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Blog

By Anne // Jan 22, 2016 Categories: Digital Strategy

7 Online Marketing Trends in 2016

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Having mobile-friendly website is no longer an option. If you are serious with your business, a mobile friendly website is mandatory! Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, said at Re/code’s Code/Mobile conference (October 2015) that Google gets over 100 billion searches a month and more than half of those searches are coming from mobile devices (video). Google introduced the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project in October 2015 and its mission is faster mobile websitesForget lazy slow websites full of useless JavaScript. AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, allows you to built super fast mobile pages.

Forget lazy slow websites full of useless JavaScript. AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, allows you to built super fast mobile pages.

Because this project is a collaboration with industry giants such as Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress and LinkedIn, we expect fast growing support. You ask what is revolutionary about it? The answer is simple, Nothing. Basically, it’s just an HTML page on a diet. There are some HTML tags as well as CSS you just can’t use. You can’t even use your JavaScript code. You have to use a JavaScript library which is provided with the project and that includes the most common features like lazy loading.

For more technical details go to the official website Ampproject.org.

Growing Importance of Structured Data

Google launched its machine learning technology called RankBrain back in 2015. It’s an artificial intelligence which will be helpful especially if users use a search query which the search engine has never seen before. Search engines exist to understand the meaning of search queries. There are already a lot of search queries for which Google provides not only links but also direct answers. These answers are heavily dependent on how much Google understand the context of information. For example, type in a query about Barack Obama’s age and you will get the following result.

Direct Answers in Google Search Results When you implement structured data, such as schema.org, on your website, machines can better understand your content. The search engines may display the link to your website more prominently (rich snippets), use these information in the knowledge graph or provide them in new experiences like voice answers, maps, and Google Now.In order to see if your website uses structured data, go to Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) where you will see all structured data implemented on the website and reveal potential issues.

There is also the Structured Data Testing Tool where you can test your implementation immediately. In order to see if your website uses structured data, go to Google Search Console (aka Google Webmaster Tools) where you will see all structured data implemented on the website and reveal potential issues. There is also the Structured Data Testing Tool where you can test your implementation immediately.

Deep Linking

The number of smartphone users has been growing every year, and around Christmas, it jumps a bit more. Google will be increasingly focused on improving its mobile search results. Deep Linking has become one of the hottest new features in 2015 and the importance of it will be growing since apps are popular among mobile users. A deep link is any link that points to a mobile app content (e.g. product page, news article, etc). For instance, if you have the TripAdvisor App installed and search for a hotel, Google may show a link that opens directly in the app instead of loading the mobile website. If you business has a mobile app, we would recommend implementing deep linking. For more technical information visit MobileDeepLinking.org.

Voice Search and Answer Boxes

Voice searches are different because users tend to speak their queries in whole sentences rather than just typing a few individual keywords into a search bar. It means the SEOs should be more focused on long-tail search terms instead of just a few keywords. Voice searches are different because users tend to speak their queries in whole sentences rather than just typing a few individual keywords into a search bar. It means the SEOs should be more focused on long-tail search terms instead of just a few keywords. Google is looking for answers of spoken questions and not only for a page with keywords in the title and headings.

Google is looking for answers of spoken questions and not only for a page with keywords in the title and headings.One downside effect of these types of searches is that Google tries to provide answers directly in the search results which may steal your organic traffic and business owners are not happy about this. However, it’s still better to see there an answer from your website rather than from competitor’s website. One downside effect of these types of searches is that Google tries to provide answers directly in the search results which may steal your organic traffic and business owners are not happy about this.. However, it’s still better to see there an answer from your website rather than from competitor’s website.

Answer Box

Video Ads in Search Results

In August 2015, appearances of video ads in search results were spotted in both Yahoo and Bing. Even though that Google has never officially confirmed testing of video ads in search, industry sources say that Google has been testing it – link. We also saw an animated GIF in the Google search results last October which came from a Google+ page, therefore, I would not be surprised if we start seeing some moving action in the search results.

Animated GIF in Google Search Results

Social Media and Mention Monitoring

Bigger companies have been already doing it for a while and now it’s time for your business (if you haven’t started yet). Do you have manuals how to react if there are negative mentions about your business on social networks? If not, it’s time to prepare. That old adage about one bad review undoing 10 good ones is true online too, but only if you fail to respond. On the better social media and review sites such as Facebook and Google+ it’s also an opportunity to engage your audience and put your point of view out there. Done well it’s an opportunity to gain audience respect and fix problems with customers you might not know you had.

For sure, If you don’t handle this situation properly, one unhappy customer may ignite a big fire which may hurt your hardly-built reputation and ultimately hurt your revenue. That’s a pretty big impact from a Facebook comment, right? You would be surprised, how many times it happened. Don’t be afraid of tools like Mention.com, Google Alerts or TalkWalker.com. It’s not a rocket science.

Multichannel and Omnichannel

These are not simply buzzwords that digital agencies use to lure new customers. In today’s markets, each marketer should be focused on customer behaviour across all channels and devices, and try to understand their behaviour and mindset. It’s easy to assign each conversion one channel, however, the reality is different.

Let’s imagine the following situation. There is a visitor, who saw your PPC ad on the phone during his way back home. Once he gets home, he will search in Google for your brand on his desktop. He will like your content so he will sign in for newsletters and become a follower on Twitter. After a few weeks, you send a newsletter with a great deal. Because you were posting great content on your Twitter account, he is convinced that your have a great product so he will buy it. The customer wouldn’t finish the purchase without any of your online channels, therefore, it doesn’t make sense to give credit for the purchase to only one channel.

These 7 trends are just the tip of the iceberg and you should not forget about Native Advertising, Podcasts, Wearables, VR, etc. Keep yourself up to date with the latest trends because the importance of online marketing will keep growing in the year 2016 and it may help you to stay ahead of your competitors.

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