The Digital Essentials, Part 3
Developing a robust digital strategy is both a challenge and an opportunity. Part 3 of the Digital Essentials guide series explores five of the essential technology-driven experiences customers expect, which you may be missing or not fully utilizing.
ClickZ recently released its Digital Trends 2016 Report which gathers insights from various digital marketing experts and discusses the digital landscape and expectations for the upcoming year’s trends. While the report covers many different areas of digital marketing, here are the main takeaways from the search marketing section of the report.
Audience Targeting Becoming More Important Than Keyword Targeting
With mobile devices and voice-recognition technology changing the way people search, targeting will become less focused on specific keywords and more about the audience doing the search. Utilizing information like location, age range or search intent, marketers can strategize more effectively rather than spending too much time trying to go after the “best” keywords.
“Audience targeting will become as important as keywords as the primary targeting mechanism for search. For SEOs, the focus shifts to intent and location over rudimentary keyword mapping. On the paid side, bringing CRM and audience data into search campaigns will be essential.” – Jonathan Beeston, MD of Croud UK
There’s no end to where this kind of audience information could lead us. How customized can we make search results given what we know about the searcher and their current situation? Imagine the possibilities.
“We have seen this with Google Now. Let’s say you are searching for things to do in London, will your results take into account the weather conditions in your area using weather.com, your GPS and location signals? Will this determine whether or not there are more indoor activities if it is raining? What if transit signals are combined with your personalized profile, and Google Now patterns, to predict where you are likely to go?” – Jonathan Beeston, MD of Croud UK
It seems like every year we’re being told that this is the “year of mobile” and 2016 is no different. However, instead of companies working to make their websites mobile-friendly, it’s time to get aggressive by making sites mobile-extraordinary. Instead of making smaller changes to incrementally improve site speed, we need to get that site up to lighting speed! The fastest of pages could be getting a boost in search rankings in 2016.
In October 2015, Google announced a new project called Accelerated Mobile Pages as a way to make a significant impact in mobile web performance. Google understands that the faster pages with rich content can load, the better the user experience and the more interaction users can potentially have with the ads shown to them on those pages. As companies begin to implement more speed improvements, it will be imperative to keep up or your site will risk losing visibility.
The uncertain future of search agencies
As the digital marketing industry continues to grow and increase in importance to online businesses, what does that mean for those working in the industry? Will digital agencies flourish, or will companies increase investments in in-house teams? If it’s deemed important enough, many companies could by-pass the outsourcing and feel more comfortable doing it in-house.
“Whereas in the past all parties tended to keep their cards closer to their chest, everybody is trying to be more open and honest. Conversations like ‘we really want to work with an agency at the moment because we’re struggling to recruit a great in-house team, as soon as we find the right in-house team, we’d want to scale back or change the nature of the work we do with an agency’ are becoming more common.” – Kelvin Newman, founder and managing director of Rough Agenda
Customer service’s impact on SEO
In a world where social media is king, anything and everything is discussed online for the world to see. An angry customer can instantly vent their frustrations online and potentially hurt a company’s reputation. It will be important for businesses to keep this in mind when it comes to customer service. By always providing optimal service to their customers, a company can prevent negativity from surrounding their name online.
“Can your customer service affect SEO? Absolutely! A large number of negative complaints may lead to negative reviews and non-flattering mentions across blogs. We really have to delight the customer across the entire brand experience and that doesn’t finish with the moment of purchase. That delight should be the driver behind all our actives.” – Mags Sikora, co-founder of PeriodBox
Click here to get your own copy of the full digital trends report.