What's next for marketing in 2019

Digital marketing trends in 2019: what will be important?

A lot has happened in the SEO and content marketing world again this year. The online marketing agency artaxo reviews the most important developments and presents the 10 SEO and content marketing trends for 2019.

 

You can read more articles from the series here:

SEO trends 2019: This is what the industry will be concerned with next year

Many of the topics from last year will remain relevant in 2019. Among other things, User Experience, Voice Search, Mobile First Index and the indexing of Javascript applications, which we explain here. Here are our SEO trends for 2019 summarized:

1. Mobile First

The Mobile First Index, which was rolled out this year, will also play a major role next year, as the changeover will probably take some time. As a website operator, however, you should make sure as quickly as possible that you can offer your users mobile-optimized sites. From an SEO perspective, the reason for this is not just the fact that Google will now rate websites based on their mobile version. Much more important are the users. Because more and more people are surfing on their mobile devices. With a mobile-optimized website, you will ideally meet the needs of your users.

Our tip: Create your website in a responsive web design. With the test for optimization for mobile devices you can check whether the mobile presence of your website can be displayed correctly and is usable. Also check your markup structure: Use at least one relevant markup per page and make sure that the markup is used the same for both the desktop version and the mobile version.

2. Website speed

With the "Speed ​​Update" in July 2018, the loading times of a website have also become a ranking factor for mobile searches. With slow websites, even small improvements in loading time can have a positive impact on the ranking. This means that performance is becoming increasingly important. Google made it clear that this factor is only one of many that has an impact on the ranking. Nevertheless, website operators are recommended to optimize the loading time of their websites. Because users want to get answers to their search queries as quickly as possible, they often jump off slow-loading websites and return to the search results page. This sends a negative user signal to the search engine regarding the website. Google is now even sending warnings to particularly slow websites.

Our tip: To check website performance, we recommend the recently redesigned PageSpeed ​​Insights tool from Google.

3. User signals

User signals were a big topic in 2018. They will continue to occupy the online marketing industry for the next year as well. User signals such as B. Length of stay, bounce rate, CTR and the back-to-SERP rate have an impact on the ranking. The CTR (Click Through Rate) indicates how often users actually click through from the search results page to a website. The back-to-SERP rate, on the other hand, shows how often users return from a website to the search results page because they may not have received a satisfactory answer on the website.

This year the importance of user signals is increasing for the following reasons:

  1. User signals provide a lot of data about the behavior and intention of users
  2. Search engines are increasingly relying on machine learning, i.e. artificial intelligence, to optimize their products
  3. Artificial intelligence is particularly good at recognizing patterns from extensive data sets and thus drawing conclusions about the user's intention. These can in turn be used to optimize the rankings

The measures to improve user signals are recommended for every website. Regardless of whether they directly influence the rankings on search results pages or not.

Our tip: Check how accurately your tracking tools measure user signals from your website. If these settings do not produce meaningful data, it is better to create your own events to track the behavior of your users (here is an example for tracking optimization of the bounce rate).

4. Voice Search

The big breakthrough in voice search is still a long way off, but reports show the increasing sales of virtual voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant and Co. In Germany, according to a representative survey by Next Media Hamburg from May, only 14 percent have a virtual voice assistant. However, forecasts assume that the number of users will increase by almost 35 percent worldwide in the next year. Compared to written search queries, the spoken search queries are usually longer and more complex. Often they are even formulated as a whole question. In addition, usually only one result of the hits on the search results page is read out. In addition, Google is currently testing the speakable markup with selected news publishers. With this structured recording, text passages in articles are identified that can easily be read out by voice assistants. If the test is successful, it is possible that every website will be given the opportunity to use this markup to offer voice assistants readable text passages.

Our tip: In order to be prepared for the future in digital marketing, you should therefore optimize your website with regard to voice search. Find out which questions your target group is asking and answer them briefly and concisely on your website. For example in the form of FAQ pages. Use tools like AnswerThePublic or Ubersuggest to research questions. Alternatively, you can ask your customer support team to record the questions your customers ask.

5. OnSERP SEO

Ranking first on Google's search results pages no longer means being the first to be displayed there. Instead, Google is playing more and more selected content in the so-called position 0 and is planning to do this even more in the future. This content includes so-called featured snippets, direct answer boxes and carousels for images and videos. The user can often find the answer to his question directly on Google's search results page. Without having to go to the actual website that provides the information. This is good for users, but potentially bad for you as a website operator.

Our tip: You can counteract this development in two ways. Try to optimize the content of your website so that it is displayed in position 0 by Google. In many cases, you can increase your traffic or at least attract attention for your brand. The structured labeling of FAQs and instructions will probably also be important for this in the next year. Second, you should put a lot of emphasis on getting your brand established in the minds of your users. This will make you less dependent on Google as a traffic source.

