Digital Marketing Trends Part 4: The Search Marketing Landscape

8 Search Marketing Trends That Will Shape the Digital Landscape of Alabama

Search marketing, the process of gaining visibility from search engines through both paid and unpaid efforts, is staged for tremendous growth and evolution in 2016. According to eMarketer, spending on paid search is projected to increase more than 10% from 2015 meaning that businesses and marketers will spend 28.4 million dollars in paid search advertising. The primary reason this medium continues to demand its share of advertising dollars is because of its ever evolving capabilities. Looking forward to 2016, here are 8 trends that will impact this evolution.

1.    Audience Integration. Previous methods of PPC targeting were limited to intent and geographic location only. But late in 2015 Google introduced “customer match” and that has been a game changer. This capability allows advertisers to target a specific audience based on audience profile information. When you layer audience targeting with intent and geography, ads become more relevant resulting in better campaign performance.

2.    Mobile First. More searches are happening on mobile devices than they are on desktops and because of this many advertisers have already adopted a mobile first strategy. A mobile first strategy turns a greater ROI since mobile users are further along in the buying cycle and more likely to convert. The 2016 spend forecast for search is 28.43 million, 17.87 million of that is mobile search. This same mobile first strategy is equally important as it relates to SEO. Just recently Google announced that a desk-top specific site isn’t necessary and that mobile optimization will increasingly become more important.

3.    Micro-moments. Because mobile has fundamentally changed the way we seek information in real-time, intent driven micro-moments allow brands to shape consumer decisions and behaviors. Consumers expect brands to deliver exactly what they are searching for in that moment. Advertisers that adapt and create a strategy around these micro-moments stand to shorten the path to conversion and win the consumer in the moment.

4.    Conversion tracking. Conversion rate is the optimal indicator of success for marketers, advertisers and content creators. This metric, when applied to search, can provide more insight into a campaigns performance. Although click through rates are still important, they do not tell the whole story. With Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and all of the resources available to track conversions, success by campaign and channel is now easier to track than it ever has been. Conversion tracking will be an integral part of search marketing strategies in 2016.

5.    RLSA.  Remarketing lists for search ads is a feature that allows advertisers to customize ads from their search campaign to the people that have previously visited their site. RLSA is very effective and will continue to gain popularity in 2016 as part of comprehensive search campaigns.

6.    Video content. With Google’s purchase of TrueView (read more about TrueView here) and their experimentation of video search results, the presence of video content on a site will be increasingly important in an overall search strategy. In 2016 video is predicted to outpace written content as it relates to reach, effectiveness, engagement and overall ROI.

7.    Digital assistants. Cortona, Siri and Google Now speak our language. But the way that people search with digital assistants is very different than text search. In 2016, long-tail keyword queries that are similar to how people actually speak will place an integral part in a sound search strategy.

8.    Social Media Content. Social media content will be more readily indexed having a big impact on page rank. When search engines look for relevant content as it relates to a search query, social media results, because of its recency and relevancy, will be given as much consideration as a web page. In 2016 more social media platforms will become indexed.

Due to its ever-evolving capabilities and position towards end of the buying cycle, search will continue to sustain growth and results throughout 2016. The more sophisticated that audience targeting, mobile usage, and social media integration become, the more crucial it is to have.

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