2018 Search Marketing Tips: Are You Ready for the New Year?

Posted by on December 26, 2017

2018 Search Marketing Tips: Are You Ready for the New Year
Search marketing is ever in flux. It’s not just that technology evolves and expands, it’s that consumer behavior changes with it—and as such, it’s vital for CMOs and search marketing professionals to stay abreast of the latest trends.

The start of a new year presents an invaluable opportunity to pause, reflect, and fine-tune your marketing efforts—paying special attention to some of the most significant search trends, the ones forecasted to change the game in 2018. Here are a few particular trends you’ll want to account for as you plan for the next 12 months and beyond.

The Rise of Voice Search

Thanks to hands-free digital helpers like Siri and Alexa—to say nothing of the increased ubiquity of mobile devices—voice search is increasingly popular. In fact, the data suggest that, by 2020, more than half of all online searches will be conducted by voice.

This has implications for anyone doing SEO; specifically, your content needs to be written in such a way that it captures those voice search users. Long-tail keywords, reflecting the more conversational way people phrase voice searches, is key. It’s also helpful to structure your content in question-and-answer form. Revamp your content creation to accommodate those who are searching with their voice—because, before long, they could be in the majority of all search engine users.

AI and Machine Learning

The search algorithms themselves are always evolving, and one especially noteworthy trend is the incorporation of machine learning; basically, this is making Google’s algorithms “smarter,” better able to understand the search experience from a human point of view.

So what does this mean for your marketing efforts? It’s more important than ever to focus on user experience, one of the main criteria that machine learning accounts for. Also, content quality has never been more important; make sure your content is substantive and value-adding.

AI and Machine Learning

Localized Content

The search experience is becoming increasingly localized. This is tied to the rise of mobile and voice search; more and more search queries are conducted on the go, by users who are seeking businesses, products, or brands in their own neighborhood.

Your search marketing efforts will need to adjust accordingly. In 2018, ensure that you target localized keywords in your SEO efforts. And, by the same token, be sure to localize your PPC efforts, as well. These days, all search is local—and it’s more important than ever that you reach out to the search engine users in your own backyard.

Mobile Optimization/ Bid Management

We keep mentioning the prominence of mobile. This is, of course, nothing really new—mobile has been eclipsing desktop for years—but it remains a critical factor in search marketing success.

It’s not enough to optimize your website for mobile, and in fact, that’s something you should have done a long time ago. In 2018, it’s vital to remember that PPC bid management isn’t the same on mobile as it is on the desktop—and you really want to have multiple campaigns going at once, allowing you to target your efforts toward different audiences.

Changes to the SERP

Google is on a quest to make the search experience as pleasing and as helpful as possible—which means the search engine results page (SERP) itself is constantly being updated with new features—the Map Pack (including hyper-localized results) being just one big example.

The bottom line? It’s easier than ever for search engine users to get the information they need without actually clicking through to a specific website. Often, the SERP itself provides all the information they need—and that’s something your search marketing strategy should account for.

Preparing for 2018

Ultimately, what we’re talking about here is search experience marketing—the idea that SEO alone is no longer enough. Your brand must have a strong presence throughout the consumer search journey, and that’s something that requires a local focus, a rich PPC campaign, strong UX, and beyond.

For 2018, develop a search marketing plan that unites all these focus areas. That’s something we can help with. EverythingOnline is a search marketing company based in Orange County, and we can help you develop and execute a holistic marketing plan that includes SEO, PPC, and beyond.

Stay abreast of search trends, leaning on our expertise. Reach out to EverythingOnline to start the conversation.