2018 will likely bring with it some gamechangers for the world of digital marketing.
Sure, people say that every year, but man just look at what happened over the past twelve months. Imagine what’s going to happen in the next twelve. Find our personal predictions below.
Content is King…is Dead
Content without UX is worthless. Create a holistic content marketing strategy or your precious content will be nothing but a wasted investment. Small businesses can capitalize on this trend by acting quicker than larger, more bureaucratic corporations. Small businesses can pivot quicker and ditch the content is king mentality in favor of a UX-centric content marketing approach.
Livestream, Livestream, Livestream
We also saw the growth of livestreaming on social media EXPLODE this past year. This presents some interesting opportunities. Just going live isn’t enough. How can you stand out from everyone else who’s live? How can you help people who are interested in your niche find your livestream even if they’re not following you?
The popularity of livestreaming, and video in general, will only continue rising. Facebook will likely surpass YouTube as the go-to video search engine. It may even surpass YouTube as the go-to video hosting platform. Small businesses can capitalize on this by being early adopters. Start hosting your video on both YouTube and Facebook. See what happens. If Facebook video hosting takes off, you’ll be in before many others.
Strong Branding Will Improve Your SEO
Now we’re not saying that branding will become a ranking factor or anything like that, but the impact of how search engines favor more established brands will come more and more into focus in the popular consciousness.
Small businesses can capitalize on this by paying more attention to their reputation management. They can also spend more time on their branding and we DON’T mean just their logo or color scheme. What is their value proposition? What is their unique emotional appeal to a given audience? That’s their brand. Start investing in this now and it’ll pay dividends down the line.
Social + SEO = A Match Made in Heaven
Right now, social media “isn’t” an SEO ranking factor, or at least not a publicly acknowledged one. I doubt this can be kept up for much longer, given the literal takeover of how we consume and share information via social.
This means the worlds of SEO and social media marketing are only going to become more intertwined. From the impact social media does or doesn’t have on SEO to the increasing importance of being found in search on social – you can expect SEOs to spend more time and effort on social media.
You can see this already in Pinterest brining back hashtags to help organize pins and boards and in Instagram launching the ability to follow hashtags and stories. Social marketers, who excel in building audiences, need to start working closely with SEOs to figure out what hashtags to target and how to create content that’s optimized for those hashtags.
Local SEO Will Be a Moneymaker
Local SEO will start to play a larger role in SEOs day-to-day lives in 2018. No surprises here. Gone are the days of ten blue links and a few ads. With up to four above the fold ads, knowledge graphs and boxes, image, news, and other carousels…the SERPs are crowded. Ranking for keywords and in the local search pack means more real estate for you or your client.
That means it’s time to stop thinking of local as something you do in addition to “traditional” SEO. It’s time to put local first and start investing your time in levering micro moments. Adopt a mobile first, local first mindset. Watch your traffic grow.
What Will the SEO Trenches Look Like This Year?
More time on social and more time doing local SEO. This means less writing and more strategy, more social keyword research, more video production. More, more, more. The day-to-day of 2018 will be all about this strategy.
Content is king is dead and it’s time to focus on unique business goals. Some of these goals will involve social like the SERPs to produce ROI for brands that haven’t traditionally done well on it. Some will involve researching hashtags like keywords. Some will involve stuff we haven’t even thought of yet!
What is your digital marketing program going to look like in 2018? Let us know on social media and we might even feature you on this page!