So long 2016, hello 2017! It’s a new year and we at Locallogy are all reflecting on the changes we saw in this past year’s digital marketing industry: location pages became a game-changer and online customer reviews are making and breaking businesses, just to name a few. All this reflection on 2016’s trends has us all wondering: what will happen in the digital marketing field in 2017?
We’ve done the research, so we’ve got a pretty good idea of where the industry is going (although, we don’t know everything ). Check out our team’s predictions for what we can expect out of digital marketing in the next year.
Optimization of Landing Pages
Simply put, any page of your website that a visitor gets to from a place other than your own website is considered a landing page. So, if someone searches for “move out cleaning Columbus, Ohio” and The Maids Columbus shows up as a search result, the page that appears when the user clicks on the link becomes the landing page, since the visitor came to it from an outside source. Recently, people have been getting increasingly specific with their searches, which means highly specific landing pages are key for businesses to show up in search engine results.
Through industry research, it has been discovered that people are more likely to find what they are looking for on a website as a specific landing page, rather than finding the home page and navigating through a website to find what they need. We’re certain that the increase in highly targeted landing pages isn’t going to stop any time soon, with websites’ keywords getting more specific by the day.
Mobile Surpasses Desktop
It’s no secret that most businesses have adapted mobile-friendly versions of their websites, due to the amount of people performing online searches on their phones. However, what used to be a second thought in website development has officially moved to a mobile-first strategy. Not only is the mobile version of websites becoming increasingly important, but it will soon be the only option for businesses.
Google is gradually moving toward a search engine structure that is based solely on mobile-first indexing . Research shows that people are using their phones more than desktop computers to perform online searches, a trend that is only expected to grow as long as smart phones and tablets are widely used.
With the reoccurring theme that visuals are a must in digital marketing, our team is predicting that 2017 will see a huge increase in non-text paid advertising. This means that instead of ads appearing as realistic content, we will start to see more visual ads, such as videos or images.
You can expect to see visual advertisement on social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, where people are looking for visuals more than content. For advertisers who can get it right, we expect to see a very positive return on investment. On top of that, we should expect to see improvements in ad targeting on all these platforms as marketers offer clients more advanced features to have an edge over competitors.
We’ve had the power of voice searching in our hands for years…literally. The iPhone’s Siri voice-controlled search has been around since 2011, and now other devices, such as Google’s “Ok Google” feature and Amazon’s Alexa, have started popping up as well. You know how it works: you ask a question and your device tells you the answer (rather than giving you multiple results to choose from), based on its own Internet search. But how does your device choose what answer to give you?
Digital marketing researchers are starting to explore these voice-activated searches and figure out how to optimize your personal results. Obviously, everyone strives to be in that top spot, which will be even more coveted when voice searches only give one result. We predict that this will be a major player in how people search for things in the next year, as well as change how search results are chosen.
We’ve already started to see live video have a growing impact on social media bases like Facebook , Instagram and Snapchat. In 2017, we predict that live video will move past the social media realm, gaining popularity and becoming an asset for small and mid-sized businesses. Live video gives businesses a chance to instantly interact with consumers on a more personal level. It’s a great way to gain trust among your clients and grow your reputation as a relatable company.
Mobile video is becoming more and more mainstream. Our digital marketing experts believe that small businesses need to embrace live video and find ways to utilize it in their digital marketing strategy.
Everywhere you look nowadays, people have their eyes glued to their cell phones. Between text messaging, taking photos and browsing social media, it’s hard to keep the attention of anyone under the age of 50 for more than a few minutes if their phone is nearby. That’s exactly why marketers started jumping at the opportunity to be right where they wanted to be: a few inches away from their target’s face on a cell phone screen.
recent years, many small businesses--especially those that use a scheduling
system of some sort—have started utilizing SMS (short message service, aka text
messaging) as a form of marketing and communication with clients. SMS marketing
is an immediate form of communication that has the capability of reaching a
largescale audience within seconds, something that emails and phone calls can’t
compare to anymore. And with 75% of millennials in a recent
choosing texting over talking, it makes sense that SMS marketing is
a tool small businesses need to start utilizing.