6. Rich content

On the subject of OnSERP SEO, Google has also announced that visual content such as videos and images (so-called rich content) should become more important in the search. For example, videos can increasingly be played out as featured snippets in the future. In addition, this year Google has repeatedly tested to enhance snippets with small preview images. Search engines are also getting better at recognizing images and videos. The breakthrough of visual search, in which images can be uploaded as an alternative to search terms and the search engine actually searches for similar images based on the characteristics of the original, is also coming soon. The Google Lens, for example, already shows the potential of this type of search.

Our tip: Say goodbye to stock photos and create your own meaningful images and videos for your website. At the moment, however, the file name, the alt tag and the caption should definitely be optimized for relevant keywords if they describe the content of the image well.

7. JavaScript and SEO

JavaScript is becoming increasingly popular and the number of websites based on JavaScript is increasing. For a long time, JavaScript and SEO didn't really get along. Because Google and Co. could not crawl the JS code, so this content was not usable for the search engines. However, this has now changed thanks to improved technology and Google is able, for example, to crawl and render JavaScript. From an SEO point of view, it can no longer be said in general that JavaScript is not suitable for websites. In October 2018, Google's John Mueller announced that the importance of JavaScript for SEOs would increase.

Our tip: Develop a basic understanding of JavaScript and learn what is involved in the search engine optimization of JavaScript applications. Get to grips with the possibilities of Dynamic Rendering and use tools like prerender.io, for example, to optimize the rendering of JS pages.

Content Marketing Trends 2019

In content marketing, too, you should definitely keep an eye on a few topics in the new year. This includes:

1. Live streaming

How do you let your customers take part in big events directly, live, regardless of location and in color these days? Of course via live streams. The streaming of conference presentations or announcements of new products via stream are becoming increasingly popular. Many platforms currently offer the option of implementing live streams. These include, for example, YouTube, Facebook, IGTV and Twitch. The enormous potential for companies to come into direct contact with their target group has not yet been fully exploited. In addition to virtual participation in major events, live streaming can also be used to provide insights into the everyday life of companies or special employees.

Our tip: If you are looking for influencers for your next advertising campaign or are looking for a new distribution channel for short ads, then take a look at the streaming platform Twitch. Or try starting a live stream yourself.

2. Stories First

Customers want friendly companies they can touch. Let customers look into your company with the help of stories and take part in activities. Because stories are no longer up and coming. Stories are now outranking the feeds on their respective platforms. Snapchat got the story ruble rolling, Instagram followed suit very successfully and Facebook, WhatsApp and other platforms also use the popular function. Facebook now also wants to bring the stories to the groups on its platform so that non-followers with a specific interest can also be addressed directly.

Our tip: The most popular stories are those that take place close to life. You don't have to be professionally raised because the viewer wants to see what it's really like. Show your customers interesting, funny or new things from your company.

3. Transparency

According to a study, every second person finds influencers untrustworthy. Like marketers and sales representatives, influencers try to sell products. Above all, the results of the study show that consumers are becoming more and more critical. Exaggerated promises can even be perceived as fraudulent. In addition, consumers will find a great deal of information and reviews on the Internet, including on products with defects. That is why many companies are now pursuing the strategy of acting as transparently as possible. If a product has an obvious defect, there is no point in trying to cover it up. It is better if they admit their weaknesses and address negative feedback directly. In the long term, transparent communication also binds the customer to the brand.

Our tip: Communicate transparently with your customers and be open to negative criticism. In addition, respond promptly to the feedback so that there is no shit storm.

Conclusion

In order to be successful in digital marketing in 2019, SEOs and content marketers shouldn't be put off by well-known statements that have also played a role in digital marketing in recent years: "SEO is dead!", The competition is too high, Google himself is in position 0 as a competitor on the SERPs and the old tactics have only minimal effects. As the challenges for online marketers increase and the complexity increases - then the rewards in the event of success will be even greater. Individual SEO and content measures may become extinct. Optimizing websites for users and search engines will remain a relevant discipline in the new year. The type of optimization is constantly changing. Strategies that include voice search, visual search, OnSERP SEO or live streaming in marketing planning have potential. To find the best tactic for doing good tweaks in these areas, you need to test what works and keep yourself up to date. Knowledge is a hard currency, especially in the SEO and online marketing industries. For this reason, training programs for employees and teams are essential. The fact is: companies will benefit from this investment in the future.


Search engine optimization and content marketing are also addressed in the digital marketing and leadership program Squared Online. Further information on the virtual training program is available here: