While it isn’t reassuring to realise just how many changes could happen in the next 12 months, it’ll be helpful to try and see the bigger picture. Here are just some things you can expect to happen in the world of SEM one year from now:
Google has User Experience as its main focal point which is one major reason why they continue to stay on top of many other search engines. So you shouldn’t be surprised when they favour websites which offer smoothly transitioning pages and useful content. Some experts are even considering that the creative side of websites has some bearing on this. Aside from loading speed, ease of navigation, and readability, creativity is another factor which should be explored. When all websites have been equalised in other aspects, UX ratings will be the key to determining how many users enjoy the sites which they visit.
Did you know Google has been thinking of putting in place a specialised index system? A system which focuses on the search experience of mobile users? If you haven’t really seen evidence of the search engine’s preliminary steps towards this strategy, you’ll probably witness them by 2018. Thus, it just makes sense to be in the know of upcoming news and algorithmic updates which relate to the mobile experience.
Then again, even if major search engines haven’t fully rolled out the mobile-based, indexing system just yet, it’s still practical to be aware of users’ and searchers’ behaviours. As it is, a high percentage of online traffic already comes from mobile usage. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to capture a significant number of searchers and visitors who procure information, products and services using their mobile phones.
Sticking with the Customer Buying journey
The technologies involved with search are becoming more sophisticated, and customers’ buying experiences are starting to be more funnelled in. This means that eventually, sporadic online marketing may no longer work. There are online marketers who map out their major customers’ buying journey – from first touch point to the last ones which foster loyalty and growth in relationships. Integrating effective channels and digital strategies capable of resonating with customers together will then help in every stage of the buying process. This shift will make personalisation in shopping and online transactions even more refined.
Link Building Stays Relevant
While link building as a tool is here to stay, it doesn’t mean its nature will also stay the same. The latest challenge among link builders goes beyond simply supplying high-quality guest posts to authoritative sites. In the months and years to come, Search Engines will put more weight in the contacts which a site consistently has.
Again, the word sporadic or the concept of hit-or-miss strategies will no longer work. There’s less value in submitting a one-time guest post to a high-quality site, compared to having a strong network of top quality websites which your online business is constantly affiliated with. If you’d like to regularly have high-quality backlinks, you must then forge partnerships and alliances with sites which cater to your target visitors and eventual customers.
The Handy Dandy Search Snippets
As part of their efforts to enhance UX, Google has generated another feature in the form of Quick Answers. The top search engine is quite serious about making their algorithms even more user-friendly. And as proof, they won’t hesitate to up the ranking of sites with the most comprehensive and helpful information. This is why many site owners are now aiming to up the quality of their content so that their pages will appear on the SERPs.
When potential visitors type in certain terms, looking for instant answers, Google helps them by instantly providing snippets of information right at the top of the results page. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for your page to be clicked on for details, plus you may even convey messages or calls to action which can be helpful for your visitors to consider.
The future of Search Engine Marketing stays bright in the coming year. What lies ahead though is a couple of user-centric trends which you must watch out and prepare for. How ready are you for keeping up with the trends? How do you also make sure that your site capitalises on the opportunities which these trends can bring?