As 2016 comes to a close and we’re planning our marketing campaigns for 2017, we’re going to need to formulate a strategy.

It was a unique year for SEO and the advances of Google. We’ve seen numerous advancements and changes as we gear up for a new generation of search and social marketing.

It’s all about relevance. How relevant is your content and your website to the needs of searchers?

I wrote a round-up of what to expect in search marketing in 2017 for Search Engine Journal that outlines the advancements we’ve seen throughout 2016 and how to plan for the future.

In SEO, there are two main factors that contribute to the success of your campaign. That’s links and content. Authoritative, quality content that adds value to your brand will attract quality links, which will improve your SEO.

As we get ready to change over our calendars and budget for the year ahead, what aspects of marketing should you be focusing on?

Voice Search on the Rise

Voice search is primed to be the center of attention in 2017. While about 20% of US searches are conducted through voice, and that trend will continue to grow with the releases of new digital assistants like Google Home, this presents a huge opportunity for your marketing campaign.

For local businesses, you can optimize your website to help your brand be found through voice search. In a convenient way to search, your potential customers or clients will ask their assistant, “Where is the best pizza place near me?” or say a demand like, “Find a landscaping company near me.” It’s a convenience factor.

The more you optimize your website for local listings and local-based queries, the better your chance of gaining business from voice searches.

The key factor you’re facing is how to land a featured snippet. While queries that involve a quick answer, recipe directions, or movie show times, for example, will be more effective at landing a featured snippet, the rise of voice search will result in more businesses being featured.

My article on Search Engine Journal discusses the impact of featured snippets on your website.

Here are some stats laid out in a recent Moz article that show where voice search is headed:

  • The home is the primary setting for voice search, followed by the car.
    • This is significant because of the rise of Digital Assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home. It is most popular when your vision or hands are occupied.
  • About 40% of Voice Assistant users started to use it only 6 months ago, which is a sign the feature is becoming more mainstream.
  • Amazon sold 5 million Echo’s in the last two years, and 33% of sales within the last six months have been for the smaller Echo Dot and Echo Tap.
  • Google has announced that with the incorporation of the Google Assistant on Google Home and Google Pixel devices, reporting for voice search will be available within Search Console.

With a plan to optimize for featured snippets and experimenting for voice commands, you can stand out with voice search.

Learn more about voice search by reaching out to our local SEO specialists.

Video Marketing

Online video consumption is growing. We’re watching more video than ever, and as we scroll through our social media news feeds, we see live video beginning to take precedent.

Users will get a glimpse into your life, work environment, or meetings with Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Look at influencers like Gary Vaynerchuk, who makes his living spreading entrepreneurial advice on Snapchat and Instagram live, while posting daily videos and vlog shows on his YouTube channel.

Plus, get creative with YouTube videos that you can share on your social platforms to increase brand awareness.

There are more options than ever for you to promote your brand and services in short, consumable formats.

Look at this growing trend from Think With Google:

video-marketing-trends

Find new and innovative ways to include video in your marketing strategy. As the younger demographic continues to grow, you can’t afford not to.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile

As Google continues to advance and work on its indexing, we have recently seen the switch to a mobile-first index. Mobile search has risen to include over 60% of searches. We make sure your campaign is optimized for mobile so you’re able to take advantage of this initiative.

This includes a look at accelerated mobile pages that load instantaneously for a unique user experience. AMP is used for a certain type of content like news articles or publishers.

You must have a mobile website that offers a clean design and entices interaction with your brand. It’s going to be a leading factor in the future of digital marketing.

Your audience is on mobile. They’re looking on mobile. Make sure they find you. Let our experts analyze your mobile presence to see what we can modify to leverage your website.

How Are You Preparing for the New Year?

With the year coming to a close, think about how your strategy is changing going into the New Year. Your users are still searching. It’s the way they’re searching that is being modified.

They’re consuming content quicker, arriving at the answer with as little effort as possible. If you’re providing a convenient solution to their problems and finding a way to answer their questions quickly, you’ll be in good shape.

There are certain areas that you just can’t ignore. If you think about getting to the forefront of optimizing for digital voice assistants, you’re headed in the right direction.

Stay committed to achieving your goals. We know it’s going to be an exciting year. How can we help you dominate your industry and rise to the top of search results in today’s voice search and mobile world? Get in touch with us.