The digital marketing world is in constant flux, which makes keeping up with the latest trends a big challenge. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top digital marketing trends you actually need to know in 2019. We’ve also asked select industry experts to give their two cents on the matter as well. You will want to read this whether you do SEO for medical professionals, web design or work exclusively with social ads.
High-Quality, Creative ContentContent has long been the backbone of good digital marketing and SEO strategies. That may change one day, but not in 2019. The biggest difference in the new year is that there will be an increasing emphasis on nuance in content, meaning that next year’s content is going to be more sophisticated and targeted towards specific markets.
“Hands down the best strategy for SEO in 2019 is to always focus your content with the reader in mind. What is most valuable for them, easy to find on your site and clear and concise. Sure the technical component matters, but great content trumps everything,” said Cinnamon Wolfe, Photo Editor and Business Coach.
Not only will quality content attract and engage your target audiences, but it will create valuable backlinks and SEO juice to keep those leads coming. Ronald Dod, CMO and co-founder of Visiture, pointed to the importance of content for the eCommerce industry.
“We see more and more eCommerce merchants using content marketing to drive high-quality backlinks, rank for research intent keyword phrases, and help drive customer acquisition through content marketing. This may seem simple to the majority of SEO practitioners but for eCommerce merchants using content marketing is fairly difficult to execute in my professional opinion,” said Dod.
Modern Video ContentIt’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: strong video content is a digital marketing must. About 73% of all Americans engage with YouTube, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become popular mediums for showcasing video content, too. Consumers love getting information through engaging videos, and video digital marketing is an effective way to rank on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) in the face of paid ads, as Eric Kronthal, President and Founder of periscopeUP, notes.
“Unfortunately we’re likely to see further depletion of organic results on Google in 2019. Just getting to the bottom of page one of Google’s results simply isn’t enough. SEOs must dominate the SERP’s top positions, earn visibility in enhanced results (snippets, answer boxes), optimize for other results in images, maps and video, and look to additional platforms like Amazon,” said Kronthal.
Video content, including the relatively new trend of live streaming, is also the perfect opportunity to reach your intended audiences. When you create personal and relatable content, consumers will be able to build a connection to your brand. Better yet, localize your video content in the new year.
“Businesses that buy into creating a highly-localized and personable experience will reap the benefits in 2019. Think less about what you do and more about the value and convenience you provide and optimize for,” advises Sean Bucher, Director of SEO at Rocket Media.
Innovative Link Building StrategiesEffective link-building can still jumpstart an SEO campaign and it will continue to have a strong impact in 2019. In the next year, be prepared to see more focused strategies for link-building, such as selectively building links to high-quality websites. Google knows the difference between a low-quality link and a high-authority link, and 2019 will be the year for you to know it too — if you don’t already.
“Google warned two years ago that low quality links will not benefit you, and that you are indeed wasting your money if you are using third and fourth-class article portals. To do it properly, you want to focus on gaining links from niche appropriate websites with real traffic. Investing the time to earn links of greater quality will serve your campaign in the longterm, even if you ultimately gain fewer links overall,” advises Airto Zamorano, Founder and CEO of Numana SEO.
As backlinks become a bigger focus, so do the most effective ways of getting those backlinks. Jordan Whelan of My SEO Sucks emphasizes the importance of generating click-through traffic, which will in turn boost your credibility to search engines.
“Going into 2019, our agency has noticed the value of quality over quantity when it comes to backlinks. PR firms will continue to dissolve in their traditional capacity as clients prioritize online hits over broadcast mentions. Guest posting will be the highest priority as it often allows customization of the anchor text which is understandably powerful,” said Whelan.
Seamless User ExperienceAs the new year turns its focus on what consumers are looking for, digital marketing agencies and small businesses will want to turn their attention to the usability of their website. Visitors take just a few seconds to judge a company’s website and if your’s doesn’t impress, they’ll be on to your competitors in a heartbeat.
“Google’s latest algorithm and change in focus now favors websites that provide actual value for the readers rather than just content optimized for search engine rankings,” says Keyan Taji, from Approach SEO.
Google has also made the change to mobile-first indexing, meaning that any company that wants to rank on Google needs to optimize their mobile sites. Consumers are using their smartphones more than ever to look up their every need through text and voice search. If your website isn’t suited for a mobile platform, it won’t cut it for the modern consumer. As Brad Bator from Speed Insight Designs tells us, speed is also a consumer’s main priority.
“If your website doesn’t load within 3 seconds, you can lose up to 30% of your customers! Search engines are boosting websites that load fast, which gives you an easy ranking opportunity if you improve your loading times. Plus, it will give your users a better experience, leading to repeat customers and more sales,” said Bator.
Expertise In The Google AlgorithmAs Taji mentioned in the last point, any changes to the Google algorithm have major implications for you and your clients. A well-crafted and keyword-packed page can be in the number one spot one day and on page five the next. In fact, entire business models can rise and fall with shifts in Google’s search algorithm. Having the know-how to navigate these changes is going to be essential in the next year for consistently high-ranking pages. Jim Turner of Pro Agent Solutions knows this to be true for his real estate clients and for the business community at large.
“To get on the first page of search results, brokers will need a strong partner who understands the changes to the Google search algorithm and also understands newer and more sophisticated techniques to get you visibility with your ideal customer profiles and get leads,” said Turner.
As you get ready to celebrate the new year and all of the joys it will bring, get ready to fortify your digital marketing strategies as well. The key to seeing success in 2019 will be staying on top of the constantly changing trends and not getting attached to any one strategy. Clifton Parker, Creative Director at Ellev Advertising Agency, sums it all up perfectly.
“2019 has been a year of changes, just as 2018 was. So the best strategy for SEO or any other type of marketing or advertising, is to be flexible and adaptable with any changes or trends,” said Parker.
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Google has updated their Google My Business guidelines specifically to clarify how a business should list their address for service-area businesses and virtual offices. The new section is in the expandable "address" section and titled "Service-area businesses."
The new guidelines clarifies who can use that feature:
Service-area businesses - businesses that serve customers at their locations - should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point. Service-area businesses can't list a "virtual" office unless that office is staffed during business hours.
Some businesses, like pizzerias that have both have restaurant seating and deliver pizza to customers, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their storefront address and designate a service area in Google My Business. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.
Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources. Learn more about service-area businesses.
Marissa from the Google My Business team said in a Google My Business Help thread "we were able to get those clarifications added in the help center article with our guidelines."
Forum discussion at Google My Business Help.
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