Happy New Year from the team at Page One Web Solutions! I speak for us all when I say we’re looking forward to what 2019 has in store for us in this ever-changing internet marketing industry. As we are preparing for the year ahead I had the chance to ask some members of my team what they thought would be big and emerging topics in our industry this year. I also asked what they would prefer to leave in 2018. I got a TON of awesome feedback - they are a bunch of smarties so I am not surprised - and broke it out into seven common themes.
What will be BIG in 2019?
7 Internet Marketing Predictions from the P1WS Team:
(Listed in no particular order)
In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. This regulation standardizes data protection law across all 28 EU countries and imposes new rules on controlling and processing personally identifiable information (PII). Included as part of GDPR users must provide opt-in consent when providing PII. This had a huge impact on businesses and changes the ways customer data is collected, stored, and used. It’s likely we’ll see American brands take a similar approach to protecting user data and the promotion of ensuring user privacy. With companies like Apple and Google urging American lawmakers to create new federal privacy legislation, it’s likely we’ll hear lots about privacy in 2019.
We talked a lot about user-intent in terms of keyword research in 2018 and 2019 will prove to be more talk on this topic. But not just in relation to keywords or content development, we’ll hear more about user-intent when we talk about designing our landing pages, web experiences, and even optimizing the SERP for user-intent.
3. Cross-Channel Marketing
Gone are the days when each of your marketing efforts could exist in a silo and you could rely on a single channel to do all the work for you. Nowadays, marketers must use a mix of marketing channels to reach their target audiences. Understanding and dissecting the user’s journey to convert gets a little more complicated. Not only that, certain initiatives in one channel effects how the user interacts and “performs” in another channel. For example, if you’re adding an email marketing component to your marketing mix in 2019, you have to think about how that may affect the performance of your other channels. You’ll likely see a dip in organic and paid search traffic because your email marketing messaging is reaching your target audience before they have a chance to search. Now, this wouldn’t mean to ditch your PPC or organic efforts, it just means you have to understand how, with the addition of the email marketing channel, these initiatives may need to shift or react. The awesome thing we love about cross-channel marketing is that you get to understand your users better than ever before. You get a deeper understanding of how your marketing is being perceived and performing on different platforms and channels. If you want to ensure a positive ROI you have to pay attention to how different demographics are consuming your messaging.
4. Technical SEO
We predict 2019 will be the year of “speed” and SEO is going to get downright technical! Historically, SEO was made up of three main initiatives: on-page SEO like metadata and content, off-page SEO like building a healthy backlink profile, and technical SEO which focuses on optimizing the indexation and crawlability of a website. Though at its core, that has not changed, nowadays, “technical SEO” encompasses all of the SEO initiatives except for on-page SEO and off-page SEO. This means technical SEO just got… well… more “technical.” Like we mentioned, speed will be a big item we’ll hear about this year as well as accessibility and security. In the past, these types of optimizations were not thought of as traditional SEO, but they sure are now. This year we predict marketers will be much more concerned about the technical health of their websites and activities to improve performance.
5. Voice Search
According to ComScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by next year. This means you have approximately about 360 days to get your business presence ready… Rest assured, there will be a ton of articles, information, and research to help you begin ensuring your business is voice ready this year. Likely you’re already doing a lot of the right things like providing answers to common questions via content on your site, consistently adding new content that is helpful to your audience, and establishing an accurate presence for your business locally. With the rapid adoption of smart home devices, like Amazon Echo and Google Home, voice search really exploded. One place we recommend our clients begin, is to ensure their business NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) is accurate and consistent across business listings and by completing their Google My Business profile.
6. Non Text-Based Content
Is it just me or does everyone have a podcast these days? Don’t get me wrong, I love podcasts - I listen to a variety of them for both business and pleasure and have definitely tossed around the idea of doing one myself. To start up a good podcast and then create and maintain a following, that’s hard work, but will the effort provide the intended outcome? If there is one thing that is for sure people are still consuming content at an incredibly fast rate. However, a shift we’ll see this year is more and more marketers pushing content that isn’t the standard blog, whitepaper, or other text-based content. In 2019 we will be talking podcasts, video, live video, webinars, content in the form of interactive tools, and the list will go on. Content alive as it has ever been, but this year it will begin to take new form.
7. Google Goes Social (Again)
We think Google is going to get it right this year with the integration of social into its already well-performing platforms. My coworker, Chris, wrote a great little blurb on LinkedIn about this and he really hits the nail on the head. Two of the items he mentioned on LinkedIn that we recommend our clients doing are 1) getting positive reviews on Google and 2) using Google My Business listings to share your offers and content. The timing of Google couldn’t be more perfect to edge out Facebook because I predict we’ll see a decline in Facebook usership this year. I’ve heard rumblings of people either just not using it as much, uninstalling the app from their phones (as a detox), and even boasting pride in deactivating their accounts. While I think there is still a place for some businesses on Facebook, many will likely see the value in Google’s available and more visible platforms vs. Facebook’s. Shh, don’t tell Zuckerberg I said that!
What can we leave behind in 2018?
2018 was a great year in our industry: Google rolled out its mobile-first indexing, chatbots took over social media messaging, and Europe created the world’s strongest data protection rules. But what, from 2018, do we say “sayonara” to? Again, I asked my awesome team and here are their 2018 gripes.
Ian, our Paid Search Manager, explains “A/B Ad Testing, in the classic sense” is over. “Now, with Responsive Ads, multiple headlines and description lines, will begin to roll out to all accounts. Though we’ll continue testing various landing page experiences, we'll be focusing less on ‘head-to-head’ ad tests.” Paid Search Marketers will now rely on Google’s machine learning, using Responsive Ads to give the searcher the highest quality experience in SERPs.
From the SEO Team:
Koren tells us to stop “hyper-focusing on one target keyword per page.” In 2019, we’re going to think about naturally developing content that targets variations of a particular keyword.
Becky said she’s over the Artificial Intelligence hype in 2018 and is ready to experience the real deal in 2019.
Chris says we can leave behind counting followers, subscribers, and likes as a value metric for social media. In 2019, we need to focus on “engagement as a real measure of social channel value.”
Callie simply states she’d like to say “bye, bye” to quantity over quality.
However, I think it’s what our Senior Front-End Developer, Jeremy, said that really pulls much of this all together. He said people can leave “outmoded tools and ways of thinking” in 2018. Out with the old, in with the new! I'm with you, Jeremy!
There you have it folks - Page One’s 2019 internet marketing predictions and trends. I’ll make a note to reflect back on this in 12 months. It will be exciting to see what actually emerges, what will be the big topic of the year, what will be the big flop? From everyone here at Page One, we wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!
Huge shoutout to the amazing team for sharing their thoughts wisdom - you guys are the best!