2016 is gone and behind us and strategies are taking a different direction! Not that everything from 2016 is out-the-window, but focus has changed and new items are starting to come to the forefront of Digital. Here are a few things that we are predicting to be the biggest trends in 2017, but even if they miss the mark they will still be major players in the area of digital!
Speech Based SEO
“OK, Google, – What do you expect will be the biggest digital trend of 2017?”
Whether it is Amazon Echo, Google Home, Google Phones, Siri, or Microsoft’s voice-activated system, the world is increasingly going to speech-based search trends.
This is a monumental shift, not just because it is spoken – humans have been speaking for thousands and thousands of years – but it because of the last decade the Google’s of the world have been shifting us to dumbed down text search. Consider the way you generally search: “10 best search trends”, “Starbucks near me”, “movies playing tonight”, and so on. The fundamentals of grammar are gone. Well, they’re back and as Google is committed to basing search results off natural speech they will begin to be more important ranking factors.
The main problem here will be the retro-active affects that this will have. Millions of websites have optimized for these broken down speech keywords and will now have to change with the time.
This is “yuge”.
The Need For Speed – Mobile Load-Times and Content Delivery on Steroids
More than a decade and a half after the majority of the US left dial up behind, we’re still looking for ways to improve web speed.
Google loves dictating the World Wide Web and they recently decided to AMP up search results!
Quite literally, A.M.P. (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is Googles big push this year. My second prediction was nearly going to be Content Developing – as this is still predicted to be the biggest driver of online ROI, but that was the same in 2016 and 2015 for that matter. We needed something new, and since A.M.P. is relatively new, it is going to be one of the biggest catalysts for success, if used appropriately.
A.M.P. is essentially an agreement on how to program your website to load faster for mobile phones. It strips out a lot of the peripheral performance and content pieces to focus mainly on web copy (see, there’s another reason for leaving content out).
Google has made it official though that it will provide A.M.P. websites a higher ranking in Google search results than non-compliant sites.
The easiest way to stand out of the crowd is by literally allowing your content to stand out of screens!
Virtual content is definitely on the upswing and will really get into full gear in 2017!
Google has been offering a number of Virtual Reality (VR) based interactions for a while – most notably Google Street View which provides 360 walk-throughs of streets and businesses. Google has been increasingly investing in the 360 degree content lately, and they’re not the only ones. YouTube now plays 360 degree videos and Facebook has jumped on it as well from a delivery standpoint. Facebook has even been showing some higher-than-average interaction rates and Reach with 360 images than with standard images or video.
For most businesses, Virtual Content has allowed for them to bridge the digital and the physical. Restaurants and hotels are able to provide a more detailed view of their location, enticing more people to come after researching them online. Car dealerships are able to allow potential customers to virtual test drive a car and complete transactions entirely online!
Most camera phones are already able to take photo spheres and more cameras are coming out designed entirely for 360 photography and videography, including Ricoh Theta, Samsung 360, Nikon 360 and the ever expensive GoPro 360 mount.
In most cases, predictions often come out wrong which is why we’ve limited our list for 2017 Digital Marketing Trends to only 3 rather than trying to predict every single factor. We’ve also focused on areas that have had so much steam that the mark they’ll leave on 2017 will be monumental one way or another.
So – stay on the lookout for these trends, and for the more active of us, start preparing for these changes before it is too late!