If you’re interested in a career in digital marketing, it’s important to keep up with the latest developments. Our guest blogger Austin Tran from ClickMechanic gives his view on what to watch.
The Growth of Mobile
Over the last 5 years, the proportion of mobile traffic has ballooned and now accounts for more web usage than PCs and laptops. In response, Google has put a lot of emphasis on mobile, they’ve updated their search algorithms to penalise those that aren’t optimised for mobile devices.
Alongside that, new ad formats (e.g. price extensions for AdWords) are now rolling out to mobile first, with desktops following behind. This is especially pertinent with the rise of ad blockers, which tends to be much less common on mobiles.
One of the key changes in recent years has been that customers are researching on mobile before purchasing on desktop. For digital marketers, this poses a particular challenge in properly attributing traffic and sales to ensure that they are making decisions with the right data.
New Channels & Formats
Facebook with its own messaging service, have acquired WhatsApp, and have moved the app away from a subscription service with the intention of allowing businesses to push adverts through the platform.
Alongside this, we’ve seen the launch of Gmail sponsored promotions directly into users’ email inboxes. These new formats pose new opportunities for digital marketers, and explain one the trend towards native ads – those that match the form and function of the platform they appear on.
How Search Is Changing: Voice & Rich Snippets
The increasing use of voice search, has changed how companies need to think about their SEO. Voice searches tend to be longer and more specific, meaning that websites need to optimise for longer tail keywords. Therefore, the strategy of optimising for only your major keywords in the hope of concentrating your ranking is becoming increasingly rare.
One of the other major trends in search is the rise of rich snippets. These include answer boxes or star ratings. Optimising for these is increasingly important to stand out from the rest of the search results and so drive more traffic through to your website.
One to watch is how this will evolve, as Google integrates more of this data into products like Google Home and Google Assistant, traffic may well end up not going through to your website, with Google finding the information and relaying it to the user directly.