With the increasing adoption and use of voice search assistants and the continual growth in mobile as the device to access the internet, it’s timely to identify the five main areas businesses should consider, and be asking themselves, around their digital marketing strategy for 2019.
Mobile continues to grow its share in the device usage marketplace. In fact, so far in 2018, mobile has surpassed desktop usage with 52% of all international web searches having now been conducted on a mobile device.
How we access data and information these days is becoming more immediate and search engines have adapted to this. Google now displays search results differently for mobile than it does for desktops. Getting your business a strong mobile presence is essential in any digital marketing strategy.
Tip. Consider the needs of your market and adapt your digital presence to be mobile first. Some things to consider:
The speed with which your website loads on mobile. User abandonment rates increase exponentially if websites do not load on mobile phones within 3 secs. Add to this the fact that site speed is a Google search results ranking factor. Work with your web developer to improve the site load speed.
A website that is responsive to mobile will also provide ease of use and a pleasant user experience.
Video should also be considered part of the mix. People love consuming video via mobile and Google loves providing video as a search result option.
The importance of locality marketing as a digital strategy continues to evolve. Four out of five mobile users searching online will look up a business purely for its address, opening hours, services, products and contact details. Even if your business is not a location-based business, there is great importance in managing and maintaining your online locality information. Consumers continue to seek validation and trust via digital presence and if there are errors in your details or insufficient information you suffer a 60% chance of that prospect moving on to the next business.
Tip. Make sure you setup and optimise key business listings such as Google My Business and Facebook pages as well as making sure your details are correct on all key online directories. Provide a real local feel to the listing by adding images and videos of your team and office; respond to consumer-asked questions and reviews; and add posts and service listings.
Coming on the back of the mobile usage wave is the rise of voice search. It is predicted that by the year 2020, nearly 50% of searches will be conducted by voice assistants and devices. The AI around voice assistants continues to improve and trust continues to grow in the usage of these products. With Apple’s Siri, Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, Samsung’s Bixby and Facebook’s soon-to-be released Aloha, we will continue to see the development and usage of these tools in our home and in the workplace.
Tip. The majority of voice searches conducted are questions. Consider researching common questions being asked by your audience and create content around these topics. Work with your SEO team to create content that Google can use to answer questions being asked.
The need to provide quality content that stands out from the “noise” is becoming more important for businesses with limited time and resources for creating it. Then add to the mix the need for Google to provide quality results when search queries and questions are entered and asked... In fact, how consumers engage with web pages is now a ranking factor for Google search results. What this means is that the past emphasis on keywords in key locations is not as important as providing content that engages, educates and is trustworthy.
Tip. Take your time with your content, research what questions are being asked. If writing a blog, try answering the question in the first paragraph. Give yourself every opportunity for your business to be what Google chooses to deliver when these searches are run.
Social media continues to grow in both usage and time spent on the many different platforms available. Though social media has now been around for over a decade we only see 40% of businesses using social media platforms to communicate with their customers and consumers. The use of social media as a business/marketing tool has also seen inconsistent performance with businesses not using the platforms to communicate with their customers effectively. We continue to see the same sales messages pushed on platforms that were designed for people to connect socially. Businesses are also offering no variations between platforms, with the same message or post being used on all sites.
Tip. Consider different conversations on different platforms. Unlike other digital marketing activities such as advertising and SEO, there is no “best practice” with social media. The best results I have seen and helped people achieve have always been via testing a variety of creative means and choosing options that provide the highest engagement (imagery, videos, written content and call to actions). Reach beyond the sales message and think about how you can engage with people. It’s important to talk to people, not audiences. Social media is about conversation and connection, so tailor your content to talk to the person and not the masses.
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