Search Engine Marketing in 2019
The rapidly evolving search engine marketing landscape continues to shift in the new year, and I believe that adapting to these changes will be integral to executing digital strategies successfully in 2019. According to comScore, 50% of all searches will be performed via voice by 2020. In addition, a study conducted by Gartner determined 30% of searches performed in 2020 will be done without the use of a screen. These statistics suggest that the use of voice search will continue to trend upwards and ultimately become one of the most prominent methods of searching online. With voice search becoming increasingly popular, I predict that searches performed by voice will influence SEOs to focus more on optimizing their content for user intent as opposed to traditional keywords and queries. With Google’s mobile-first index update roll-out in early 2018, I also anticipate AMP and improving the user experience on mobile will become a bigger factor for SEO in 2019 as Google increasingly places more importance on the mobile.
Google continues to make changes to their PPC platform by adding new features such as Responsive Search Ads and a multitude of additional features. The addition of mobile speed testing to Google Ads is an indicator that the user experience will become more important for PPC in 2019 as well. Although the addition of Responsive Search Ads will allow for more granular targeting on text based searches, Google’s overall rebranding of Adwords to Google Ads is indicative of the gradual shift from text based search towards image, video, and voice. This becomes even more evident when considering the consolidation all of Google’s ad channels into one place, with the addition of programmatic advertising, YouTube ads, app ads, location listing maps, and others.
I personally believe that emergent technologies such as artificial intelligence will impact the digital marketing space in ways we won’t expect. I predict that programming and technical ability will become highly valued skills for digital marketers in the future, especially as innovations such as automation and machine learning increase in usage. In summation, staying current with the latest developments is as important as ever for digital marketers, and 2019 will continue to bring the rapid change that is characteristic of the industry. The future belongs to the most innovative and flexible marketers, who can adapt and adjust on the fly.
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