When was the last time you pulled out your phone to find a nearby restaurant or coffee shop? Probably pretty recently. And when you did, what phrases did you type into the search engine? Probably something along the lines of ‘Mexican restaurant near me,’ or ‘nearby coffee shop.’ With more and more people using their mobile devices to perform Internet searches on-the-go, there has been an increase in usage of the phrase ‘near me.’
And this doesn’t just apply to food searches.
People are searching for specific services using the terms ‘near me’ in industries of all kinds. This simple change in search terms can give users better search results, and can market your business in a wider area. However, this isn’t something Google can do on its own; first, you need to make sure your company’s website is optimized for ‘near me’ searches.
Google’s latest technological asset for businesses has recently launched, and it’s a game-changer for small businesses that are just starting out. It’s called Google Sites.
For those who have a business but are just figuring out the best way to establish an online presence, Google Sites might be the tool for you. This feature, provided by the search engine, allows business owners to build and manage a mini website on their own, all without the help of a programming professional. It’s not a high-tech website, but for those looking to make basic information about their company and services available to the public, Sites can get the job done.
Anyone who runs a Google My Business account —which should be all business owners—can access this feature and create a mini site in as little as ten minutes. Plus, everything is done through Google, so when you make a change to your local listing, such as updating business hours, the changes will automatically be updated on your website, too. For a small business owner, saving valuable time like this adds up.
Sounds pretty great, huh?
When you look at your business’s website, are you proud of the way your company is represented? Do you feel like your level of work is accurately portrayed through your photos, web design and site optimization? If you can’t stand using your own site, chances are that your customers won’t either. But before you give up on your company’s online presence, consider the difference your business could see when your website is gaining you new clients rather than repelling them.When it comes to your company’s online presence, your website can go one of two ways: either it can help your business, or it can hurt your business.
The purpose of a call-to-action (CTA) is, first and foremost, to provide an instruction to website visitors to contact you immediately, as well as a reason why. It tells them what they will gain from working with you and motivates them to take action to make that happen. Therefore, a good CTA will invoke the customer to contact you on the spot.
Here's how you can create the perfect call-to-action that will have consumers off your site and in your office.
SEO. There it is, that daunting acronym. If you’ve done any research whatsoever about having a successful website, you know that SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the foundation of an effective site. It means that your website does a good job of incorporating a bunch of elements, like specific keywords, location and load time, making it easy for people to find your site when they’re searching for local services like yours.For the sake of keeping this at a basic level, we won’t delve too deep into SEO and how it works . But there are a few parts of it that you can easily incorporate into your website that can help immensely.
One of the quickest ways you can drive people off of your site is by having an unresponsive website. You might be wondering what makes a website responsive or unresponsive, and what you can do to change that. This all starts with the most important part of your website: your web design.
There are so many elements that factor into website design, and if you don’t utilize your site’s design, your online presence has the ability to hurt your business.
When it comes to marketing your business online, making your business’s website reflect your brand is an absolute must in any service-based industry. It’s what sets you apart from your competition, establishes your credibility and shows people why you are the best choice for them.
Metric Marketing’s “ Guide to The Importance of Branding in Your Marketing ” breaks branding down to a simple definition:
Online reviews have been around a while. But in the past few years, they’ve increasingly become more important than ever, and the statistics to support its relevancy are overwhelming. Think about it: when you are considering buying a product on Amazon or searching for a restaurant to go to, do you ever look at the reviews to help make your decision? The answer, most likely, is yes.
Today, you can find just about anything online, whether that’s a product or a service, and everyone out there is in the business of marketing. Oftentimes, it’s hard to tell if the images and descriptions are really what you’re getting, or if you’re being scammed. But when we see online reviews from real people just like ourselves who are willing to testify for this brand, it gives us peace of mind that we’re making the right decision.