rankings.
A clever move for businesses is ranking their blog posts and universal assets (videos, images, news, etc.) on the results pages. Don’t forget to rank your social posts as well.
Many marketers are already utilizing social media to gain more visibility in search engines. When customers enter your company name, you must make sure that your social media profiles are seen on the first page. This should be further leveraged for your reputation management and monitoring. Various social media sites also now encourage long form content, most notably Facebook with their revamped Notes feature.
5. App store optimization is crucial.
One study shows that in 2015, 52 percent of time spent online was on mobile apps. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as people tend to prefer using apps over surfing mobile websites due to better functionality.
If you have a business app, optimizing for the app store is crucial to enhance visibility. A large amount of apps get created every day, making it more difficult than ever to stand out.
It’s vital to use in-app analytics as well to measure conversions, click through rates and app open rates.
6. Learn the new on-page SEO.
When talking about on-page SEO, what immediately comes to mind are content optimization, internal linking and improving site structure. There are more factors to consider to ensure that your on-page SEO is in check. These include click-through rates, engagement, social signals and relevant content. By measuring these important site metrics, you can see which areas of your site needs to improve. A thorough technical SEO audit is extremely important in order to identify and fix any issues that might affect your website’s performance.
These are also used by search engines when ranking web pages, better yet look beyond conventional on-page SEO strategies and be sure these factors are included in your next optimization campaign.
7. Sell on social media.
Different social media sites have enabled advertisers to sell directly on their platforms. Facebook and Pinterest, in particular, have introduced “Buy Now” features. This serves as a fantastic opportunity to reach your target audience and increase conversions. It’s a win-win situation since social media users can now buy products without even leaving the app. Without question, more social platforms are willing to follow this method in 2016.
8. Enhancements in in-app functionality.
It’s amazing how much you can do without ever leaving the app. Developers continue to create innovations and include new functionalities to their apps.
Facebook, for instance, introduced a lot of new features last year such as Instant Articles and automatic video playing when scrolling. They are now creating their own digital assistant.
Twitter, Instagram and other platforms refuse to fall behind, promising to have plenty of things in store for their users. By making improvements in in-app functionality, conversion rates are set to skyrocket, so it’s essential to make enhancements in your app to experience a boost in ROI.
9. Take advantage of new publication options.
Facebook created a game-changer when they launched Instant Articles, as mentioned before. This is their way of presenting users with content while ensuring that they wouldn’t leave the app. Instant Articles load measurably quicker than regular web links, thus improving user experience.
Major publishers are now using this feature to reach their target audience. Twitter is about to release a similar feature called Project Lightning. Be sure to check out these new publication options and see how you can utilize them to generate new leads and improve conversions.
10. Videos will continue their dominance.
YouTube still receives a massive amount of hits per day. Facebook receives 8 billion
video views daily as of November 2015. These two facts alone prove how much online users love watching videos. Plenty of studies also show that content within videos have higher engagement rates compared to those that only contain plain text.
Take the next step and find ways to present information to your audience through entertaining videos. Trying to rank these videos on the results pages can also drive a significant amount of traffic to your website.
11. In-the-moment content is bound to remain popular.
By nature, social media are “in-the-moment,” with users eager to share what they’re doing as of the moment. Over the past couple of years, live streaming has become very popular. Periscope, the most popular live streaming online platform, allows users to record a short moment of their lives and share it
Snapchat and Instagram have already jumped on the bandwagon. This could mean huge changes in how you use social media. Accustom your business to something new and consider posting in-the-moment updates and take advantage of the fact that millions of online users love this kind of content.
This could mean huge changes in how you use social media. Instead of scheduling posts in advance, you might want to consider posting in-the-moment updates and take advantage of the fact that millions of online users love this kind of content.
12. Dark traffic will eventually become clear.
If your company uses Google Analytics, then you know how frustrating it is trying to decipher dark traffic—the kind of traffic whose source you do not know. Analytics simply includes it under direct traffic. This can affect your marketing campaigns. As a marketer, you want to know as much as possible about your audience.
Thankfully, dark traffic has gradually come to light over the past few months. Digital marketers are expecting that this year will mark the end of dark traffic. This will be possible with the help of analytic tools getting more precise information regarding their source.