The global digital marketing and advertising markets are projected to reach a colossal $786.2 billion by 2026 – that’s more than double the $350 billion estimated value in 2020. This means that visibility for your brand and you will need a solid search marketing strategy.
The future of search marketing looks promising, but how are these new developments shaping online consumer interactions? From an increase in voice search to the unstoppable rise of AI, we examine what’s next in the ever-changing world of search marketing. With 98% of all internet users use a conventional search engine at least once a month, benefits of a search marketing strategy include:
- Businesses can reach their targeted audiences more effectively.
- Driving traffic to the website and increase visibility.
- Providing measurable results and ROI.
- Helping to establish brand credibility and awareness.
- Allowing for greater targeting and personalization of advertising.
As search marketing techniques evolve at a rapid pace, businesses and brands need to familiarize themselves with the processes if they want to continue to reap these rewards.
Building your strategy
In April 2022, Google announced the release of multi-search – a brand-new function in Google Lens that allows users to search using text and images at the same time. The tool’s development is credited to Google’s advancements in AI and it’s designed to be used for searches that can’t be defined by a singular image or text phrase. Multisearch has been heavily adopted by consumer brands, however, B2B brands are looking to adapt.
While it is extremely valuable to consumers, will it have an impact on organic search marketing going forward? The good news is that multisearch shouldn’t cause disruption as long as best practices are being followed. All content images should be indexed and contain optimized alt text with a clear description of the image. User intent is also key here; multisearch is designed to help consumers achieve their goals quickly and easily, so user experience needs to be front and center.
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that artificial intelligence and machine learning have made their mark. AI-powered algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, providing valuable insights into consumer behavior, market trends, and search patterns. Brands can then use these findings to inform and optimize both paid and organic search marketing strategies.
The development of sophisticated keyword research tools allows AI algorithms to quickly identify keywords that are likely to drive traffic and conversions, and provide recommendations for optimizing content and ad copy accordingly. This allows search marketers to create highly targeted and effective campaigns with greater speed and accuracy than ever before.
Quick responses to changes in consumer behavior are key to driving higher levels of conversion and ROI, making AI tools indispensable for time-poor businesses. When it comes to machine learning, AI-analyzed data on consumer behavior, preferences, and engagement can be used to adjust ad targeting and bid strategies in real time.
Video marketing has increased by 41% since 2016 and an integral part of search marketing. Consumers are interacting with video content to make purchase decisions and in one survey, 78% of marketing professionals said that video marketing has directly increased sales for their business.
Brands that invest to develop high-quality video content are well-positioned to take advantage of these trends, as video is more likely to be recommended and shared than other types of content. In fact, social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image combined.
Businesses need to incorporate engaging, shareable video content into their search marketing strategies if they want to reach their target audience and drive engagement. Video doesn’t just build awareness and engagement for a brand either, it can also be optimized for search, helping to improve a site’s position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
With the increasing popularity of virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, voice search is becoming the new norm. Google reports that 27% of the global population uses voice search on their mobile devices, so businesses need to get used to optimizing their content for voice search queries. The majority of marketers still focus on optimized keywords and SEO, but recent developments are far more focused on the way people naturally talk.
Long tail keywords and natural language are pivotal here, as people phrase typed queries differently from how they would phrase a voice search. For example, to find a PR agency in London, you might type ‘best PR agency London’, but for a voice search, you’re more likely to phrase the query as a whole sentence – ‘what’s the best PR agency in London’. It’s a subtle difference, but one that needs to be considered when optimizing for voice search.
UX has been a staple pillar of SEO for years thanks to recent developments like Google’s Helpful Content Update. Rolled out in August 2022, the Helpful Content update aims to reward content that most closely matches visitor expectations – which means user intent is key.
Focusing on overall user intent, rather than single keywords should be the goal. Web vitals are another key aspect of user experience; this includes key metrics like page load speed and whether a site is optimized for mobile. Almost 60% of users will abandon a site if they experience over three seconds of load time, so businesses cannot afford to ignore these user experience KPIs.
Today’s consumers connect with customized experiences that cater to their unique preferences. Everything from custom landing pages to personalized emails and targeted consumer ads. These will need to be powered by data-driven insights to pave the way for a future where search marketing is not only more efficient, but also more effective in resonating deeply with consumers.
The way we search and look for information has been shaped by many exciting developments in technology and changes in consumer behavior. Today’s marketers need to stay up to date with emerging trends and best practices, whether that’s voice-activated search, video content, or sophisticated AI algorithms to be well-positioned to succeed in the years to come. Read more from Hotwire here on how intent data can help you in establishing your content marketing strategy.