Blog, Marketing

Google ain’t what it used to be…. Because we don’t Google like we used to do.

As a result, search marketing is getting an overhaul– right now! That overhaul can be condensed down to three trends: the three biggest trends for search marketing in 2017.

 

1. Mobile Magic/ Madness

Hand of a man in a business shirt holding a mobile. There is a coffee in a glass cup next to his hand.

The focus of search marketing in 2017 is in your pocket. Or in your hand. You might be looking at it right now. That’s right. Mobile search marketing continues its reign in 2017 (and probably well into 2020+, who are we kidding?).

At the end of 2016, Google rolled out a new Mobile indexing tool. It means that Google is now relying on the mobile version of your site to rank you for search. Even when your searchers come from desktop. It’s being referred to as the “mobile-first index”. Official Google talk tells us this: you will not rank highly with non-mobile-friendly content. So you should probably chat with us about how mobile friendly your site is, could be, or isn’t. 

Want a good way to optimise your site for mobile? AMP is here, never fear! AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it’s just that: a seriously fast-loading version of your website. For a little more info, check it out here. While Google may be at the helm of the project, they still insist that it’s not a rankings signal. It may never be. But it is an amazing way to promote your brand through search and a very effective way to cut through competition. Early adopters are seeing lower bounce rates– up to 50% lower! Which you’d expect if you thought about it: no frustration at slow-loading pages equals no click-away reflex.

2. Content Marketing Is King. Long live the King!

A stack of magazines, with an analogue camera on top. A grey rectangular prism containing black pencils with erasers.

But, as you might have suspected, it’s not enough to be just plain fast. What the searcher sees when they land on the page is more important than ever before. Older search marketing techniques like backlinking are diminishing in importance where rankings are concerned. These days, the content needs to be the main event. Not only should your content be search-informed, but it should also service brand rapport and awareness. Here’s a quick guide:

Targeted: know what people are searching for. Up-to-date keyword research is non-negotiable.

Rich content: video and immersive brand experiences are your friends. Us personally? We love to work with gamification. We’re a bit obsessed with it actually. Check out our article on immersive brand experiences here!

Mobile-friendly: If you’re wondering why we’ve included this, go back and read the paragraph from before this one.

 

3. Speak to Search

Siri vocal assistant on a iPhone

Voice recognition is becoming more accurate. And it’s looking less and less like a gimmick every time we check. We’re mostly using our Siris and Cortanas on mobile, but that could change this year. Siri and Cortana have made it to desktop, but that’s not all! Voice-operated home assistant devices have arrived! Google Home and Amazon Echo are on the market, and they’re primed to take your verbal commands (and searches).

User uptake is already high. Google reports that over half of all adolescents surveyed were using voice recognition to search every single day. And 41% of adults! If this is how people are searching… You can’t ignore it in your search strategy. 

Now, you’ll need to optimise for how people speak, as well as how they type. Just think: when you type out a request in Google, you’re more likely to write “bicycle repairs melbourne”. And when you speak, you’d likely ask Siri (or Cortana or Alexa) “where can i get my bike fixed?”. So, your challenge is now to optimise for both. You may need to optimise for “when/ where/ how/ what/ why” based queries, as these are common in voice searches. Although Google (and your phone) are attempting to translate these kinds of searches back into the regular typed query format, it’s always good to have a safety blanket while they get it to full service. Local listings, too, need to be up to date. There is a bunch of other stuff we can do behind-the-scenes, too– just ask us.

If you want to make 2017 the year you master search marketing, it’s time to drop us a line. We’ll build your very own strategy, and help you start raking in the top rankings!