Digital Marketing Predictions for 2016

Every year SEO’s from all around the world hedge their bets against what is likely to dominate digital marketing over the year. Although our predictions may not be on point (magic eight balls are accurate, right?) here are a few ideas of what’s in store for us in 2016 and how these changes will affect our marketing.


The SEO Struggle is Still Real

Users want fast and easy search results and adapting your SEO is the perfect way to steer customers in your direction.

Besides businesses competing, search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo are forever fighting for user’s allegiance.

Yet instead of users turning straight to Google, they may begin to use DuckDuckGo (a more private search engine). Their website has become so reliable that even SEO expert, Rand Fishkin thinks “they’re now truly as good as Google” and that he’d “honestly consider switching”. That’s one big claim and rightly so, as over the year we expect to see a large increase in their growth, potentially reigning them the largest growing search engine of 2016.

Interestingly, Andrew Girdwood (media innovations director at DigitasLBi) believes that instead of competition between search engines, there will be bigger opposition between platforms such as Apple and Microsoft.

Paid ads in search engines are also set to increase this year with an estimated 70% reduce in organic search results, as businesses compete for the top spot in search engines.

We’re Talking SEO

However we shouldn’t just focus on written search results but also voice-activated searches, such as Siri and Cortana. This means that we need to change up our content to make way for a “no-search future”.

Content Continues to Reign

Content is King, as we constantly keep hearing. It brings customers to your virtual doorstep and saves you money in the long term.

What we can expect to see in 2016 is the increase in more personal and visual content, content that makes your brand “transcend technology” and makes your business,

“become so real and relatable and true and trustworthy that customers don’t wait for you to come to them, they go looking for you”.

This may sound a bit daunting to anyone who is new to SEO but don’t fear we have some suggestions.

One way to gain that trust is through a visual stimulant. Intricate images, vivacious videos and a list layout are three popular ways to win user engagement. You can have great fun showcasing your passion for your business and this can help make your content go viral, which will increase site traffic, resulting in business growth. Happy days!

Increase in Social Content Engines

As you know, getting your content viral is the dream, we want to see users sharing and engaging conversation. New social content engines such as Pocket, Nuzzel and ProductHunt to name a few, all do this in a simple and easy format and one of these engines might make big ripples in the social marketing pool. So get out there and sign up to these engines, as they’re a great way to get your content viral.

Don’t Forget to KISS (Keep Things Simple, Stupid)

As we become more visual, a simple looking website will attract and keep visitors, reducing your bounce rate. I’m sure you’ve also heard this before but the way we view simple web design is changing. This year we expect to see websites that create a clear layout, instead of a ‘simple’ one.

Similar to that of the no-search future and creating relatable content, design a webpage that reflects a person’s thought process. Build understandable headings and labels that guide users in a logical format i.e. “visual hierarchy”, that gives the customer confidence in following your website. However try to avoid creating large webpages, as they can slow down your site and leave customers dissatisfied.

AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

We’ve all had the experience of frustratingly waiting for a website to load (care to remember that EE advert with Kevin Bacon and the buffering symbol?) it makes us crazy! We get annoyed and lets face it, we probably wouldn’t visit that website for a while or ever again. Well, that is due to the size of some of those pages. However there is an alternative solution to this ‘website obesity’ problem.

Put them on a diet.

Yes, you heard me right! This is where HTML turns into an AMP. AMPs are fast loading pages for mobiles that are built for pure readability and speed and have been referred to as “diet HTMLs”. Although AMPs have only been used by media-related sites such as The Guardian, we expect to see most businesses using these pages by the end of the year, so start building your AMPs now (check out MOZ’s article on how to create an AMP).

Marketing on the Move

AMPs are designed for mobiles but what about marketing on wearables such as smart-watches or Smart Home technology or other futuristic tech that everyone has been raving about?

Well, Rand doesn’t think that this will take off in 2016, suggesting that mobile usage will taper off over the year. He also predicts that wearables will have “almost no impact on the world of web marketing” although he does add “(yet)”, suggesting that this trend may appear in later years. Although personally, I think there is a huge market out there and it won’t be long until adverts begin to pop up on your very own FitBit.

Keep an eye out for these changes throughout the year to see if our fortune teller was correct! In the meanwhile, update your SEO techniques to these new trends and fingers crossed the customers will keep on coming!